Gov. Jay Inslee signs Rep. Gael Tarleton’s first bill in Olympia!

Gov. Jay Inslee signs House Bill 1647, a bill sponsored by Rep. Gael Tarleton, D-36th, that protects residents in multi-family housing. Northwest Media Allies worked with Rep. Tarleton on this important new law along with attorneys Jay Flynn and Kristi McKennon and their client Dana Widrig.

This legislation was inspired by the courage of Dana Widrig who was willing to share her story with the media and state lawmakers to help protect Washington citizens in their homes. Dana was brutally assaulted in her apartment by a maintenance man who gained unlawful entry into her home with an unsecured duplicate key. This legislation had bi-partisan and industry support because everyone agreed the law did not go far enough to protect the safety and privacy of Washington citizens.


Congrats to Gael Tarleton as the new 36th District State Representative

Congrats to Northwest Media Allies client and Democrat Gael Tarleton on her victory as the new state representative for the 36th Legislative District in the Washington State Legislature. Gael is the outgoing president of the Port of Seattle Commission and won with more than 55 percent of the vote in a record-voter turnout in this election. A shout out to campaign partner Argo Strategies for managing Gael’s successful campaign. Gael will be sworn into office on Jan. 14, 2013.


Congrats to Northwest Media Allies client Gael Tarleton in her primary election victory!

(Left to right) Sue Evans, Gael Tarleton and Carol Vipperman
(Left to right) Sue Evans, Gael Tarleton and Carol Vipperman.

A big congratulations to Northwest Media Allies client Gael Tarleton in her victory in Washington’s primary election. Tarleton is running for the 36th District House seat #2, being vacated by retiring State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson. Gael beat a crowded field of seven candidates with more than 29 percent of the vote so far counted. Read Gael’s victory message here:! A shout out to Argo Strategies, our partner on this campaign! Great job team!

Our quality of life begins with our quality of discourse in Olympia

If you want better dialogue in Olympia, you have to elect better people. Let’s start by electing Democrat Gael Tarleton to the 36th Legislative District.

Gael was recently endorsed by The Seattle Times: “Gael Tarleton, Democrat, is by far the most qualified candidate for state representative in the 36th District for the seat being vacated by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson.” Tarleton also earned the highest rating of any candidate in her race by The Municipal League of King County which rated her “outstanding.”

I have the good fortune of working for people and organizations I believe in. One of those people is Gael Tarleton. She is the only candidate in the 36th Legislative District race who has demonstrated an ability to bridge the divide between our quality of life and our quality of discourse about critical issues that will shape our lives over the next 20 years.

I’ve been in politics since 1993. I met my husband on Nov. 3, 1992, the night Bill Clinton was elected.

My view of politics has changed with my professional and personal commitments along the way. I have a unique perspective. I have been a journalist, a politico and a professional media advocate over the past three decades. I spent 12 years inside Olympia. I’ve spent the rest of my life outside of Olympia in the private sector trying to reshape it as a constituent or an advocate for progressive causes. I have dedicated my life to telling other peoples’ stories as a reporter, a lobbyist, a communications director and a public relations professional. I know what moves me and I know baloney when I see it.

In 2007, I met Gael Tarleton. She wanted to run for the Port of Seattle Commission and reform the Port. She successfully beat an incumbent Republican. As a former reporter who covered the 33rd District and as a former legislative aide to Rep. Greg Fisher and Rep. Karen Keiser, D-33 (Karen is now the senator), I was amused and intrigued. This would be my first chance to work with an ally on the Port of Seattle Commission, an institution I was previously paid to despise and thwart on behalf of 33rd District constituents. Gael brought both private sector and public sector experience to the job.

(Left to right) Gael Tarleton and State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-36th.

Gael was elected in 2007 and is now the Port of Seattle Commission President. She is now running for the 36th District House seat, Position 2, being vacated by powerhouse Democrat State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson. Mary Lou has endorsed Gael.

