Running for office

Running for office



3 Aug- 1973    Friday
Shortly after lunch, while I was at the UYA (University Year for Action) office I got a phone call from Bob Ageter of the WWSC (Western Washington State College) planning office. He said, “George, no one has filed yet for city councilman from the 4th ward.  Don’t you know anyone out there who would be interested in running?” I responded that I didn’t know but would check. I called the city comptroller’s office and found out that David Hudson, a developer, was signed up to run. That, more than anything else, caused me to pursue the thought further to run for office. I called Pat Campbell, the incumbent, to enquire why he wasn’t running again. His response essentially was that he had done his civic duty and now it was someone else’s turn.


I called Mary Ann to inquire if she would tolerate my running, got her acquiescence provided I drop from state WARC (Washington Association of Retarded Citizens) , local WARC, all UYA commitments, etc. In other words to keep down the nights out. I called Stu Litzinger to find out what the job entailed but his line was busy. I then called his wife and she said it was an average of one night per week and, at times, more. During budget period the meetings are several nights running. I discussed the thought of running with Ruth Maguire and Dave miller UYA administrators on my staff). Both thought I’d make an excellent councilman. Bruce Harris said he felt I wasn’t really needed in the DSHS Task Force plan. So I got on my bike and went downtown. (I was riding a 10-speed bike and commuting to campus from home on the bike most days when the weather permitted.)


I was dressed in German Lederhosen.  I put the bike on my shoulder and walked into city hall with it so it wouldn’t be stolen if left outside. I hoped no photographer was present as I felt my attire was not really my campaign uniform. Only a reporter from a radio station was present and he merely noted my name and status as director of University Year for ACTION program at WWSC.


I then went upstairs where I sought out Eunice Wolf (City Planner) to tell her of my decision. She wasn’t there so I exchanged banter with some of the staff. When Eunice arrived she had already seen my name on the list. Seems to me she really didn’t seem too chummy with me at the moment so I left.  I rode over to the county courthouse and went to see Harry Fulton (County Planner). He wasn’t there but Jim Chin(reporter for the Bellingham Herald) was and so was Ron Jepsun (local surveyor and civil engineer)s. Ron said he was delighted I was running and would fill me in on the details of the solid-waste fiasco- in part the result of machination of David Hudson. Jim Chin also offered to sit down with me to give me some ideas for campaign issues. I proceeded to pedal home.


The evening local news programs carried the item of my candidacy along with all other candidates running.


4 Aug- 1973    Saturday


Today I tried to figure out why I decided to run for city office. For one thing, Bob Aegeter’s call could not have come at a more appropriate moment. I had already announced my resignation as Director at the WWSC UYA program, effective 15 September. For the last several weeks I had been having talks with various persons about campus about my future on committees, etc.  I had decided to give the Campus Public Relations Committee a bad time and even get on it if I could so as to push for more community involvement on the part of the campus.


Mt findings regarding that, though, were weak. One thing was certain—I wasn’t gonna get swallowed up in departmental politics as that, in my estimation, would be a total waste of time. It seems as though there couldn’t be a worse organized department in existence. To get caught up in campus-wide political activity would also be for naught what with Flora, Taylor, Ross, and probably Monahan, leaving within two years I,would do best just “riding the storm out.” I’ll not accept an administrative position in the college until Taylor and Flora both leave office. So- all in all, I was at a loss as to my plans for the next two years—until Bob’s phone call.


5 Aug- 1973    Sunday
This AM I opened the Herald to see if anyone noted my having signed up for the city council position. Yup- on pg.6 there was a sentence to that effect. My opponent for the 4th ward was quoted as saying “it would be good for the council to have a member who ‘understands’ developers and planners (sic)” Hudson’s photo was given along with many of the other candidates. Mine was absent. Guess the Herald lacks one of me.


I called mom to see if she had noted the item—she hadn’t.  Mrs. Armitage sure did and called right away. She assured me she’d let her lady friends all know who to vote for. I called Joy Dabney to let her know I’d like her help on pamphlet design, etc.  She assured me she’d love to help.  Will Brown was also greatly supportive.  He called back a few minutes later saying Bun Jaffe would give me my first financial contribution.  Looks like we’re up and running.


Roy (my brother) arrived today with his Norwegian travelling companion and with mom. They left at about 9:30 pm.


6 Aug- 1973     Monday


Saw Bob Aegeter this AM—He gave me some ideas on the campaign. He’ll help with whatever but not be in charge. He has a silk screen outfit for making posters. Says I should see Barney Goltz—as Barney has info by wards.


Saw Sam Kelly—Sam’ll help with advice—will not personally get involved other than sit in on a planning session or two.  Went to City Council meeting to present log cabin. Cabin was accepted for use in a city park. (I had acquired several century-old pioneer log cabins.)


