Robinson: door-belling an ‘unproductive use of time’

John Robinson

John Robinson, one of the candidates for Sammamish City Council Position 7, doesn’t view door-belling in this election as a good use of time.

He is running against Pam Stuart, who says she has door-belled 3,500-4,000 homes. Robinson says he’s door-belled 1,000 homes.

Door-belling in a local, city council election, is one of the most common campaign techniques—retail politics as its most basic.

Not productive use of time

“The issue with door-belling is it is valuable if you can find people at home,” Robinson said during Sammamish Comment’s endorsement interview of both candidates. “I would say that knocking on doors is not a productive use of time.

“People I’ve spoken to, yes, I hear the issues from them. Yeah, maybe my campaign is a little unorthodox in that sense. But I’m working through networking etc., to expand the discussion of the issues.”

Stuart disagreed.

Pam Stuart

“Knocking on doors in a local election like this is absolutely the best thing one can do,” she said. “You’re reaching out to the people who don’t necessarily come out and make sure their voices are heard. They are just as important as every other resident of this city. That to me has been the biggest education. Maybe I’m lucky, but I have over a 60% at-home rate.

“I’m talking to a lot of people. People engage. People care and they want to be heard.”

Special interests

The two also disagreed about endorsements from special interest groups.

“From the very get-go I have positioned myself as being completely independent and non-political. I’m not affiliated with any political party and I have not accepted any endorsement from a political party or a special interest group,” he said.

“If you want to have a definition or contrast a comparison between the two of us, I think that’s worthwhile to look at. There is nothing wrong with the Democratic Party. My wife’s a long-time Democrat. But the people of Sammamish don’t want politics in this race. And they don’t want special interests. So I positioned myself to be independent.

“If a candidate, whether it’s Pam or any of the others, affiliate themselves with a party and then requests support from that party to move the agenda, I don’t think that’s doing a service to the people of Sammamish.”

“John put up an ad on Facebook implying I would not represent the citizens of Sammamish if they weren’t Democrats.,” Stuart said. “First of all, I think asking people you know who have run campaigns before for help how to run a campaign when it’s your first campaign is not pushing an agenda. That’s just being smart.

“I haven’t pushed any agenda. I’m talking to people and I’m pushing the issues that I hear…and that are facing our citizens.

Profit vs not-for-profit

“If you want to call working with Washington Bikes and the Washington Conservation Voters special interests, that’s fine. Those are groups I’ve reached out to because they are working on the very issues that we’re trying to solve.”

Robinson noted that the Master Builders Assn. endorsed Stuart, while he declined its support.

“The Master Builders Assn. was very willing to endorse and provide support,” he said. “I find that as a conflict of interest if you’re going to sit on a non-partisan, non-political city council position; you can’t have those conflicts. You have chosen to have support from the Master Builders.

“The real problem is when you have a hard decision, they’re not supporting you just because they like you. They are looking for something that would benefit them in the long run.”

Robinson, who hasn’t posted any endorsements from any group whether profit or not-for-profit, paused when asked by The Comment what was wrong with support from groups like Washington Bikes and the Washington Conservation Voters. He then allowed there is a distinction between them and real estate-affiliated groups.

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