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John Ladenburg exploring attorney general bid

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Feb. 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm with 35 Comments »
February 21, 2011 4:19 pm

Former Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg may make another run for attorney general.

Republican Rob McKenna beat out Democrat Ladenburg for the job in 2008, but in 2012 McKenna is widely expected to run for governor, and potential successors are already jockeying for position. Democratic King County Councilman Bob Ferguson recently announced he would run.

Today Ladenburg, the former Pierce County prosecutor and executive, announced he has filed paperwork to form an exploratory committee. He called it “the first step evaluating a potential run.”

He has set up a website, ladenburg.org, and put out a news release:

John Ladenburg Forms Exploratory Committee for Attorney General

Ladenburg will spend time consulting with family and friends about potentially running for Attorney General in 2012


Tacoma—John Ladenburg, former 14 year Pierce County Prosecutor and 8 year Pierce County Executive, announced today that he is forming an exploratory committee and has filed all necessary paperwork with the Public Disclosure Commission. There is no timeline on when Ladenburg will make a final decision on running.

“I am taking the first step evaluating a potential run for Attorney General,” Ladenburg stated. “I will spend time speaking with my family and supporters before I make any final decisions.”

The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer in the state.  As Pierce County Prosecutor, John Ladenburg wrote the nation’s first sex predator notification law which started a national trend. Ladenburg also wrote the nation’s first civil commitment law that allows us to civilly commit sex predators who are deemed too dangerous to release after they serve their time in prison.  Hundreds of sex predators are locked up today because John Ladenburg created a new law to protect citizens.

Ladenburg ran unsuccessfully in 2008 against Rob McKenna. He currently works with his sons in the “Ladenburg Law” law firm in Tacoma and also is the managing partner of a governmental affairs consulting firm.

Leave a comment Comments → 35
  1. I guess he’s left his mark on Sound Transit so he needs another “fire hydrant” to visit. The problem is, every time he leaves his mark it costs the taxpayers dearly for something they probably didn’t need or want.

    Someone should tell King John just how big the tea party is. Besides the tea party, the general public is waking up and they do not like the mess they are seeing.

    The likelihood of another tax-and-spend liberal governor, especially one wearing a Sound Transit albatross as a necklace, is nowhere near as certain as it was even two years ago.

  2. mattersnot1 says:

    My God, didn’t he get his butt kicked bad enough the last time he ran?

  3. Reagan Dunn must like this – a great chance to win Pierce County.

  4. dirtydan54 says:

    John Laddenburg,

    Sir, you’re as corrupt and as underhanded as they come. You are no better than the people sitting in our jails and prisons.

    And the above comment is putting it lightly.

  5. Tacoma_Politico says:

    Very excited to see John run. After everything he has done in Pierce County to help us fight violent sex offenders and the meth problem he could be a great addition to the AG’s office.

    Not exactly sure why anybody brings up taxes considering the AG has no taxing authority.

    Go John Go

  6. Yes…please Go John
    Kinda like a bedbug.. annoying, hard to eradicate and immune to repellents.
    Geez… ya think he’d get the hint after getting beat what 2?3? times???? Can’t the party come up with someone better after all this time? I’m tired of voting outside of party lines but if this is the best there is to offer…ick!

  7. Concernedfather says:

    Whole heartedly agree with every comment, except Tacoma_Politico.
    This clown has cost us dearly, and is only in it for his own personal gain.
    I would vote for ANYONE else first.
    Go John Go, AWAY!

  8. UnbiasedReporter says:

    Let’s see in 2008 Ladenburg was the Pierce County Executive. In 2008 he LOST Pierce County by a large margin. Is he hoping that four years would make us forget what a loser he was?

  9. This is no surprise. Despite his detractors, he has been reasonably effective. I’ve had it with McKenna anyway…

  10. Don’t do it! Please John, spare the folk’s of Pierce County from another failed run. Just to remind you that your not wanted anywhere near Public Office Trust me it’s not like anyone has missed your absence! Your corrupted insane mind is something no one needs we already have to many corrupted politicians without needing another one like you!

  11. Concernedfather says:

    Dear John,
    Sorry you had to find out this way, but it is over.
    Please move on with your life.
    Our relationship was abusive and can never be reconciled.
    Please, just go quietly now.

  12. gerry0416 says:

    Hey John!!!! Why don’t you go use the golf course that was built for you and your friends with taxpayer funds. Don’t forget, it’s still losing money.

