June, 30 2018 Sandy Robson
Content Warning: Some of the photos attached are vulgar and/or offensive.
There are four candidates running for Whatcom County Council At-Large position B. Those candidates include two Democrats; Aaron Thomas and Carol Frazey, and two Republicans; Eric Bostrom and Mike Petoom.
[UPDATE July 2, 2018 – Republican candidate for County Council At-Large, Eric Bostrom, shared my post on his campaign Facebook page today. While my post here was specifically about Mike Petoom, I want to be clear that Eric Bostrom is a known bigot as is evidenced by his actions in having publicly spread anti-LGBTQ messaging around Bellingham, which in my opinion, makes him unfit for public office. Here is a link to a Facebook page with some info. on Eric Bostrom: https://m.facebook.com/dontelectericbostrom/…]
Since some people are not familiar with Mike Petoom, I wanted to provide some additional information here for people so they can get acquainted with him beyond the wholesome image and narrative that he/his campaign presents on his campaign Facebook page and website, as well as in other sources such as newspapers and his candidate statement in the local Voters’ Guide.
After doing a deep-dive into his Facebook posting and commenting, it is pretty apparent that Mr. Petoom was a big supporter of Donald Trump for President in 2016. People won’t necessarily see that activity on his personal Facebook page though, but he left a trail of his posts and comments on the “Whatcom 4 Trump” Facebook group page. Mr. Petoom was a member of that Facebook group until sometime after May 20, 2018, which is the date on which I saw the “Whatcom 4 Trump” Facebook group name listed under “Groups” on his personal Facebook page. There are numerous pro-Trump and anti-Hilary Clinton posts and comments made by Mr. Petoom on the “Whatcom 4 Trump” Facebook group page. One of those was a comment Mr. Petoom made telling a fellow commenter that he had attended the May 7, 2016 Trump rally held at the Fairgrounds in Lynden. Mr. Petoom had attached an accompanying photo he took from the stands that day to his comment.
I have attached some screenshot photos of a variety of Mr. Petoom’s posts and comments he made on that group page. He was a member of that Facebook group until sometime after May 20, 2018, which is the day I that took screenshot photos of his name on the membership list for the “Whatcom 4 Trump” Facebook group. I believe what may have prompted Mr. Petoom to un-join that group was my June 2 email to him asking him this question: “I’ve heard you are a Republican, so I wanted to ask, did you support President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence when they ran in the 2016 election, and do you support them presently?”
Mike Petoom did not respond to my June 2 email, nor did he respond to my two follow up emails to him. When I went back to view the “Whatcom 4 Trump” Facebook group membership list on or around June 5, his name was no longer on the membership list. However, removing himself from that group, did not remove his posts and comments he had made on the group page.
A Lynden Tribune May 23, 2018 article regarding the news of Mike Petoom’s candidacy reported:
“Mike says he brings an open, collaborative outlook to the issues that are important to the community, citing a track record of bringing together diverse groups — renters, homeowners and businesses — to overcome everyday challenges.”
A June 21, 2018 post he/his campaign made on the “Mike For Whatcom County” campaign Facebook page featured a short video with still photos and text above each photo. The text above one of the photos reads: “Mike, everyday family man of Whatcom County.”
In his candidate statement submitted for the Whatcom County Local Voters’ Guide for the August 7, 2018 Primary Election, Mr. Petoom states: “I will work to unite our county and give a voice to the people.”
Looking at the posts and comments made by Mr. Petoom, he does not appear to be someone who will be working “to unite our county,” or who will be “bringing together diverse groups.” Also, I’m surprised that someone who sells himself as an “everyday family man” would post the offensive kinds of posts he does which can be seen displayed in the attached screenshot photos.
It seems pretty clear from looking at his Facebook activities that Mr. Petoom would only be listening to and representing the small pocket of Tea Party, Trump/Pence loving, ultra-conservative people living in Whatcom County, while not listening to or representing more liberal-thinking/progressive people here.
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