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Friday, September 10, 2004 - Page updated at 01:21 P.M.

Reichert campaigner quits over attack ads

By Warren Cornwall
Seattle Times Eastside bureau

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A chief architect of King County Sheriff Dave Reichert's run for Congress left the campaign yesterday because of his role in directing an advertising campaign attacking former state Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn, who is running for state attorney general.

Bruce Boram, a Seattle-based political consultant, is director of the group behind the ads, the Voters Education Committee.

The group, which has spent at least $600,000 on television ads in the Seattle area, yesterday refused to comply with a state Public Disclosure Commission demand that it say who is paying for the ads.

Boram, who was Reichert's spokesman, strategist and a key fund-raiser, said he was stepping down because the furor over the ads was threatening to spill into the congressional race.

"When I've become the issue in the campaign, that's just not good. So I decided it was just for the best," Boram said yesterday afternoon. His resignation was effective immediately, he said.

Reichert said he had not asked Boram to leave, but said Boram made the right choice.

"It's pretty hard to be involved in two campaigns ... in another activity that is having a negative effect on another part of your responsibilities," Reichert said.

Reichert has made a high-profile promise of clean campaigning. Last month, he walked out of a Mercer Island debate, denouncing two of his Republican opponents for ads criticizing him.

"I think that the only way for this to stop is someone has to stand up and say it's wrong," he said at the time of what he termed "dirty politics."

Boram is the second Reichert campaigner to depart after questions about campaign tactics. Reichert fired Kent Patton from both his campaign and the Sheriff's Office in April after it was revealed Patton had registered several Web sites containing the name of Reichert opponent Luke Esser. Patton said at the time that the Web site registration was a joke.

Reichert said yesterday he didn't know of the anti-Senn ads until several days ago. They began airing a week ago. "I disagree with that type of ad," he said. "Dirty politics is not something that I'm going to participate in."
Dan Brady, campaign manager for Reichert opponent Diane Tebelius, said the incident raises questions about Reichert's control of his campaign.

"Does he know what the people on his campaign are doing?" Brady said.

The Reichert campaign plans to hire a new consultant, Minnesota-based Scott Cottington, who already is working on Republican Cathy McMorris' congressional campaign in Eastern Washington's 5th District.

Warren Cornwall: 206-464-2311 or

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