Author: Northwest Daily Marker

Gay Coffee Shop Owner in Seattle Ousts Customers Because Their Beliefs ‘Offend’ Him

A gay shop owner demanded that a group of anti-abortion activists leave his Seattle coffee shop last week because he was offended by their beliefs, as can be seen in a video of the incident posted online that has generated a large and growing number of views.

The Washington Times reported that members of the activist group Abolish Human Abortion entered Bedlam Coffee on Oct. 1 to order drinks after distributing anti-abortion materials in the vicinity. Within a short time they were confronted by the owner who had stumbled upon some of the group’s pamphlets and proceeded to launch into a loud tirade in which he demanded they leave his establishment. From the Washington Times:

“I’m gay. You have to leave,” owner Ben Borgman said in the video.

“Are you denying us service?” Mr. Davis [a member of Abolish Human Abortion] asked.

“I am. Yeah,” Mr. Borgman replied.

Borgman then held up what appears to be a piece of the group’s materials and went on to say, “This is offensive to me. I own the place. I have right to be offended.”

The shop owner is seen to ask loudly if the activists would tolerate him engaging in a sex act in front of them, suggested that he’d perform acts on Jesus Christ – “He’s hot.” – and repeatedly demanded that they exit. The group complied promptly.

The Washington Times article includes text of a response posted by Borgman to his shop’s Facebook page that now appears to have been deleted:

“In the end, it’s all about context,” the owner wrote. “Everything is context. Out of context a comment can serve any argument. Take for example the phrase ‘I will bring my boyfriend out here and f- him in the a—.’ out of context it could mean a slew of things. It’s delivery in this case was meant to shock and repulse the audience. Out of context it could be labeled a perversion, or a kink depending how you personally couch the subject. In context it was a response, a response to being shocked and repulsed. A revenge you could even call it, a weakness demonstrated in the typical, they hurt me, I will hurt them fashion.”

The 52-year-old owner said that his full exchange with the activists included one of the activists denying that graphic anti-abortion materials were their own.

Mr. Borgman also said that anti-abortion imagery was hidden within his shop.

“They were ready with that camera,” the owner wrote. “I was baptized Catholic, Roman Catholic actually, I’ve been to a few bible studies, read the entire book, more than once. To my understanding, and to speak in the religious vernacular; these people are working for Satan. The great trickster has deluded them into believing that hate is love, that rage is peace, and that lies are truth. The God I knew, the Jesus I was taught about would absolutely never ever print a poster with a hideous dead baby representation at ‘what was clearly meant to insinuate’ at the hands of gays … suffice to the say the poster was gross, and the text on the back? Holy cow, whoever wrote that is in a lot of pain. I spoke to them in their own language.”

Although conservatives have argued in support of the shop owner’s right to deny service, a principle that was front and center in the State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers case, the apparent hypocrisy here has ignited viral attention to the video.  It’s also probable that the actual manner of Borgman’s denial may not be the kind of civil refusal most had in mind. You can watch the very NSFW video of the confrontation below to judge for yourself.



Susan Hutchison Wins Straw Poll on WSRP Chair Race, Berrigan Second, Van Werven Third

WSRPChairRaceStrawPollResults2013The votes have been tallied and analyzed and former television news anchor Susan Hutchison has taken in NW Daily Marker’s informal online candidate preference straw poll of the race for Washington State Republican Party Chair.

Of 644 votes cast between 9:50 a.m. Wednesday and midnight Thursday when the survey was closed, Hutchison received 222 votes, 34.5% of all votes cast, to top the list of preferred candidates among respondents.

Not surprising to anyone who has watched the groundswell, Clark County Republican operative Christian Berrigan was the second-highest vote-getter with 159 votes (24.7%). Berrigan began the race with primarily Clark County support but has since increased his backing from libertarians.

Current WSRP interim-Chair Luanne Van Werven – whose campaign for the seat has generated a steady stream of key endorsements among voting delegates to the state committee, and who Republican insiders say has lined up the votes she needs to win when members conduct the real vote this Saturday in Spokane – made a third place showing with 122 votes (18.9%).

Rounding out the results among the seven candidates: Grays Harbor State Committeeman James Walsh earned a fourth place finish with 90 votes (14%), state Sen. Pam Roach took 48 votes (7.5%), former state Sen. Lawrence Faulk received 3 votes (0.5%) and Benton County Precinct Committee Officer Lloyd Becker received no votes.

The straw poll was not scientific and so a true margin of error cannot be calculated.

Vote in the NW Daily Marker WSRP Chair Election Straw Poll

UPDATE: Our straw poll has closed. Be sure to check out the results here.

The 117 members of the Washington State Republican Party will vote this Saturday, Aug. 24 to elect a new chair. By voting once in our anonymous straw poll, you can send a message to have your preference heard before the voting delegates make their decision.

The poll will close at midnight Thursday, Aug. 22. The results will be compiled and reported on Friday.