Gael kept her promise to reform the Port and hold it accountable to the public. She did that by ensuring the Port spends public money in public. She also transformed the competitive-bidding process to ensure more businesses had a shot at the contracts and more workers had a shot at the jobs. She launched a clean-trade initiative at the Port by cleaning up the air, building clean-green infrastructure and mandating the use of clean fuels.

Gael’s private sector experience began with reaching across continents and cultures to make the world safer. As a national security expert, she was the first U.S. business woman to testify before the Russian parliament – speaking in Russian. Her reach and deep understanding of our global economy is critical for our trade-dependent state of Washington.

Gael has also translated the rhetoric around clean trade into reality and real job creation, leveraging taxpayer dollars for critical infrastructure. Here’s what Gael got done:

  • Helped create more than 7,000 jobs
  • Advocated for and helped find the money for the Viaduct Replacement Project, the South Park Bridge, E. Marginal Way Overpass and the Sea-Tac Car Rental Facility.
  • Secured and developed an aviation biofuels market based in Washington with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
  • Fought for the best-paying, middle-class jobs on Seattle’s working waterfront.
  • Advocated for alternative urban transportation projects: bikes, buses, trains and pedestrians.
  • Prioritized cleaning up the lower Duwamish as the Port’s No. 1 environmental project in the next 20 years.

Progressives often invoke people like Van Jones, who is credited for jump-starting our national conversation about a green-collar economy, when they want to merge the environment with jobs. But when leaders like Gael translate that dream into reality – inside the industry tent – some progressives default to polarizing rhetoric that diminishes the efforts they claim to exalt. It’s time to honor the work, the truth and the proof of real results in Olympia with people who can deliver it.

The 36th District is blessed with candidates who promise to bring “progressive values” to the job. Apart from Gael, none of these candidates have been tested in public office. Gael has been tested in public office while facing a dire economy. Still, Gael delivered more than 5,000 union jobs, watch-dogged taxpayer dollars, jump-started clean trade, and helped outlaw human trafficking. Professionally, she has secured critical funding for higher education while working for the University of Washington.

Gael has been a voting resident of the 36th District for 18 years. She owns a home in Ballard with her husband Bob. She knows the District.

Two of Gael’s senior campaign consultants were instrumental in the passage of Referendum 71  to secure domestic partnerships for the state’s LGBT citizens – Jason Bennett and myself. Jason Bennett is an openly gay political consultant who helped Gael launch her career in politics. Gael has advocated for the passage of marriage equality under the Approve 74 campaign.

When we all suffer greatly, as we do now, we care less about the rhetoric and more about the results. The race for the 36th District should ultimately be decided by the candidate most capable of delivering proven results. That candidate is clearly Gael Tarleton.

If you don’t believe my rhetoric, listen to what other people who know Gael have to say.


Gael Tarleton – A standout candidate for the 36th District House seat

Gael Tarleton
Gael Tarleton

SEATTLE, WA – Port of Seattle Commission President Gael Tarleton today announced her bid to run for the 36th District House seat to be vacated by State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle.

Tarleton says she will run on four key issues: job creation along with protecting women’s health and reproductive rights, higher education and the environment.

“We need to carry the accomplishments and legacy of Rep. Dickerson forward,” Tarleton said. “I have a proven track record of protecting and creating jobs, fighting for women and minority-owned businesses, protecting the environment and championing Washington’s higher-education community.”

Tarleton has raised nearly $20,000 in the past 48 hours. The 36th Legislative District includes parts of Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Phinney Ridge, Fremont and Belltown.

Tarleton, 53, is a life-long Democrat. She has lived in Ballard with her husband Bob for 18 years.

She has worked at the University of Washington for the past eight years, most recently serving as strategic advisor at the Institute for National Security Education and Research. The Institute focuses on research and initiatives for public safety and national security.

We must renew the fight to protect women’s health and reproductive rights, Tarleton said. As a member of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Tarleton said passage of the Reproductive Parity Act is a priority in her campaign. “We have fought hard to secure the basic health and reproductive rights of women. It’s clear our battle to protect women’s health still has a long way to go. The women of today must always fight for our next generation,” Tarleton said.

