It didn’t take long to discover what a con job he had done on us through his blatant dereliction of his elected job duties – seriously letting down, even embarrassing, many folks who worked on his election. Such was the disappointment in him that when he ran for re-election in 2010, he finished a distant 3rd out of three candidates in the primary election. (In my humble opinion, when he finally did leave the area, he was lucky he wasn’t tarred and feathered and run out on a rail, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)
We now again have another newcomer to this area, from Kittitas County this time: Mark McClain, looking to pull the wool over the eyes of the local rubes by running for County Prosecuting Attorney as a so-called Independent. Mark’s long time political affiliations have definitely always previously been with the Republicans. After serving several years as a Kittitas County senior deputy prosecutor, he was elected as a Republican county commissioner in 2006.
In late 2007, McClain was a defendant in a recall petition filed in Kittitas County Superior Court, though was not removed from office at that time. Three years later he gave up his seat to run for Kittitas County Prosecuting Attorney, again as a Republican. That same year, he was also a member of the Kittitas County Republican Party Platform Committee. If his blood were any more “Red”, he would have to be prescribed Ferriprox (deferiprone) to manage his iron overload.
A number of troubling issues regarding Mr. McClain’s personal life were raised during that 2010 campaign that will not be addressed here; they are readily available on-line. The bottom line is that after becoming a well known public figure through his various employment experiences as described above, McClain finished a distant 3rd out of three candidates in the primary election, with only 23% of the vote. That 77% of Kittitas County voters could not find this man suitable to be their prosecuting attorney tells me just about everything I need to know.
Mr. McClain’s claim to fame in Pacific county are two convictions that he obtained: one homicide case where there were at least a half dozen point-blank witnesses to the crime scene; and a second where the local authorities had only one real suspect, and he made a signed confession to that horrible offense. Contrary to opinions expressed recently by several local law officials, there is no credible statistical evidence that I have seen that these two convictions have indeed reduced the occurrence of any type of crime in this county.
To be brutally honest; I am not particularly enamored with David Burke – mainly due to his style, not substance. There have been complaints from the public about him over the years, some more trivial than others; but I am not privy to the actual inside legal decisions that have had to have been made regarding serving legal justice in this county. He has had to be that person making those decisions, and it is not really for me to judge.
What I do know is that he is a decent, honest, hard working public servant who dares to go to those dark, hidden places involving the worst kinds of human behavior that most of us would never dream to. He has never, to my knowledge, been reprimanded by any legal authorities for any type of illegal or improper conduct.
Has there then been a sufficient case made for him to be removed from office after all these years of dedicated service, especially at the expense of, in my opinion, a questionable, opportunistic Kittitas County reject who is unsure even of his own political leanings? My answer is an unqualified No. Will I be voting for David Burke again? In a Washington state minute, Yes!
My parting words to Mr. McClain: Remember what Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”
Michael J. Spencer