Note: In order to promote fairness, the order of candidate names are randomized in the survey below. This poll is not a scientific survey.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

CNBC to Highlight Milton Friedman’s Legacy July 31

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice released the following:

CNBC to highlight Milton Friedman’s legacy July 31

The “father” of school choice to be remembered at events around the world.

Milton Friedman’s legacy will be showcased on CNBC tomorrow morning on what would have been the late Nobel laureate’s 101st birthday. The segment will air on the “pre-market” news show “Squawk Box,” July 31, at 7:50 a.m. ET, featuring Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

The CNBC piece will run during an annual, worldwide celebration to remember Milton Friedman, who founded the Friedman Foundation along with his wife, Rose, to advance school choice. “Friedman Legacy Day” is held every July 31, Milton Friedman’s birthday. This year, the Friedman Foundation is marking Friedman’s 101st birthday with the slogan “Milton101.”

“School choice advocates, and supporters of liberty, need to get back to the basics on why our cause is needed,” Enlow said. “Milton Friedman showed these ideas are really simple. We just have to give people the freedom to choose what’s best for them and their families.”

The Friedman Foundation is encouraging “Friedman Legacy Day” participants to join in a worldwide conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #Milton101. Organizations celebrating Milton Friedman will be posting photos to the Friedman Foundation’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Although Friedman is credited with popularizing tax reform, prompting the development of an all-volunteer armed forces, and highlighting the importance of monetary policy as it relates to inflation, he and his wife wanted their legacy attached to school choice. In 1955, Milton’s essay titled “The Role of Government in Education” first established the voucher idea, encouraging public education funds to follow students to the schools of their parents’ choice.

Today, 23 states and Washington, D.C., have implemented some form of Milton Friedman’s school choice idea.

A list of “Friedman Legacy Day” events can be found at


‘’ Website Recalls Gov. Inslee’s Campaign Promises to Oppose Taxes

Screenshot of website.

Screenshot of website.

A new website critical of Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee – ‘’ – launched Thursday to remind voters of the many times Inslee pledged during the 2012 campaign to oppose (and even veto) new taxes in the state budget.

“Jay Inslee was not honest with Washington voters,” the one-page site proclaims right from the top, bold text that sits above a manipulated image in which Inslee’s nose is elongated to resemble a cultural icon of dishonesty, Pinocchio.

“Taxes according to ‘Jay-nocchio’,” is stamped on the Governor’s photo, and his face is surrounded by tax-related quotes taken from public debates during last year’s gubernatorial race against former Attorney General Rob McKenna.

It is not clear who or what group paid for the website. A search through the Internet WHOIS database indicated the site’s registration has been made private.

Sheriff Steve Strachan is the Culture Change We Need in the King County Sheriff’s Office

His opponent a longtime King County Deputy is a documented part of the problem.

The issues at the King County Sheriff’s Office are well documented and publicized. That is why when former King County Sheriff Sue Rahr was thinking about retiring, she realized that the King County Sheriff’s Office needed a strong and proven leader to implement the culture change she started. Rahr wisely realized that when you spend whole career is inside an organization, you cannot effectively be the agent of change.

When Rahr left in March, she chose current King County Sheriff Steve Strachan to lead real reform.  The King County Council supported her choice with a unanimous confirmation.  Now that Sheriff Strachan has been appointed he must run for election to serve out the remaining year of former Sheriff Sue Rahr’s term.  Steve bid to remain as Sheriff is endorsed by King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and every law enforcement leader in King County.

[More info: Click to review a list of Steve’s endorsements.]

Strachan served in all levels of law enforcement: Police Chief, Administrative Sergeant, Detective, School Resource Officer, SWAT team leader, DARE Officer, Patrol Officer and Jail Deputy.  Steve Strachan is the former Chief of two municipal departments; most recently in Kent.  His record in Kent was very impressive on a number of fronts including a 20% drop in the crime index in his first year.

In an interview this year, Congressman Reichert told Enrique Cerna of PBS that, “it may be time for someone from the outside to be the sheriff. Because I was the first, you know, in 30 years to be the elected sheriff, and the first internally. I appointed Sue. And she did a great job. And now, you have an opportunity for the people in King County to make a choice between someone that’s been in and someone that’s been out.”

Sheriff Strachan’s opponent John Urquhart is unfortunately a product of the culture that needs to be changed.  John spent his entire 24 year career at the King County Sheriff Office and retired earlier this year.  A recent story on KIRO TV News discussed some the concerning aspects of John’s record, including a internal investigation that determined then Sgt. Urquhart created a hostile work environment.

KIRO’s report discussed allegations of unbecoming conduct, dishonesty and discrimination that were filed against Urquhart. Urquhart misled the reporter by stating the charges were “not sustained” when in fact the charge of conduct unbecoming was SUSTAINED.   In a December 16, 2003 memo from then Sheriff Reichert to Sgt. John Urquhart says, “This performance plan has been developed to correct performance issues brought to light in IIU Investigation 02-099.  The investigation showed that you were in violation of G.O.M. section 3.00.020(1)(f) [Conduct Unbecoming]…Your past job performance showed that the way you communicated with those you supervise created apprehension, lack of trust and low morale.  This prevented you from being an effective supervisor.”  Former King County deputy Liz Johnson characterized Urquhart’s leadership style as, “it’s just intimidation and belittlement …The behavior that I witnessed from him is so bizarre, that’s what I’m saying, something wasn’t right.”

