As reported in this March 2017 expose by Sandy Robson, the Whatcom Tea Party changed its name to Common Threads Northwest. That marketing move mirrors the November 2017 deceptive campaign mailer sent out by Whatcom Republican candidates claiming to be non-partisan.
In the March story, Robson reveals two new players in Whatcom politics–the husband and wife team of James and Laura McKinney–who assumed key positions in the Anti-Indian, Tea Party network: James as Executive Director of Common Threads Northwest, and Laura as Director of Operations and Communications for the Whatcom Business Alliance–an advocacy organization in support of fossil fuel export at Cherry Point.
James McKinney is known for comparing environmentalists to communists. As the newest member of the Blaine School Board, Laura McKinney notes in her profile that she previously worked for the United States Chamber of Commerce–a lobbying organization that opposes unions, affordable health care, occupational safety, and public health measures that threaten the tobacco industry.