By Jerry Cornfield, Herald Columnist
A newly created political committee is attacking the performance of Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine — and he doesn’t seem to mind.
In fact, Marine thinks it may even give his re-election campaign a boost in the final days of the primary.
Citizens for a Better Mukilteo registered with the state July 21. That same day it launched joehastogo.com, a website blasting decisions made by Marine in an eight-year reign on a host of issues including budgets, parks and red light cameras. It also is distributing lawn signs on which the universal ‘no’ symbol is stamped on top of the mayor’s name.
Mukilteo Councilman Kevin Stoltz created the PAC, designed the website and bought 100 signs, 30 of which he said were staked in yards as of Tuesday.
He said he’s the only donor right now. He anticipates others will chip in if Marine advances out of next week’s primary in which he is pitted against two other council members, Jennifer Gregerson and Steve Schmalz. (Stoltz, who is backing Schmalz, denied any coordination with the candidate on the committee’s actions.)
“The goal of this PAC is simply to attempt to level the playing field of an incumbent mayor who has been very successful in turning his part time position into a full one and has abused his power (quite effectively) and the people’s trust for his own political and financial gain,” he writes on the website.
Marine on Tuesday said the undertaking could be “very helpful” because it is awakening his supporters from their political slumber. And it doesn’t hurt to see his name clearly visible on all those signs.
He dismissed the attacks as false and is convinced none will gain traction with voters.
“They’re all about negative,” he said. “Citizens of Mukilteo don’t want half-truths and lies. They want leadership. I don’t think the people of Mukilteo will buy this brand of hooey.”
Lynnwood Mayor Don Gough is looking to win a third term with nobody’s money but his own.
He’s not received a single contribution this campaign, according to reports filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission. In contrast, his opponents in the primary — Nicola Smith, Mark Smith and Loren Simmonds — are garnering contributions from friends, neighbors and a cross-section of community leaders.
As of Wednesday, Nicola Smith had raised the most money, $12,131 followed by Mark Smith with $8,725, Gough with $8,529 and Simmonds with $6,220
This is kind of a trend for Gough. He put up roughly 90 percent of the money in winning each of his prior mayoral runs. In 2005, only 11 people and one union contributed to him and four years later his donor list totaled just 14, including $100 from then Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick.
Gough may just dislike soliciting donations — most candidates hate it — and keeping track of those he receives. Maybe he feels self-financing buffers him from influences of special interests.
His detractors might argue the mayor has collected no donations this year because no one wants to give the incumbent any money.
Whatever the reason, Tuesday will reveal if the source of Gough’s dough makes any difference with voters.
Political reporter Jerry Cornfield’s blog, The Petri Dish, is at www.heraldnet.com. Contact him at 360-352-8623 or firstname.lastname@example.org