Looking over the list of signatures on the protest letter signed by Seattle Times staffers regarding the paper’s decision to run an independent expenditure campaign supporting Rob McKenna, one name jumped out at me. At the top of the third page of signatories: Courtney Blethen Riffkin.
A Times staff photographer since 2007, Courtney Blethen Riffkin is the daughter of Alden Joseph Belthen IV, better known as “Buster,” who was a cousin of current Times publisher Frank Blethen and who served as national advertising manager for the Times before being afflicted with Huntington’s Disease (he also served on the Times board). And Courtney is the granddaughter of former Times publisher John Blethen, according to Alden’s obituary in the Times (Alden passed away in 2006 from his illness).
Is Courtney’s signature an indication of a wider dissention within the Blethen clan over this bizarre and unprecedented move? I have no idea. But the fact that a Blethen would sign the letter certainly strikes me as interesting.
Eli Sanders at the Stranger noticed the Blethen name on the list as well.