Tarleton was re-elected for a second term to the Port of Seattle Commission last year with 59.5 percent of the vote in King County. She defeated Republican incumbent Bob Edwards in 2007, with 54 percent of the vote. She is the third woman ever to be elected to the Port.

In her re-election bid last year, Tarleton earned the endorsements of 15 labor unions, King County Conservation Voters, Washington Conservation Voters, state and local Democrats throughout King County, The Seattle Times and The Stranger.

Tarleton currently serves as president of the Northwest Progressive Institute, a nonprofit think tank dedicated to researching progressive ideas and solutions for the Northwest’s progressive community. At the UW, Tarleton co-founded the UW’s Citizen Roundtable on Politics and Democracy, in an effort to expand citizen involvement in the democratic process.  She earned an M.A. in government and national security studies from Georgetown University in Washington D.C., and a B.S. from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

Tarleton co-founded the Northwest Chapter of Women in International Security (WIIS) and organized a forum at the Port to discuss important security issues facing our region, including the proliferation of human trafficking. She is also a member of the UW Women’s Center’s Anti-Trafficking Task Force.

“With the leadership of Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, we worked together to help stop human trafficking in our state,” Tarleton said. “I am proud to have worked with Sen. Kohl-Welles to help pass legislation that made Washington the first state in the nation to criminalize human trafficking  – a crime primarily targeting women and children.”

As a Port Commissioner, Tarleton has focused on creating and retaining jobs, protecting the working waterfront, clean trade and restoring accountability at the Port. She has helped create more than 5,000 jobs, launched clean-trade initiatives to remove dirty trucks and introduce clean fuels in the air, on the ground and at sea. Tarleton also guided the Port through major reforms on its contracting and spending process to bring accountability and transparency to how taxpayer dollars are spent.




Soylent Green Apple: Jobs, the vegan who ate people

I own a MacBook Pro, an iPhone 4 and an iPad 2.

It gets worse. If you include family Apple products – more iPhones, iPods, iTunes and holiday Apple family photo books – we’re pushing past $5K of Apple investments from my small business and my family.

I used to brag that once you go Mac, you never go back. All that has changed. I recently read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs and The New York Times. Together their collective reporting on Apple’s horrific abuse of human beings in both America and China – has soured my personal appetite for Apple products.

Charlton Heston warned us in 1973: Soylent Green is PEOPLE!

When we consume capitalism on the backs of human misery, we consume each other.

The biography of Jobs reveals that he routinely abused his own executives in a code known as the “reality distortion field.” He cannibalized his own corporate divisions.

Jobs dismissed odds and humans – any perceived obstacle to getting stellar products to market. He did it on the backs of other people and himself. It’s likely his single-minded devotion cost him his health and life. He ignored doctors’ orders and put Apple before himself, his family and his workers. When you abuse yourself and the people around you – what’s another country like China?

Jobs clutched a bipolar view of his products and people. Products and people were either shit or amazing. Products always trumped people.

Today I sent a note to the Apple supply chain executives. I was horrified by the human misery behind the brand. Well-paid PR professionals above my pay grade are working to spin atrocity into misunderstanding.

Jobs courted one human condition: our impulse to buy his products.

For that, I thank Apple. This is the wake-up call that I needed.

Apple isn’t the only brand out there abusing people at home and abroad.

When Apple embraced the Jobs’ reality distortion field, it distorted our reality, our basic human values as consumers. It’s time Americans own their reality and the brands they covet. We must demand honest brands, American jobs and human decency behind the products we buy. We will never get there if iConsumers don’t speak with iMoney.





The tricks and treats of political campaigns – political ads

Behind the tricks and treats of political campaigns is a lot of voter contact and hard work. There’s no substitute for voter outreach. And while candidates orbit the Earth like the moon in attempt to reach you, they can’t possibly do that without targeted mail and television ads.

If you’re a political PR junkie like me, you relish the rhetoric in campaign ads like a kid with candy stockpiles at Halloween. Like a trick-or-treater, you divide the rhetoric into piles because you don’t trust how it’s been wrapped.