  13. PumainTacoma says:

    No BUT HELL NO!!!

  14. Soundlife says:

    ROFLMAO, this is all joke right?
    John is like a brain-diminished fly in the kitchen that just can’t seem to realize it’s not wanted.
    Don’t we already have enough semi-literate, nose-mining, slack-jaws in our state government?

  15. No way !. This man epitomizes the words corrupt and inept. But there are enough twits in this State who vote purely on name recognition alone, so he stands a chance. But most of those dimwits are in Pierce County.
    God help us all if he is successful.

  16. megalomania
    meg·a·lo·ma·ni·a[ mèggəlō máynee ə ]NOUN
    1. greed for power: an excessive enjoyment in having power over other people and a craving for more of it
    2. psychiatric disorder with delusions of power: a psychiatric disorder in which the patient experiences delusions of great power and importance

    The syncophants already gave wife Jaba a platform to further ruin this State, so why not ?

  17. nwcolorist says:

    There are some people, once they sample power, become addicted.
    Reason and rational thinking take second place to the power of its allure.

  18. tacomajoe says:

    He must be bored with building golf courses and trains.

  19. harleyrider1 says:

    Alright voters. This is where you really give some thought as to who you vote for. Don’t vote for the lesser of two evils if we don’t get a better candidate. John made some mistakes that are and will continue to cost this county millions of dollars for years to come. The Sewer Fund which was solvent and could have provided sewers for everyone was raided and the monies taken to build his golf course.
    Rates rose and will continue to rise for us that have sewers and hook-ups for those that don’t remain thousands of dollars to the individual that wants to connect their home.
    There is the debacle of the vast real estate development that has left us with a standing “nothing” and who knows if anyone will ever take that over – but he got his money and was saved from losing more with a bankruptcy filing.

    He was last in line behind the police and deputies to see how the politics played out before he jumped on the sexual offender bandwagon. He offered zero support writing it, but jumped on stage when it gathered momentum.

    Guard your vote – and your wallet by voting for anyone but this kind of politician. Go golfing John. It’s over.

  20. We don’t need the Ladenburgs anymore.

  21. dster420 says:

    harleyrider1 has it jack on the spot!! He is the 90s version of the Janovich era!! The Ladenburgs seem to be Everywhere!! Judges, Council Members, Building Golf courses so he and his rich, semi-retired cronies can have something to do,- of course unless you plan to just fly kites or walk on the paths,the average person will never even get to See the golf course, as it’s sssooooo expensive. No thanks, John. Can’t you find Anything Else to do?

  22. tomwa007 says:

    Dear John,
    You and your wife, just go away!

  23. Questions that arise out of the true and lasting legacy of John Ladenburg’s political tenure at Pierce County:
    1.) How can John “Too Big to Fail” Ladenburg serve as the attorney representing the Cascadia Development in bankruptcy proceedings costing the tax payers of Pierce County 10’s of thousands of dollars in owed property taxes…after serving as Pierce County Executive? Then serve as the COO of the failed development? This is after promising 10,000 jobs for the community when the project started. Where ARE those jobs John? Who exactly profited from this development?


    2.)Hate to break it to you folks but it is doubtful that the Chambers Bay golf course will ever make a dime nor bring in those tourist dollars so proudly predicted by Mr. Ladenburg. It is and will continue to be a financial disaster for the tax payers of this County. Mr Ladenburg bullied staff and the Council and twisted arms to build for $21,000,000 dollars. Those public dollars were dedicated Public Works Sewer funds…now gone…and it will continue to negatively effect the citizens of this County for years to come. It is a gift that keeps on giving…only at our expense. Now that it is clear that the millionaire only golf course has failed miserably and is gushing public money at an astounding loss…does he still contend that the Chambers Bay golf course was a wise investment and the best use of publicly owned land and tax payer dollars?


    Legacy my foot News Tribune! Since when is malfeasance in office a “legacy”? No wonder he lost so badly in Pierce County…we know his legacy best!

