Editor's note: Brad Toft has responded here to some of the comments on his letter. The response appears at the end of this letter.
I entered this race because our families need jobs, and our children deserve the best possible education we can give them. But since the May candidate filing week, a convergence of events has ignited into an unwanted distraction of corruption that must be spoken to.
The proof that has been called for has now flooded the media. Through a public records request to the Governor's office by Senator Erickson, evidence was obtained that showed Cheryl Pflug was appointed to the Growth Management Act Hearings Board, in spite of the fact that she lacked the qualifications. And in exchange for the million dollar appointment, former Senator Pflug attempted to give an open senate seat to Mark Mullet. She also agreed to endorse him in exchange for a guaranteed six year job. Mark Mullet is attempting to be the direct beneficiary of a backroom deal that shows contempt for voters and distrust of our democratic process.
Cheryl Pflug publicly endorsed my opponent the same week she was appointed to the Growth Management Act Hearings Board. She has appeared in television commericals and mailers on his behalf. Her endorsement is listed in Mullet's voter pamphlet statement.
If Mark Mullet is an honorable man, he must condemn Cheryl Pflug's appointment and reject her endorsement, or explain why he has chosen not to. The voters of this district deserve to know where he stands on an issue that strikes at the heart of our election process.
Addendum from Brad Toft:
It is encouraging to see many Patch readers who are interested in separating fact from fiction in this alleged scandal in the 5th Legislative District. Corruption in government is a serious issue and it is wise to tread carefully before any accusations are leveled.
An important question has been raised by readers: Even if Governor Gregoire did engage in a corrupt deal with former Sen. Cheryl Pflug to stack the deck against the voters, where is the direct connection with the Democratic candidate? This question, among others, does beg for an answer.
On May 10th, at the Eastside Chamber of Commerce Legislative Wrap Up, then-Sen. Pflug informed Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom that she was leaving the state Senate. She further stated that Tom would enjoy working with her successor, Mark Mullet. This was a full week before any candidates in the 5th District race filed for election. Sen. Tom conveyed this information to me in person and also to House Rep. Jay Rodne, via phone. Therefore, plans were afoot long before Sen. Pflug admitted publicly to the deal.
In addition, my opponent denied having any connection with Governor Gregoire. It appears he did not tell all. His prominent Democrat father, Steve Mullet, former mayor of Tukwila and member of the Renton School District board, has been an appointee of the Governor since 2006. They are well connected in many ways.
At the higher levels of the political world, educated and astute people carefully craft plans of succession. So, this curious confluence of circumstances requires an explanation. My opponent must address his involvement with the governor, the former senator and the Democratic Senate Caucus.
Leaders do not avoid difficult issues. They serve best by bringing clarity to them. My opponent can silence this issue, once and for all, with a plausible explanation