7 Aug- 1973     Tuesday


Talked with Mike Barnhart this AM about College-Community Relations.  Related discussions I’d had with various persons over the years re. involvement in community by WWSC.  He thought I’d done well with UYA.  Mike has put together a top level group of citizens including heads of Intalco, G.P, Mobile, Arco, etc. to discuss College-Community Relations.  He thought I’d fit on some such committee.  I made it clear that I wasn’t about to get lost in the S/A(Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology where I had my tenure) swamps. I also assured Mike that I wasn’t gonna bring the college into my campaign.


Article appeared in Herald on the cabin donation.


8 Aug- 1973    Wednesday

This evening we had a dinner party at the house for Jerry Brady and wife- He is the National  Director of ACTION Education programs.  Besides UYA staff we had Beth Erickson of the Bellingham Herald.  Dave Miller had a good idea. He suggested I ask Beth to by my publicity advisor. I did so and she’ll talk it over with Stan Chen. I think she’ll help. She sure is loaded with spontaneity!


9 Aug- 1973    Thursday
Beth Erickson interviewed Brady at ACTION office.  KVOS taped an interview in front of the office. John Stolpe does the interview.


10 Aug- 1973    Friday
KVOS TV (CBS affiliate) shows Brady interview. He sings praises for local UYA effort. Herald has major article on UYA by Beth in which she does good by me.  Stan (my older brother who lives in California) and kids arrive at mom’s.


Pat Campbell(office incumbent) called. He suggested we get together to discuss ideas and issues. He suggested I contact Lloyd Austin about help for campaign. Said Lloyd likes to put up posters and signs. Campbell said lots of people don’t like Hudson and would help me to make sure Hudson doesn’t get the seat. Also pointed out that Luedke (owner of apts at end of N. Shore drive) would help me.  Knew Henry Schwartz.


Campbell thought I’d have a good chance against Hudson but that my working at WWSC would be a strike against me.  Suggested I got together with Vern Taylor of WWSC for help.  Gotta get my NAME in front of voters so they remember it!  Thought yard signs would be needed.  Money was needed—about $250.00 was all Campbell said he spent on his campaign. I told him that I appreciated his calling—that we’re gonna get together next week to discuss some ideas. That Hudson’s comment in the Herald would hurt him badly. (“Developers need someone on council who understand them.”)


It is interesting that the incumbent calls me and is willing to help me put together my campaign and help recruit workers.  Campbell has been in town many more years than I and knows lots of folk.  If I can get help from his following without committing myself I’ll be gaining an asset for free.  Given the antipathy of Vern Tyler and Lloyd Austin toward developers I’m able to count on their help just because Hudson is who he is.


14 Aug- 1973
Prepared the financial statement for the public disclosure law last night, typed it today.


Met with Barney Goltz (Campus Planner and a leader in the local Democratic party) and discussed college issues—also discussed campaign tactics. He says to go door belling- wear a large lapel sign with name as many persons peek out before opening the door. Door belling and use of Herald are best ways to reach the public. One can average but one precinct an afternoon.


Lunch with Community Development Associates consultants—discussed Pt. Roberts. (I had been working with County Commissioner Roberts on forming a Point Roberts Community Association.)  Met with Bill Sodt and Jerry Burns.  Bill will help prepare brochure and Jerry will do photo, layout, and printing- cost?  Burns says Hudson will not run a good campaign. Hudson works for Fairhaven Reality Co—of which Gordon Laird is part owner. Bill says Lloyd Austin is a bigoted conservative and to stay clear of him.  Burns says to have lots of press releases ready at all times and to use the media heavily, its free.


17 Aug- 1973
Called Vern Taylor- He’ll get a meeting of the Bellingham Home Owner’s League before the primary. Dropped the copy off at Jerry Burns’ shop for propaganda—had lunch with Bun Jaffe and he agreed to be my treasurer.


19 Aug- 1973    Sunday

Lloyd Austin called—said he’d have a get together on Wednesday eve—probably at Luedke’s place for the Bellingham Home Owner’s League. If not at Luedke’s then we’d have to find another locale. He is quite opposed to David Hudson and developers of any ilk.  Lucile Frost (Pacific Street) called (ca. 10 pm) to say she wanted to throw a party for me.  It would have to be early September as we are leaving town on Wednesday (a fib)—so she’ll call again in early September.