This report shows that John Urquhart not effective first-line supervisor and certainly not qualified to be Sheriff. Furthermore this is another example of the lack of accountability that occurred prior to Steve Strachan taking over as Sheriff.

In August of this year, just five months after Sheriff Strachan took office, an audit of the King County Sheriff’s Office Activities and Disciplinary Procedures was released.  This audit had been a longtime coming and reflects issues that occurred between 2005-2011, when John Urquhart was a “Senior Policy Adviser” in the King County Sheriff’s Office.  Regardless, Sheriff Strachan is not looking backwards; he is taking the recommendations proffered in the audit to heart.  He has been making changes and will continue to put the audit’s recommendations into action.

Steve Strachan has accomplished a great deal in his short time as Sheriff. When he started earlier this year, public confidence in the local law enforcement was waning and budget cuts from the recession were slashing the Sheriff’s Deputies positions.  In response to the department’s budget cuts, he evaluated and adjusted staffing costs including overtime pay.  As a result, this is the first year in recent memory the King County Sheriff’s Office will be hiring 15 additional deputies in 2013.  Sheriff Strachan is implementing his vision to develop a flexible organization of highly trained deputies who act as Leaders on the Street; leveraging community relationships and communication skills to minimize crime across King County.

Sheriff Steve Strachan is clearly the best and only choice to lead the King County Sheriff’s Office into the future.


Tweets from Congressional Staffers Describe On-Job Drinking in Office of Congressman Larsen

For young men and women with ambitions toward a career in politics, working in a Congressional office can be a heady, almost dreamlike experience. Left unsupervised, the combination of youthful indiscretion and close proximity to the nation’s levers of power produces results that can be ugly, messy and embarrassing for senior staff and even the representatives voters send to the Capitol to do the people’s work.

Over several months, according to online messages allegedly made by staffers with Democratic Congressman Rick Larsen, the D.C. office of Washington State’s 2nd District has been the setting of a staffers-gone-wild bash, a binge of embarrassing behavior including insults lobbed by legislative aides at the Congressman himself and accounts of on-the-job drinking, all broadcast for the world to see on via Twitter.

To be fair, the office of a congressman in the minority party is not typically the scene of frantic legislative action. Sure, there’s still work to be done servicing constituent requests, or stitching together the details of a minor piece of legislation to help the folks back in the district may be work. But unlike a couple of years ago when the Democrats were in charge, and aides would have been busy preparing a $3.5 trillion budget, or reading, analyzing, and fine-tuning 2,000-page bills to upend the world’s finest healthcare and financial services industries, apparently the current workload isn’t substantial enough to keep junior staffers attentions focused on professional matters.

NW Daily Marker learned of the succession of tweets made by three members of Larsen’s legislative staff – Seth Burroughs, legislative assistant (@therocketship1); Elizabeth Robblee, legislative assistant (@betsysbites); and Ben Byers, legislative correspondent (@byers_remorse) – messages dating from between August and early December of this year.

Though the tweets were made (and are continuing to be made) from personal – not official congressional – accounts, the messages describe on-the-job drinking, frivolous misuse of office time and resources, and contain public insults aimed at the boss himself – Congressman Larsen. If accurate, the tweets – made during and after working hours – raises questions about whether Larsen and his senior staff are paying close enough attention to the workplace behavior of personnel on the public payroll.

Note: Some of the messages are not safe for work. Please scroll down only if you are in appropriate setting to view them.   

One of the more notable tweets was made on December 3rd by Burroughs in which he confides in Byers that he has “destroyed” his official Blackberry smartphone device and remarks that “D2R is making its mark.”

‘D2R’ is an acronym meaning ‘December to Remember,’ a phrase coined by the trio of staffers to define their attempt to spend the final month of the year in a state of perpetual debauchery. According to tweets made two days earlier, the D2R was initiated with a morning round of shots on the steps of the Cannon House Office Building before proceeding to drink all day in the office.

Of course, it isn’t necessary to drink in the office when you just plain show up drunk, as Burroughs appears to brag of doing:

In addition to providing details and a play-by-play account of on-the-job drinking, during a summer recess, Burroughs described whiling away the hours in pursuits of dubious value to the constituents of Washington’s 2nd District.

Burroughs also spent a great deal of time publicly insulting Larsen, and making statements that imply his colleagues were casting their own fair share of insults toward the Congressman:

Funny enough, Burroughs had been warned about his Twitter exhibitionism by his mother:

I suppose at least Mom was making an effort to rein in her little staffer, even if Congressman Larsen wasn’t.


[Note: The original article misspelled the name of one of the former Larsen staffers. The correct spelling is reflected in the story as it now appears.]

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