I feel fortunate because I get to work alongside some of the best political consultants in the Northwest and I get to choose which candidates and campaigns I work with each election cycle.

This is my second election cycle with the Gael Tarleton for Port of Seattle Commissioner campaign. I wrote a lengthy blog about my reasons for supporting Gael Tarleton a few weeks ago. Back then I didn’t mention that I was privileged and proud to work with two great political strategists: Argo Strategies and Guenther Media.

Take a look at Argo’s mail for Gael that just hit King County mailboxes: Tarleton Mail piece [PDF]. And take a look at the TV ad produced by Guenther Media in partnership with Argo:


Thanks to social media, the stream of political ads is no longer confined to campaign budgets and demographics. We all have an opportunity to review these political treats to see if we trust how they are wrapped.

Take a bite and tell me what you think.

Re-Elect Gael Tarleton for Port of Seattle Commission

Gael TarletonEvery once and awhile, a political candidate comes along who gets you excited and rejuvenated about the possibilities in politics. That person for me is Gael Tarleton. She is running for re-election as Port of Seattle Commissioner.

In the interest of full disclosure, Gael is a client and Gael is a friend. But I also believe, Gael is a rising star in progressive politics. And as a veteran of Puget Sound politics, it’s a statement I don’t make often.

I met Gael in 2007, when she first ran for this office and was impressed by her background, work ethic and commitment to progressive policies to make the world a better and safer place for people in Puget Sound.

I have worked for a lot of big campaigns and candidates and political causes in the last 20 years. But I think Gael is a standout for three reasons:

  • She works like a dog
  • She is as smart as a whip
  • And she embodies the integrity and fierce passion it takes to make real change happen for people.


Candidates like Gael don’t come along very often. I know from my own personal history in journalism and politics. I began my career in Puget Sound as a newspaper reporter covering the Port of Seattle and its trail of atrocities on the communities of Des Moines, Normandy Park, Burien, White Center and West Seattle. These communities fought unfair buyouts by the Port to make way for the Third Runway for a decade. I later went to work for two state lawmakers in the 33rd District who represented these communities. We spent years fighting the Port on countless environmental violations and unfair practices against community homeowners and schools on buyouts and noise-abatement issues. Contrary to popular belief, these communities existed long before Sea-Tac Airport. I know, because my family operated the Robinson Newspaper chain. And the local papers back in those days were strong and aggressively covered the evolution of Sea-Tac Airport, long before it existed to what it is today.

It’s one of the reasons Gael Tarleton wanted me on her side. Gael is committed to transparency and accountability at the Port of Seattle and has already changed the way it has done business while protecting the environment, communities, workers and jobs.

She has ended the excessive practice of private executive sessions and has ensured all Port money that is spent, is spent in public. All Port executive sessions are now taped. All Port Commission meetings are conducted online and archived online. She has helped establish a competitive bidding process for contracts and leases, saving taxpayers millions of dollars at the airport and seaport. She has helped create more than 5,000 new jobs during our recession with capital improvement projects like the airport’s new rental car facility and container terminal. She has pushed for new clean air requirements two years ahead of schedule. She has brought her extensive security and emergency management background to make our Port and its workers safer. And finally, she has brought common sense solutions like free Wi-Fi to our airport so consumers are not bilked at the airport gates, while we wait to take off.

Gael has been endorsed by more than a dozen labor unions, King County Conservation Voters, state and local Democrats from King County, Redmond, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Kent, Seattle and West Seattle to name a few.

She is the only Port Commissioner to vote against a CEO salary increase every time it has come up for a vote.

Gael has voted to hold the line on the Port’s tax levy, which has reduced the overall property tax collected by the Port by $2.4 million between 2008 and 2011. And she has promised to do this even while the Port begins construction of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement project – a project critical to protecting freight mobility and jobs in the region.

I moved to Puget Sound in 1990. I never imagined that my career in journalism, politics and public relations would begin and end with addressing issues at the Port of Seattle. But I’m glad to know, that more than 20 years later, a candidate like Gael Tarleton is there to change that history for the better.

Gael Tarleton deserves your vote on Election Day. Visit her online at