City Council Member Harris Goes Ballistic on Columbian Reporter

by lewwaters

Vancouver City Council member Jeanne Harris, known worldwide for her “Gavel Down” meltdown is a gift to bloggers and reporters. She just doesn’t know when to quit.

We recently saw about her filing a $500K claim for an eye injury against the city of Ridgefield in the Columbian with this blog breaking the news that she was photographed wielding a pugil stick at a charity boxing match 2 months after she alleges the injury occurred here.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, she has now left an angry, profanity laced voicemail message for Columbian reporter, Andrea Damewood, who wrote the initial story


What can be said except WOW!

She’s angry because the newspaper ran an article on her, after her past meltdowns and leaves such a profanity laced, angry voicemail and doesn’t expect it to be made public too?

Andrea Damewood posts her own response on the Columbian’s All Politics is Local blog under, Harris drops F-bomb over eye injury story

Also interesting is seeing fellow council member, Jack Burkman making sure his Twitter followers know of this latest meltdown by retweeting Andrea Damewood’s own tweet.

Ms. Harris’ frustration, to be generous seems centered around a long, bitter and contentious divorce as just last month, June 8, 2012 she put up on her facebook page

While I am sympathetic over coming up on the losing end of a divorce, having been there, done that myself some 30 years ago, it is no excuse to lash out at others as she is known to do.

Nor does it excuse such a dumb move as lambasting the local newspaper because they did not set on a story you want kept quiet.

After all, who does she think she is, former 49th Legislative District Representative Jim Jacks who abruptly walked out on constituents mid-session last year with little explanation?

Ms Harris, take a vacation, we need one 😉

27 Comments to “City Council Member Harris Goes Ballistic on Columbian Reporter”

  1. Apparently Councilman Harris has never come to realize that if your in Public Office.. Things JUST do not stay a secret very long.

    We saw this the messy HD26 “scandal” of Matt Wingard in Oregon.. and Vancouver is not that far away. Of course after seeing her on YouTube, Recordings of the Vancouver City Council Meetings, and on the wav file of her dropping the F-Bomb.. I can understand how the divorce started to take form.

    She wants her life to be private again.. she can step down or not run for re-election again…


  2. I hope her fellow councilors are urging her to resign. Obviously, her thinking and emotional state is unbalanced, and she needs professional attention. She is patently unable to fulfill her role as a civic leader and decisionmaker.


  3. Having been on the receiving end of some of the Columbian’s more egregious lies and exaggerations, while I can understand how Harris may feel, she’s hamstrung by two problems:

    First, she’s not arguing the facts of the issue, and second, she was stupid enough to do a “Jim West.” ( )

    While there are calls for her resignation, and I do have a level of surprise over the Columbian’s richly deserved trashing of this woman given their “Jim Jacks Rule,” I doubt that it will happen since this is now her only income and source of medical insurance.


  4. The ‘C’ has a problem in how they cover certain political figures and it is well known. Why Harris isn’t getting the regular Democrat pass is unknown.

    Jim Jacks, Jim Moeller, Brian Baird and the list just goes on and on.

    I skimmed the new ethics policy last evening and did not read anything that seems to relate to this latest meltdown, so I doubt fellow council members will call on her to resign.

    I’ll be curious to see if she is present at Monday evening council meeting and if so, how she acts.

    But, she definitely has some very serious issues going on in her life that she needs to resolve.


  5. Lew, I think if Jim Jacks, Jim Moeller or Brian Baird left a voicemail resembling anything like Jeanne Harris’ voicemail to Andrea Damewood, there would be no “Democrat pass”.

    Not excusing her behavior but anyone going through a “four year divorce” will likely exhibit at least intermittent periods of insanity.

    “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”


  6. John, while I am sympathetic in regards to her divorce, I went through a very similar situation in the early 80’s divorcing an alcoholic adulteress wife and was literally left with what I had on my back. She even tried to have the courts force me to pay her for half of my professional mechanic tools. I lost the house, the kids, everything.