22 Aug- 1973 Wednesday
Went to County Court House to meet with Lloyd Austin, Pat Campbell and Vern Taylor. Don Roble went with me. Others from the Homeowners league were expected but never showed. Pat Campbell talked a lot. I asked him about the other members of the council. Seems he is quite thrown by large budgets and just votes with crowd.  Vern wanted to plan for a 4th ward picnic to have Hudson and me square off.  I told ‘em I’m not running against Hudson or developers—I’m running for the office. I told Pat and others I wasn’t gonna spend anything on the primary but would be doorbelling and also go to the League of Women Voter’s forum. Pat felt I would make a good councilman, that I was articulate and verbal (expressive). Found out that Mr. Volkman had considered running but when Pat Campbell found out that I was gonna sign up he called Volkman and told him he didn’t have to run after all. Volkman was just determined that Hudson not get the seat. Lloyd Austin had also considered filing for same reason.


24 Aug- 1973    Friday
Jack Gabler came by the house this afternoon to chat—but mainly to offer his assistance with my campaign. He asked if I had a campaign chairman and offered to serve in that position.  Jack is Region II DSHS (Whatcom, Skagit, Island, and San Juan Counties) administrator. We discussed my possible platform. I asked him if he was serious about being my campaign chairman and he replied “Yes!” So now I’ve got a chairman.  Committee so far:


Chairman: Jack Gabler
Treasurer:  Bun Jaffe
Also:         Teresa Aegeter, Bob Aegeter, Gay Dubig.   Advisors:  Sam Kelly, Beth Erickson (Press and Publicity),  Stan Chen (Press and Publicity)


Went camping with the family through early  September.


11 Sept- 1973
Went to candidates night at City Hall sponsored by League of Women Voters. Few People were there other than candidates and League Women and a few friends of each. I gave my literature—the job done by Sodt and Burns. There was little time to discuss issues.  My impression was that Hudson was subdued.  He said little and not too well.


12 Sept- 1973
Ralph Monroe(Republican, head of the Washington State Office of Voluntary Action and later to become Secretary of State for Washington)  called from Olympia to inform me that he’d done some checking on me re. the campaign and found that I was seen by the business community as a radical, as anti-business, as a left-wing college prof, as anti-development. He also told me that Bill Fowler (Editor of the Belliingham Herald) agreed with most of this and would probably endorse David Hudson.  Ralph’s suggestion was that I get busy in the business community and get talking with the leaders on a one to one basis.


I went downtown and met with Bun Jaffe and discussed things with him.  He observed that businessmen only have one vote each and for me not to worry.  I met with Bob Stephens—head of the Chamber of Commerce and we discussed the business aspect of the city and he agreed with me that there was much that could be done to improve city management.  I emphasized long range planning and good budget control.  He informed me that I’d probably pick up lots of votes because Hudson is mouth piece for Gordy Laird and the “business community” hates Laird’s guts.  I responded that I’d like to win the election for other reasons, for what I had to offer and not for what was wrong with Hudson. Stephens agreed with much of my platform—said he’d get word around about my qualities and qualifications—gave me names of persons to call re getting before groups to talk.


13 Sept- 1973

Saw Brian Griffin and had a long chat with him in the Horseshoe Café. He will also support me and push my name. He also gave me a list of key persons to talk to. Talked to Paul Hanson of Mt. Baker Mutual and found that he, as so many others, not only would support me for what I stood for but because of his rejections of what Hudson Stood for. Wow—I was surprised at his dislike of Hudson! Hanson said that he’d not knock on doors for me but he would speak to Bill Fowler on my behalf. He also gave several of his staff copies of my campaign literature to distribute before Tuesday (PRIMARY) in the 4th ward.Called James Caldwell who headed up the Edgemoore-Viewcrest Residents Association. The Herald had a front page article about the way Hudson was stopped by this group. The Caldwells will distribute my literature in that part of town.     I started distributing my folder at Highland Heights.


14 Sept- 1973
Went to Olympia to meet with the Advisory Committee of the Office of Community Development.  Great! What a dynamic group!  The group is chaired by Ed Munro—King County Commissioner who is a real pro at chairing meetings!  Hemstad will not let me have copies of his lecture for campaign purposes (if I loose it would bode ill in this area for his program—I infer this is why his reluctance). Got home at 7:30 pm and Raney took me to Sodt’s to get the rest of the propaganda.
15 Sept- 1973
Went out with the boys at 5:30 pm to distribute literature at Highland Heights.  We finished there and then crossed to Crestline drive. Left the boys with Marshalls and “did” the area. Picked up the boys and went down Alabama. One householder remembered me from a remark I’d made to Henkin at one city council meeting suggesting he stick to doing engineering but leaving value decision to the people. I was assured his vote, that of his wife and the neighbor across the street. At another home I was invited and had a long discussion with ? Westford whose father was mayor for 16 years. He is utterly opposed to Hudson also and was quite favorably disposed to my candidacy.  After an hour I just had to hit the road and get the boys home. Westford suggested I get together with his brother Jack and talk over the campaign.



