LETTER: ‘North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Appears to be a PAC’

Letter to the Editor:

The North Highline Unicorporated Council Appears to be Political Action Group(s) that hides under a non profit status…

So who really is the NHUAC? Are they the informational community non profit that they have claimed to be or are they the Political Action Group/machine that now involves the vote4burien,org site and the People For Burien PAC or are they all of these? The public has the right to know who this group is. Right now, the NHUAC appears to be a pro annexation Political Action Group(s) that has not registered with the State but is hiding under a non profit status.

The North Highline Unicorporated Council (NHUAC) applied in 2000 to be a non profit in the State of Washington. On the NHUAC application, Jerry Robison/Attorney at Law filed as their agent. As of 2012, Jerry Robison, current Burien City Council member, continues to be listed as their agent with the State through his law office address. As a non profit, the NHUAC is not allowed to enter into political activities and campaigning. However, their recent postings and statements in the media as well as their testimony at public meetings are clear political statements advocating annexation.

At the White Center Jubliee Days, the NHUAC was passing out materials about the two libraries (White Center and Bouvelard Park) claiming that the libraries would be closed if Area Y did not annex to Burien. They failed to identify on the flyer that they were the group funding the flyer. The Public Disclosure Commission, (PDC) ruled that the NHUAC was acting as a Political Action Committee (PAC) and issued a warning to them. In spite of this warning, the NHUAC, has continued to act as a PAC and has not registered with the PDC.

The King County Library Board (KCLS) has never stated that these libraries would close if annexation did not occur. This is the statement recently made from Julie Brand/ Director of Communications for the KCLS, “…at no time has KCLS stated that libraries would close as a result of the annexation. Our commitment to serving the White Center (and Boulevard Park) community remains steadfast as it has since 1946.” October 24, 2012. Both the NHUAC and the Burien City Council have continued to use this red herring, false library closure argument to hype annexation to the voters. The NHUAC has publicly claimed that the PDC never sent them a warning letter.

In a recent letter to all of the local media sources, the NHUAC has gone so far as to claim that there is a state law that requires the Area Y/White Center/North Highline to annex to a city and for that reason urges voters to vote for annexation. There is no law that requires Area Y to annex to a city.

In meeting with other service agencies in White Center/Area Y, the NHUAC has told these agencies that the NHUAC is only an informational group-non political. It has urged the other service agencies not to take a political position in this election by claiming that the NHUAC is not taking a political position. However, the NHUAC has taken a loud public position on annexation.

So who is the NHUAC really and who do they really represent? In an editorial to the blogs several months ago, this question was discussed in a letter to the editor, http://www.whitecenterblog.com/2012/03/28/letter-nhuac-represents-views-of-very-few-people-who-live-in-area-y/. The group appears to represent the views of very few residents in North Highline.

Now in the most recent posting put out by the NHUAC, Barbara Dobkin, the president of the NHUAC claims that she is now speaking for the vote4burien.org website http://b-townblog.com/2012/10/31/report-pro-annexation-signs-being-posted-in-illegal-spots-in-north-highline/#comment-27358 [EDITOR’S NOTE: Barbara Dobkin alerted us to this information as a private citizen, and we have since removed the acronym NHUAC from that post at her request at her request]. The vote4burien.org website is paid for by the People For Burien PAC. This PAC has only one listed officer, Stephen Lamphear for 2012. Up until 2011, the officers were Jerry Robison through his law offices, Liz Giba, (his legal assistant and a current North Highline Fire Commissioner) and Mr. Lamphear as the treasurer. In a recent political ad supporting annexation in the Robinson newspapers that included the NHUAC, the ad was put in and paid for by a non profit status purchase. Keep in mind non-profit groups get a discount and PAC’s do not.

– Debi Wagner

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