    I knew I was screwed when at a pre-trial hearing, the judge walked in and I found out that he and she were on a first name basis. I never lashed out at anybody, but did yell, scream an cuss out the trash compactor at work. So yes, I have walked that mile.

    That being said, yes she left a vitriolic voicemail, but Moeller, Jacks and even Baird when he was labeling us brownshirts, cancelling a townhall supposedly because of a death threat (which was discovered later was settled long before he even said there was one) receive many passes.

    Where is the excess articles pondering over Jim Jacks and the strong rumors of his affairs while drinking in Olympia? You know yourself that someone doesn’t just magically decide drinking is out of control. It takes something pretty severe to trigger that usually.

    As for Moeller, where is any expose’ on his apparent disdain for constituents when they don’t vote how he prefers as he sues to overturn our votes? Where is the editorials condemning him over his throwing Jon Haugen under the bus at the Dems convention? Where was any complaints over placing a $1.5 Billion budget gap on the back burner for half of a short session ram homosexual marriage through, setting us for more special sessions?

    No, they might not have left angry profanity laced voicemails, but each has had their own moments that merited scant mention if any at all.

    Republicans, on the other hand, are frequently blasted in the pages of the ‘C,’ just ask Brandon Vick, Richard Curtis, Stacee Sellers, Brent Boger, Debbie Peterson, David Madore, Josephine Wentzel and, well, I think you get the picture.

    Democrat or Republican, neither should receive a pass for nefarious acts or conduct.


  7. As I said, “not excusing her behavior”. As for the “democrat pass”, bias is quite often in the eye of the beholder. We can both dredge up numerous examples of what we consider bias. Just The Columbian endorsement of Governor Bush for the presidency was enough to make me consider never reading another of their columns.


  8. Funny thing is, John, that lone endorsement from nearly 8 years ago is what Brancaccio always falls back on to show they are not biased.

    Never mind the plethora of examples I continue to show.


  9. Well, isn’t she just interesting with all her personal stuff blowing up in public. Andrea is right that she is a bloggers dream.


  10. I’ll make one confirmation. I have personally watched CVTV and seen Harris with the white patch over her eye. I will not excuse, the behaviour or the history OF that behaviour. Remember, just recently within the past month when she went cookoo over and she quieted down almost immediately, I believe fearing another censure from the council at that time?

    Look, I understand that life is screwed up. Divorce is not fun and your former mate knows so much about you, that they will use it against you. But that does not give Ms. Harris any right to inflict her emotional, damaged state on to others. I personally believe that she should resign effectively, immediately and get her life figured, sorted out… Similar to what Jack Burkman did some time back when he had a family issue that need his full, undivided attention.

    There are times in life where you need to step aside for the good of yourself and the community. I believe in my own heart that she needs to do this. Her life is messed up in some many directions. And this has been how many times, we have given her passes for this type of behaviour?

    This is how a 3 to 4 year old would react. And a parent would come along and turn it into a teachable moment. But since there is a small subset of political figures or connected people, I think and believe that the Mayor and council should have some private talks with Jeanne over this weekend. And come back Monday with some resolution to this matter. She has repeatedly shown she can’t handle the job representing this community right now and over the past two plus years+.

    She has a chance to come back in a few years and re-run as a candidate. I believe that Jeanne Harris needs to resign….


  11. Dannnng!!! Just when I thought the steam had stopped blowing out of her ears from the Gavel Down incident…now this??? Okay, granted…she IS after all, a public figure and when you work for the people, anything is game but no offense to Andrea Damewood, but I think her capitalizing on the personal life of Ms. Harris only shows that the media holds no bounds when it comes to slicing a person in to a million pieces just to get the attention of the readers.