23 Sept- 1973
Met with Ralph Munroe in Spokane, WA at WARC(Washington Association for Retarded Citizens) convention. Suggested I speak with Tom George—dem. Advisee for candidates. Runs W. Side journal in Ferndale, and also the following persons: But Huitt at Color Pot,  Dan Vandyke,  Ernie Johnson,  Scott Baron (see wife first),  Tubrick- treas. For Ernie Johnson,  Marge Ellis,  Craig Hayes,  Huntly Gordon.
Plan a blitz on Monday before election.  Call Tom Dean in Seattle.



24 Sept- 1973
Had lunch with Al Swift. He’ll help re. ads and campaign releases—also feels door belling is absolutely necessary—feels another brochure is needed—also  yard signs. Recommends a treaty of non-aggression with other candidates other than Hudson.



26 Sept- 1973
Yesterday I met with Craig Hayes at WWSC and he said he’d set me up with his dad. We met at Good Time Charlie’s for lunch at 12—Craig and Gordon Hayes and self. Gordon asked various questions and I did what I could re response. At end, Gordon said he’d support me and would arrange a meeting with other town folks (i.e. Money people) soon. Went from there to meet with Ken Nuckols at Union Printing. Ken N is Republican Committeeman from WA. To National Party. Serious—expressionless—asks direct questions. I was examined for 1 and ½ hours and finally Mr. Nuckols said “I’ll support you—now you’re going to see these persons”—and he started a list. Said he’d call Bill Fowler and talk to him about me. That I’d better see him with Mr. Honeysett at same time. That I’d better make peace with Huntly Gordon also. Said he could understand why Huntly and I clashed. He’ll also talk with Huntly but that I’d better have beer with him some day.





  1. A five-ten and twenty year plan is needed for all areas of community concern; social, recreational, cultural and physical. We need to state clearly what we want Bellingham to be like in the future then strive to achieve that goal.
  2. Our priorities for general fund expenditures and for revenue sharing expenditures need to be based on a knowledge of our total needs. We can no longer spend money on pet projects of an articulate few.
  3. We need program accountability and fiscal accountability. We need to measure the effectiveness of all areas of governmental spending as well as know the full cost for any program, service or project.
  4. We need to make maximum use of alternate sources of funding to achieve our goals. This would include federal and state funds as well as the medium of citizen participation- ie volunteer labor.
  5. A “CIVIC PARTNERSHIP” is proposed to join the people of Bellingham with its government in insuring that the Bellingham of the future is the legacy we wanted to leave to our children.


  1. A) WWSC is an obvious first partner.  The “Mischeakow Report” calls for greater participation of the college in community problem solving.
  2. B) The business community, banking and financial community and industrial community have loads of skills and talents that, if addressed to community issues, could resolve many problems.
  3. C) Many “ordinary” citizens would get involved on TASK FORCES if the opportunity offered itself.





Campaign of George F. Drake
1.    Chairman: Jack Gabler
2.    Treasurer: Bun Jaffee
3.    City Fundraising: Teresa Olbrantz (Bay person)
4.    Campus Fundraising: Arthur Hicks- Ralph Thompson
5.    Edgemore Fundraising: Manfred Vernon and Bill Caldwell
6.    B’ham Home Owners: Vern Tyler
7.    MR- etc Fundraising: Nancy Larson- Stacia Chirstopher (?)
8.    Door Belling: Howard Treasby
9.    Lawn Signs: Design= Joy Dabney
Printing= Bob Aegeter
Staking= Lloyd Austin- Pat Campbell
10.    Bus Signs: Joy Dabney
11.    Newspaper Ads: Bob Urso
12.    Radio Ads: Loren Webb
13.    Typing and Mailing: Ann Drake
14.    New Brochure: Bob Urso- Maurene Smith
15.    Testimonial Gathering: Gay Dubiqk
16.    Dollar Donations fm Low Income GPS: Amy Bryant (?)
17.    Testimonials fm Sr. Citizens and 50 cent donation: Catherine May
18.    “Nobody Knows Us” Testimonial: Barbara Roddy
19.    Firemen For Drake: Ralph Gilfillen
20.    Policemen For Drake: Harold Raymond (?)
21.    BEA For Drake: Andy Knutson- Ber. Haddock (?)




1.    Brochures Printing:                 $160
2.    Herald ads                               700
3.    Radio                                      300
4.    Signs                                      100
5.    Bus Signs                                  30
6.    Mailing                                    100
7.    Printing New Brochure              200
8.    Pizza Party                                200

Aim For Budget of $2000
Campus=                 400
Business=               1000
Edgemore=              300
B’Ham HomeO=        200
Social Gps=              200