Voters' hands raised

Resolution Calling for King County Democrats Chair Resignation


Members of the 36th District Democrats,

The Executive Board of the 36th District Democrats has voted to call for the immediate resignation of King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC) Chair Bailey Stober.  Additionally, the Board is sponsoring the resolution below, asking the membership to adopt it as the official position of our organization.

For background on the situation, please review these six seven articles:

1. King County Democrats Chair Rejects Calls for his Resignation after Harassment Complaint, Seattle Times, 2/9/2018
2. Former Staffer Accuses King County Democrats Chair of “Harassment and Abuse”, The Stranger, 2/24/2018
3. Defiant King County Democratic Chair, Under Pressure Over Misconduct Allegations, Says He Won’t Resign, C is for Crank, 2/27/2018
4. Embattled King County Democrats Chair Remains in Power, But Financial and Political Difficulties Deepen, C is for Crank, 2/28/2018
5.  King County Hires Private Attorney for Fact Finding on Allegations Against King Co Democrats Chair, Seattle Times, 3/6/2018
6.  King County Assessor Hires Attorney to Look Into Allegations Against King County Democrats Chair, The Stranger, 3/7/2018
7.  Majority of King County Democrats Executive Board Calls on Chair to Resign Amid Harassment Allegations, The Stranger, 3/20/2018

In sum, King County Democrats Chair Bailey Stober verbally abused and sexually harassed a KCDCC employee, fired her after a complaint was filed, and when confronted has unprofessionally dug his heels in and bullied those around him to maintain his office.

Separately, Mr. Stober has grossly overspent the KCDCC budget on unnecessary travel and entertainment nearly to the point of organization insolvency. The KCDCC Finance Committee has conducted its own investigation, concluding that Mr. Stober has violated various sections of the KCDCC bylaws regarding spending, and has called for his removal as Chair.  Such financial misconduct includes (but is not limited to):

  • Made over $30,000 in contributions to candidates and political committees without KCDCC Board approval as required, after several admonitions that it was not appropriate.  These included donations to a candidate in Eastern Washington who was not endorsed by KCDCC.
  • Rented office space of $1,800 per month with a budget of $800 per month; spent over $2,500 renovating the rented office space without authorization; and spent nearly $5,000 on office supplies without authorization.
  • Spent $7,094.04 in excess of the budget for travel intended for attending state party meetings for business unrelated to KCDCC objectives.
  • Misled the organization by stating the Salmon Bake fundraiser raised $17,100 when it only raised $8,436.
  • Repeatedly stated that fundraising goals were exceeded when the organization fell short in 2017 by over $18,000.

Mr. Stober calls for “due process” and criticizes an initial investigation by the KCDCC vice chairs as incomplete. The vice chair investigation is irrelevant at this point — it was an emergent, confidential personnel investigation before all of this entered the public sphere. All the most relevant “evidence” has now been stated on the record; or with respect to financial profligacy is available on the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission website.

On February 27th, the KCDCC Executive Board had a choice: to move forward with steps to remove Mr. Stober from office, or delay the inevitable with additional internal investigations. Unfortunately, the latter choice prevailed by majority vote in the moments before being kicked out of the meeting space, shortly before midnight.  The next stage of investigations has not started as of this writing, so a special meeting of the KCDCC Executive Board has been called for Monday, March 19th to determine next steps, further delaying the obvious necessary outcome.

[Update 3/20/2018:  On March 19th, the KCDCC Executive Board voted 38-13 to call for Mr. Stober to resign.  It also formally accepted the Finance Committee Report summarized above.  Additional organizations, including the 11th, 32nd, 34th, 45th, and 46th District Democrats, and WA State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski have now called for Stober’s resignation.]

Meanwhile, Democratic elected officials and progressive allies have been distancing themselves from KCDCC. Dow Constantine “put on hold” a recent donation check to KCDCC. The Teamsters have announced that KCDCC may no longer hold their monthly meetings in their Tukwila office. Of four Vice Chair positions at KCDCC, there is now only one remaining after a series of resignations.

This situation is tarnishing the image of the entire Democratic Party, not just KCDCC. A couple weeks ago, a non-political friend told me: “Wow, Jeff, from the news it seems your organization is a real mess.” (Emphasis mine.)

It is important for the 36th District Democrats to demonstrate to the larger political community that not all Democratic groups are dysfunctional and protective of abusers. I ask that we pass the resolution below as an organization.

Jeff Manson
Chair, 36th District Democrats

Calling For the Immediate Resignation of KCDCC Chair Bailey Stober
Sponsored by the 36th District Democrats Executive Board

Whereas, there is no place for harassment in the Democratic Party, including sexual harassment and workplace harassment,

Whereas, a complaint was filed regarding King County Democrats chair Bailey Stober harassing a female employee, and that an investigation by the vice-chairs concluded the actions mentioned in the complaint were founded,

Whereas, Bailey Stober fired the employee whom he harassed after the complaint was filed against him, and then, according to at least one published media report, leaked information to publicly smear and undermine the victim of his harassment,

Whereas, there have been numerous reports of a sustained pattern of unprofessional conduct and financial misconduct during his time as Chair,

Whereas, the King County Democrats executive board called for a second investigation that allows Bailey Stober to pick two of the people investigating him,

Whereas, it is highly inappropriate for an accused party to pick the people investigating him,

Whereas, more than 100 people, including elected officials, have signed an open letter demanding Bailey Stober resign,

Whereas, Bailey Stober’s continued tenure as King County Democratic chair is making the organization ineffective and unable to carry out its primary duty of electing Demo-crats,

Therefore, be it resolved, that the 36th District Democrats call for the immediate resignation of Bailey Stober as chair of the King County Democrats,

Therefore, be it further resolved, that the 36th District Democrats call for the King County Democrats executive board to call for a special meeting of the PCOs in order to remove and replace Bailey Stober as chair if he does not resign,

Therefore, be it further resolved, that the 36th District Democrats will withhold its dues to the King County Democrats until Bailey Stober resigns or is removed as chair,

Therefore, be it further resolved, that the 36th District Democrats ask the Washington State Democratic Party to help King County Democrats resolve this issue and rebuild the organization,

Therefore, be it further resolved, that the 36th District Democrats urge the King County Democrats to adopt new procedures and practices that foster a culture where women are valued and respected and where harassment is ended.