Election campaigns have gotten out of hand | Letters

Candidate Ledford recently submitted a letter trying to refute the allegations about the incestuous relationship between PeaceHealth’s consulting firm, Wilson Strategic, and her own campaign, as well as the campaign of candidate Hancock.  Let’s examine her response.

Ledford said, “…Wilson Strategic in the past, did work for PeaceHealth in early 2014.” On Wilson Strategic’s website they proudly proclaim they’ve been representing PeaceHealth not just in 2014 but for 10 years! But, apparently, she and Hancock missed that point on Wilson’s site.

She says she “phoned Beth Geiger,” Peace Island administrator, who told her, “No,” she didn’t know anything about Wilson Strategic. The administrator of one of PeaceHealth’s hospitals knows nothing about the firm that’s been providing “strategy” for PeaceHealth for ten years? Right.

Ledford said, “We discovered this firm through an online search of firms with experience in health care policy and communications.”

The “we” is apparently she and Hancock. Four donors contributed $19,000 to Wilson Strategic to provide services to Ledford. One of those four donors is married to one of the unelected members of the Peace Island Hospital Board. Seven donors contributed $13,500 to Wilson Strategic for Hancock’s campaign. But Ledford and Hancock just stumbled upon Wilson Strategic through an online search. Uh-huh.

“There is no issue here” she says. No, not unless you’re concerned about transparency, honest elections and ethical behavior from would-be public officials.

This has been such a dispiriting campaign. We’ve seen three candidates engage in spreading falsehoods and smears regarding their opponents, and repeating them even when confronted with documentation that what they were saying was false.  We’ve seen the disclosure that a handful of people, many with ties to the unelected PIMC hospital board, including the spouse of a board member, bankrolled a PR campaign for these candidates by Peace Health’s consultant.

It’s all just so sleazy you have to wonder how we’ve come to this point on little San Juan Island.

You can send a clear message that this kind of election campaign has no place in our community. You can do that by voting for their opponents –Monica Harrington and Bill Williams, plus Barbara Sharp.

Brad Pillow

San Juan Island

(Editor’s Note: Read Jenny Ledford’s response to her campaign filings and use of Wilson Strategic Firm here)