    It appears to me that Jeanne Harris is having multiple difficulties in her life which are interfering with her abilities to sit at her seat on the Vancouver City Council. As far as her resignation…that’s a call only she can make unless it is only too obvious that her duties on City Council have faltered. As far as the chance for her to come back in a few years to re-run…yeah, she could re-run, but I don’t think voters would forget her past issues, given the coverage by Andre…er, I mean the media.

    Anything that sells, you know.


  12. One question for any lawyers in LewWatersland…

    Just how does this public coverage by Andrea affect the privacy of the parties involved in a civil lawsuit? I figured that if it had to go to litigation, we’re talking about something that should have been kept under wraps till settlement. Any lawyers out there???


  13. Maybe Martin Hash will answer you on that, Goldie since he is an attorney.

    It is my understanding from the Columbian article that it is all public knowledge.

    But as for them slicing and dicing, as they are known for doing, can you imagine what could have done had they bothered to look into Jim Jacks more or dig into Jim Moeller and his disdain for voters and others within his party who are not in lock-step with him?


  14. Would I really want to imagine something like that, Lew??? bleaghhh…I hate today’s “News” structure. So maybe Martin could fill us in on that little issue about the fine line between a news write up and…what is that little word nobody likes to hear??? Oh yeah…defamation…or is it slander??? Hmmm….

    So Martin Hash…being that I’m not one in the legal field, maybe you could fill me in on the “legalese” of news reports and potential litigation of pending lawsuits.


  15. Ms. Harris is a public figure – her privacy is less protected than a private citizen’s, but for civil lawsuits that hardly makes any difference. As for libel – the truth is always a defense. (Except during a political campaign with slander & libel are allowed.)

    Additionally, Ms. Harris is in a position where impairment of her judgment is of public importance. In fact, if her actions are not examined, the City of Vancouver would be responsible for any future unsavory actions.


  16. I have a further legal opinion:

    Opponents to CRC should rejoice in Ms. Harris’s public display of incompetence because it makes all council votes where hers was/is a deciding vote suspect, and will certainly be an issue of the inevitable CRC lawsuits. If I was a pro-CRC instigator, I would address this weakness as soon as possible. It seems likely they could replace her with another pro-CRC vote if she was to resign, but as long as she is out there, Ms. Harris will be the evil face of CRC for the upcoming political campaigns.


  17. It should be noted that Ms. Harris DID serve on C-tran, RTC, a short time on the Project Sponsors council until it recently concluded. And she has done it for many, many YEARS. So Martin is right on this point.


  18. Hmm…interesting…

    Well Martin, thanks for sharing your professional opinion. Seems to me, it might just be that missing link for the opponents of the current crossing project. I don’t doubt there are those on the opposition of the crossing project will utilize the opportunity with this recent event. Why would I not be surprised if they had another “pro-CRC voter” take over her position if that opportunity were to arise??? Then again…it appears the chips are down for the proponents right now, especially with the USCG and Thompson MetalFab on their heels.


  19. Uh boy….sorry about my poor grammar in the last post. I meant to say “I do not doubt that there are those on the opposition of the crossing project who will utilize the opportunity with this recent event.


    Then again, it appears the chips are down for the proponents right now, especially with the USCG and Thompson MetalFab on their heels, and it would be an opportunistic situation to have a “fall guy (or gal)” like Ms. Harris for the public to focus on her to take all the heat for the mess.


  20. What a lucky SOB her ex is…..


  21. Guys – About the CRC process (to Goldie in partcular) the CRC process is now in an Oversight committee made up of a few state legislators, chaired by Mary Margaret Hougan and Mike Armstrong along with ONE representative from the surrounding community. I would look there for your next point to deal with..

    To the point about Jeanne Harris – I think the city workshops and council meeting this evening will foretell how the Mayor has chosen to deal with the issue. How he feels about Ms. Harris actions have reflected on the city and her judgement on that phone call to Mr. Craig Brown to try to kill the story and the profanity laced voicemail to Ms. Damewood. Right there, I can see a pattern and from her previous history? I think there can be only one way to a resolution of this.
    Unless the paper wants to turn this story into another tabloid, attention seeking story…..