  24. the saddest part of Ladenburgs legacy is the failed links…no one wanted them except for him and his cronies and at $150 a round not many people can afford them on a regular basis so obviously this course is tanked….sure it may get somewhat of a rebound when it does the Open….but then what???? NO WAY i would ever vote for him nor any of his Clan…Ladenburgs time is OVER move on ALL OFTHEM

  25. aranciata says:

    I would be more than happy to share the emails I rec’d from John L, when he was ST Chairman and PC Exec, that are in reference to having accessibility deficiencies (i.e. non-compliance with the ADA) corrected with any opponent of his. Actually all they would need do is make a PDR to ST and PC and they MUST be surrendered.

    His contempt for those who require accessibility accommodations is enough to disqualify him if his opponent is half way on the ball.

  26. @aranciata: I would be more than willing to post those e-mails at Pikileaks or you could post them yourself in the Wiki section. Please get your story out and be heard!
    Website address is: http://jldailey.webs.com/

  27. Dear_John says:

    Well, John, how is the exploration going for ya so far?
    Judging by these comments, you should be getting the picture.

  28. runner5375 says:

    No more Ladenburgs in office Period.

  29. S_Emerson says:

    For years John Ladenburg claimed that nothing is broken in Pierce County, when in fact MANY things are broken in Pierce County, and most are associated with the departments that he was responsible for.

    I will never-ever support John Ladenburg for anything. Here’s a brief list of the reasons:

    1. While serving as a Tacoma City Councilmember, and continuing as he served as Pierce County Prosecutor, Ladenburg failed to notice the disproportionate number of violent felons being exported to Pierce County. This issue did not however go unnoticed by his successor, Prosecutor Gerald Horne, who coined the travesty the Pierce County Crime Warp (see http://tinyurl.com/4fj3thd). Later, while serving as Pierce County Executive, which, as per the Charter, made Ladenburg the overseer of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Pierce County was ranked #1 most violent crime county in the state, and, at the same time, was ranked the 2nd lowest in the state for LEO-to-citizen ratio.

    2. After 6 years of Ladenburg as County Executive, 6 years of failing his responsibility of insuring the proper operations of Puget Sound Behavioral Health, and its employees, state inspectors shut the hospital down after finding poor-quality food and not enough staffers to care for the sometimes-violent patients (see http://tinyurl.com/4p8usra). “There clearly has been a meltdown in the way services are provided,” said Councilman one Sean Bunney in a TNT article.

    3. The NW Detention Center in downtown Tacoma was allowed to be built and opened during both Mr. and Mrs. Ladenburg’s reigns, even though both were well aware of the fact that the facility was being built atop an EPA Superfund site (see http://tinyurl.com/yzkvq44)—and, without-permits, and without the knowledge or oversight of EPA or DOE, contractors drilled and augured through the contamination “cap” in preparation of a 545-bed expansion project (see http://tinyurl.com/af86ba), releasing known cancer-causing carcinogens (visible to the naked eye via bio swells).

    4. Ladenburg, as he was terming-out as Pierce County Executive, crafted a 27-year, near two-billion dollar solid-waste contract with the private, for-profit LRI landfill owners—a landfill which is situated atop a sole-source aquifer that provides drinking water to about 600,000 residents (see http://tinyurl.com/almjtn). As reported by the Seattle P.I., Mr. Ladenburg, while running as an “AG candidate, took money in [the] landfill deal” (see http://tinyurl.com/bt897s). In addition to this, Ladenburg overstepped his authority by drafting and sending an eminent domain threat letter to members of a community adjacent to the landfill. In addition to this, Ladenburg overstepped his authority by drafting and sending an eminent domain threat letter to members of a community adjacent to the landfill. In addition to this, Ladenburg overstepped his authority by drafting and sending an eminent domain threat letter to members of a community adjacent to the landfill as he unfairly masterminded this bad contract (see http://tinyurl.com/4bm8vm2). This is not the first time Ladenburg participated in questionable eminent domain deals (see http://tinyurl.com/4d9btr7).

    5. Ladenburg not only failed to disclose his stock ownership in Prometa (see http://tinyurl.com/4jdlynj), but at the same time, authorized funding for AND lobbied for even more public funding to support Prometa, earning his second slap on the wrist from the PDC. Mr. Ladenburg did not respond to calls seeking comment from MSNBC (see http://tinyurl.com/4tod4bf). As for the first slap – it was a result of him committing one of the two “biggest violations in the commission’s 30-year history” (PDC quote from a TNT article – see http://tinyurl.com/4fran8d) when he used public money to pay to create and distribute biased campaign material on Proposition 1 (More Cops Now campaign). He claims that he was “not found guilty”, rather than admitting the truth which is that he was indeed guilty, though got off on a technicality.

