Civil Liberties Free Speech Freedom of Information

Seattle Blogger Wins $225K over Public Records Lagging


The AP reports that King County, Washington has agreed to pay conservative blogger Stefan Sharkansky
$225,000 to settle a public-records lawsuit he brought over the county’s delay in releasing documents about the 2004 governor’s election.

Good for Stefan Sharkansky. King County officials complained that they didn’t have the time to comply
in timely fashion—which since, the election appears to have hinged on someone getting to the bottom of voter anomalies—is hardly an acceptable excuse.

Here are some of the details:

Sharkansky filed his request in December 2004, seeking a list of everyone who voted in the county in the election that year, but the county didn’t satisfy the request until more than two years later.

He said the documents that were ultimately provided revealed that elections officials in King County counted hundreds of ineligible ballots — including double votes and votes from unregistered or improperly registered voters. That could have changed the outcome of the razor-thin race between Democrat Chris Gregoire and Republican Dino Rossi, he said. Gregoire won by 133 votes following two recounts and a trial in Chelan County Superior Court.

The documents were not produced during the trial,
and therefore “the trial never explained this mystery of why there were more votes than voters,” Sharkansky said April 24.

Sharkansky is a controversial and occasionally polarizing figure in the Seattle area.
That is of no consequence here. He battled ferociously for reporter’s rights and for the public interest with this lawsuit.

And he won.

Read the rest here.


  • Celeste: Sharkansky is a controversial and occasionally polarizing figure in the Seattle area. That is of no consequence here.

    Then, why did you even mention it and put it in bold?

    Your honor, please instruct the jury to disregard that last statement (as though they could erase the thought and intent.)

    – – –

    Well, here we have a case of DEMOCRATS, yes them, costing the TAXPAYERS $225,000 plus extensive legal and court costs, all to cover up the absolute and disgraceful theft of the governor’s race in Washington. I would hold the INDIVIDUALS rather than the county responsible and make them pay the award. They didn’t hide information or stall for the citizens, but for their political party.

    Isn’t it funny that, when Republicans win close elections, the Democrats keep turning up “missed” votes until they get ahead, and then immediately proclaim the count is over? That art was perfected in Cook County, Illinois and is also being used today in Minnesota. What a sorry, worthless bunch of crooks.

  • Woody, before I posted I read up on Sharkansky, and found he tends to pick fights with people. So I simply stated neutrally that he’s controversial, not that he’s doing any thing wrong. My words are not pejorative. But he’s controversial enough in Seattle that not to say so is to fail to mention the elephant in the room. People either LOVE him or seem to HATE him. There appears to be no middle ground from my cursory research.

    My only feelings about the guy is that he brought an important law suit and won, so I’m celebrating that win and congratulating and thanking him for what he did.

    I don’t pretend to know what happened in that election but it certainly looks as though, if Sharkansky had gotten the material he asked for sooner, the outcome of the election might have been different. So not giving him the info was either raging incompetence or outright graft.

    Frankly, I think this story should be getting more attention that it has.

  • “is also being used today in Minnesota.”

    Shorter “stupid fuck who loved it when the Supremes stole the 2000 election for Bush”: “Bwaaaahhhh!!!!”

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