Larry Stickney, manager of many failed anti-gay campaigns and candidates

The audacity is astonishing. Larry Stickney wants to be elected chair of the Snohomish County (WA) Republican Party.

Larry Stickney has a long record of running the political campaigns he works on into the ground, most recently that of arch-anti-gay Republican Congressional candidate John Koster. With Stickney as his campaign manager, Koster lost to pro-equality Democrat Suzan DelBene on a 54% to 46% vote.  Koster even lost in the Snohomish County portion of the congressional district, despite Koster sitting on the Snohomish County Council since 2001.

Rather than taking any responsibility for the loss, Stickney blamed it on state party chair Kirby Wilbur and the National Republican Congressional Committee. An additional finger-pointing screed that Stickney published on his website has since been removed.

Stickney also managed Koster’s 2006 and 2010 congressional bids, both of which he lost to pro-equality Democrat Rick Larsen.

Besides managing Koster’s campaigns, Stickney touts the fact that he “was the sponsor of Referendum 71 and founder/manager of the organization & PAC Protect Marriage Washington.” What Stickney neglects to add is that he failed in his mission to persuade voters to reject Referendum 71 and thereby repeal Washington state’s comprehensive domestic partnership law. On the contrary, the Washington electorate became the first in the nation to affirm a same-sex relationship recognition law at the polls when they approved R-71 on a 53.2% to 46.8% vote. Referendum 71 was a crushing loss for Stickney.

Curiously, Stickney states that “As Chairman, I would work full time on achieving the following practical goals which would create new enthusiasm and energy: …Implement an aggressive fundraising strategy and sustaining membership drive capable of providing a sufficient revenue stream to accommodate a full-time operating budget and full-time Chairman’s salary.”

In other words, one of Stickney’s priorities for the county party is for county Republicans to pay him a full-time salary. While running the Reject R-71 campaign, Stickney made sure to pay himself first, even if it meant apparently starving the campaign itself.

Perhaps accomplishing one of his other priorities for the county party — “Reinstate an annual Snohomish County Republican Summer Picnic” — is more deserving of a full-time salary than it looks.

While working on the R-71 campaign, Larry Stickney petitioned the federal courts in Doe v. Reed for a special exception for referendum petition signatories from state public disclosure laws in part because a man was reportedly seen photographing the exterior of Stickney’s home. The Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court tossed this ridiculous case out on its ear, but not before it clogged the courts for 3 years, wasting taxpayers’ money.

Despite these spectacular losses and Snohomish County voters’ rejection many times over of the divisive, radical-right views embodied by Stickney and Koster, Larry Stickney promises the Snohomish County Republican Party that “If elected Chairman, I will provide our Party solid leadership with a vision for the future.”

What seems more likely is that, if elected, Larry Stickney would lead the county party in a direction even more out of step with county voters, but would be certain to personally profit from his own inept leadership.