  22. It should be noted that there are short blurbs in BOTH the Seattle Times:

    and Seattle PI:

    So it should be noted that, once again. Ms. Harris has achieved some notoriety on the Associated Press wire…


  23. Bob…is there truly ever a “lucky” person when it comes to dissolution of a marriage?


  24. The Divorce Lawyer, Goldie


  25. As someone who has been assaulted by the Columbian and been on the end of stories based on lies, I can say that while you shouldn’t be cussing at people, the folks at the Columbian do their best to make some folks upset with them and this reaction is not unexpected. I have no sympathy for the Columbian, their low ethical standards and the employee’s that choose to follow them. If the company acted professionally than people would treat them in that manner, but since they choose to make up facts and dredge for a reaction, this type of response is exactly what they are looking for. Until Mr. Brancchio develops some type of positive ethical behavior and makes his employee’s fall in line this is what they get.

    That said since the Columbian is known to lie and use made up “facts” to fit whatever type of story they want to run, you really can’t believe anything thats printed there anyway. Treating them as a credible news source is always a mistake. So its really hard to know all the details based on a report by this “newspaper”.

    Growing up I know several things, number one is that my Mom always told us to not throw balls inside because someone could get hurt. Some folks probably never got this memo and it appears my Mom may well have been right.

    If you’re going to sue someone, its a good idea to pick someone with WCIA coverage because they always settle. So she’ll get a few bucks for her troubles (provided the story printed is anything close to accurate).

    Third is until the Columbian starts acting professionally they shouldn’t expect people to treat them that way.


  26. Okay Lew…sadly, I have to agree…but between the married couple fighting the bitter war of divorce, there’s never a winner.

    No beatin’ around the bush, eh Alex??? Sorry to hear you’ve gone through the ringer. It must’ve been a nightmare for you. In defense of the Columbian (don’t ask me why I said that but I felt compelled to say it…maybe out of pity for the organization…who knows???), I just wanted to say that they aren’t the only media source pulling out the trump cards to make a buck or two. It’s the sign of the times. Just about every news source nowadays leans toward sensationalism if it generates more revenue.


    Totally off subject here…since I mentioned generating more revenue but on another subject matter…did anybody else get a major cut on property tax values today??? (I saw an $18 grand drop in value on mine…so did my neighbors.) Why do I say “generating more revenue???” It appears the county is devaluing homes in order to hide the tax increases implemented…only to just about put most folks out of house and home when property tax values begin to climb…I’d say in the next two years. For now…it’s a nice treat if you own your home outright but for those who are already under water on their mortgage or need to sell their home…this is ridiculous. One friend I know has lost 50% of the value of their home over the past 7 years. Whazzup with that??? I wish the powers that be would realize the cost of living increases they may see…do not become a reality in the average Joe’s paycheck. The only things rising are taxes and the cost of food and clothing. Now…if gasoline would only take a huge drop…like under $2.50 a gallon. That would be sweet!!!

    Now…back to our regularly-scheduled programming. (Sorry Lew…I had to say something about the property tax value statements).


  27. In defense of the Columbian (don’t ask me why I said that but I felt compelled to say it…maybe out of pity for the organization…who knows???), I just wanted to say that they aren’t the only media source pulling out the trump cards to make a buck or two.>>>>>

    In my case they simply made up their “facts”. There is NO EXCUSE for this ever. It is a completely repugnant way to run a business. Yes I pull no punches with them because they assaulted me first. If you want to use verifiable facts to slant a story, I’m OK with that but making them up is a shit way to do business. Either the reporters are following company policy to do this or the editors don’t care or check, either way its not how a “professional” organization is run. I’ll take heat for anything I have actually done, but I refuse to lie down and let anyone make up things about me, my business or family. In my opinion there is no defense and Lou Brancchio and his staff of minions are all lacking in ethics and integrity.


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