There was a lot of innuendo at yesterday’s press conference, where eight of the 12 people running for office in Eureka city government stood in solidarity against bullying and hate speech. But eventually one specific allegation was made: that Storme Winter, Eureka resident and frequent political operative for local conservative candidates, has attempted to strong-arm businesses and the local Republican Party into supporting John Fullerton rather than Jeannie Breslin in the race for the Ward Three seat on Eureka’s City Council.
When contacted by the Outpost, Fullerton was unequivocal. “Storme doesn’t work for my campaign in any way,” he wrote in an email. “He has not endorsed me nor contributed to my campaign. He has not put up any campaign signs for me except the one in his front yard.”
But documents on file with the Federal Communications Commission show that Mr. Winter has been involved with Fullerton’s campaign, helping him purchase advertisements on radio stations owned and operated by Lost Coast Communications, Inc., which also owns the Outpost.
We emailed Fullerton this morning to ask for a clarification. This was his response:
OK, I forgot about that. October 15th is the deadline for individual tax clients on extension. It is almost as busy as April 15th. I have been swamped with tax returns for the past month. Between that, going to events and walking door-to-door I have been putting in 100 hour weeks.
As a matter of fact I am at the office today working all day on returns.
Storme was here asking how to fill out a 460 report for someone else and I asked him if he could go get your radio buy set up for me. He did do that as a favor. For the next nine days I will be lucky to get home by 10pm any of those days.
Documents on file with the FCC show that Winter helped buy ads for Fullerton’s campaign on two separate dates — first on Sept. 25 and again three days later. In both cases, Winter was listed as the treasurer of the candidate’s authorized committee:
Contacted again, Fullerton said Winter is not his campaign treasurer; his own daughter Ashley is. “It looks like one of your office staffed [sic] messed up and wrote his name in,” Fullerton wrote in an email. This, we concede, is likely exactly what happened.
The Outpost responded:
OK, but back to what you told me yesterday. You wrote in you email, “Storme doesn’t work for my campaign in any way.” And yet his name appears on paperwork filed on two separate occasions. Paperwork you signed. You say one of our office people wrote his name in, which makes sense. But that would still mean that Mr. Winter purchased ads on your behalf, twice. I’m trying to square this with your claim that he hasn’t done any work for your campaign.
I also found a document on the FCC website showing he signed a similar document two years ago for your last city council campaign.
Do you care to revise any of your statements?
Fullerton again asserted that Winter does not work for his campaign. “Two years ago Storme did do a lot of volunteer work for my campaign,” he wrote in an email. “I am often stuck in my office and he helped me out. This time he has not.”
Fullerton appears to be making the distinction, here, that because Winter is not an officer in his campaign, and because he is not on the payroll, it was not inaccurate to assert, “Storme doesn’t work for my campaign in any way.”
Glad we cleared that up.