Election letter: Elect Givens for Port of Kennewick

August 25, 2013 

During a recent debate between Kennewick Port Commissioner appointee Don Barnes and candidate John Givens, components of the port's financial trending were discussed as an election issue.

Now, the port's new TV commercial focuses on telling us how financially stable it is and states how well the port is working for us. Intentional or not, this commercial smacks of impropriety, or at least gives the appearance of impropriety by indirectly touting Barnes' and the current commission during an election campaign, using public funds.

One commercial benchmark date just happens to be the year after Givens separated from the port. What a coincidence!

Any denials notwithstanding, port commissioners and the executive director should know better than to approve spending public money during an election campaign that even gives the hint of potential electioneering. Let the candidates publicly debate their issues at their own expense.

While the port may not be in direct violation of campaign law with this new regularly aired ad, I believe it is operating in a dark gray area and in very poor taste. I only hope other voters see this point of how their tax dollars are currently being spent. I am also quite confident that John Givens as a commissioner would never stand for this type of action.


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