    6. Ladenburg failed to insure that Planning & Land Services (PALS) identified ALL critical/sensitive land, therefore failed to remove them from the buildable lands map (as per GMA). This is part and parcel to Ladenburg failing to insure his departments protect Pierce County’s wetlands being destroyed (see http://tinyurl.com/493deg9). Instead, the violators have not/are not made to undo the damage they cause, nor fined, and have been allowed to finish their developments.

    7. Ladenburg failed to insure responsible departments complied with NPDES requirements, leaving Pierce County vulnerable to lawsuits (see http://tinyurl.com/4lhppy7), and taxpayers at risk of paying the $10,000 (per day) fines which the state can rightfully impose.

    8. Ladenburg failed to insure that PALS and Public Works imposed allowable fines for violations of sign code (see http://tinyurl.com/4hq4car), leaving communities blanketed with illegal, off-premise signs by the thousands–the majority of which belong to the development and real-estate industries. The Council did their part (see http://tinyurl.com/49ltenx), he never did his.

    9. Ladenburg failed to recognize the need for Charter changes (see http://tinyurl.com/4why4se), demonstrated by the fact that he wrote or co-wrote the voter’s pamphlet statements (see http://tinyurl.com/4tl6qxe) against seven of the nine 2006 Charter Amendments–repeatedly saying “The current system has served us well for 25 years”. If this were true, how is it 21 elected commissions concluded the amendments should be put on the ballot (which The People passed all but two of the amendments as a result)? Thanks to the passing of Charter Amendment 1 (see http://tinyurl.com/4rcap4z), an amendment which Ladenburg and the TNT opposed, The People’s vote freed the Sheriff from the Executive, making him/her answerable to The People he/she serves.

    10. The Washington State Native Plant Society, who fought hard to protect ecologically-sensitive lands and habitat from Ladenburg’s proposed development, said in their Fall 2007 newsletter (see The Acorn, page 7 – http://tinyurl.com/an8793): “Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg, unwilling to accept our success, threatened to resign from his position of Sound Transit board chair, and veto the entire roads and transit package if cross-base was not included. Executive Ladenburg is a skilled, tenacious, and stubborn politician. By the time it came to a final vote at the RTID Planning Committee meeting on June 8th, it was apparent that the political will was gone, and potentially our victory.”
    The above is a sampling of reasons why John Ladenburg SHOULD NOT be voted in as our A.G.

    If Ladenburg is to “win” the A.G. seat, he will no doubt have the ease and ability to continue “covering-up” the wrongs he’s either committed himself, or allowed to be committed, or neglected to correct.

    Ladenburg has, on several occasions, has accused me of lying about how poorly he “managed” Pierce County. That’s par for Ladenburg, though – instead of ever admitting a mistake, he tries to discredit people who disagree with him or his supporters, even when it’s all verifiable information.

    Stacy Emerson

  30. How can he run for AG when he’s guilty of stealing taxpayer’s money for a pit hole of a golf course?

  31. MadTaxpayer says:

    You will vote him into office. You did his wife! They are one in the same!

  32. Dear_John says:

    Thanks for speaking up Stacy. People need to wake up to the truth about good old John.

  33. S_Emerson says:

    Without the ability to edit my comment, please note the corrections below (which I have corrected on my website, where I’ll be adding to the list – http://LifeInPierceCounty.com).

    2 – “then-councilmember Shawn Bunney”

    3 – “allegedly releasing known cancer-causing carcinogens”

    4 – 60,000, not 600,000 people

  34. S_Emerson says:

    Another correction (after reading several more documents on the sole source aquifer):

    The sole-source aquifer provides drinking water to over 60% of the 400,000 people who live within the aquifer system boundaries–and approximately 84% of those people during peak demands.

  35. vrumvrum says:

    You might remember a bullet coming out of a car and killing a young lady from back east about 10 years ago. One of the four occupants of the offending vehicle confessed to being the shooter and then during the trial a different occupant confessed. Then the first occupant confessed after he was found innocent and Ladenburg’s prosecuters were going to let them all off. The News Tribune put so much pressure on Ladenburg’s office they were finally prosecuted for perjury.
    Given how the prosecuters handled teh Lakewood Police murders, it looks like Ladenburg doesn’t much care about the “little people”.

    I’ll never forgive him for that.

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