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Our Picks for the August 18 Primary Election

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Remember how exciting this "voting" business was last year? Those were the days, huh? We got to vote Barack Fucking Hussein Goddamn Obama into the White House. We were making history. Hey, any black lesbian Jews with scary middle names running for mayor?

Nope.

What do we got instead? A closeted-Republican can of hair spray outpolling her openly Democratic rivals in the King County executive race. Two Port of Seattle races so boring that they ought to be underwritten by Ambien. And the American Chemistry Council pouring $1.3 million into an effort to repeal a sensible city ordinance that would require supermarkets to charge a small fee for the plastic bags that strangle baby otters in Puget Sound and cause cancer in burlesque dancers.

The bag fee will be decided on August 18. Meanwhile, the two leading candidates in every other race—thanks to our "top two" primary system—will move on to November's general election. By voting in the primary, you can help the best candidates in each race advance and send the worst candidates packing. For example, in the county executive race you can vote for a Democrat with the balls to call out the Republican in the race. And for mayor, you can make sure that someone who's different than Greg Nickels—someone like Mike McGinn—makes it through to the general election and save us from having to choose between Nickels and Nickels-in-a-Dress in November. Plus, two of the three city-council races on the primary ballot are up in the air. So grab your ballot and a bottle—take a shot every time you read the word "council"—and vote. This election may not be historic, but your hangover will be.

King County Executive

Dow Constantine

When you're going up against a stealth- Republican like Susan Hutchison—and, trust us, whichever Democrat gets through the primary will be going up against her—you need to be willing to call her what she is: a political lightweight and a partisan extremist; a shitty fit for the most liberal county in the state; and a blow-dried, brain-dead, lying, hypocritical, and cowardly piece of shit.

Dow Constantine, current King County Council chair and former state legislator, had the balls to say just that. (Except that "piece of shit" bit—that's our thoughtful analysis.) It was politically risky, fraught with the perils of taking on a well-liked former TV personality and the dangers of going negative early, the kind of thing that other politicians would have taken a pass on (and did—we're looking at you, Larry and Ross). Dow stepped up, took a risk, and reminded us that he not only has great lefty politics—strong on the environment, an ally of the local music and club scene, a leader on transit—but the kind of daring, cunning, and grit required to beat Hutchison in the November election and keep the county executive's chair in Democratic hands.

Which is important, because it's really, truly, fucking-frighteningly possible that this county—its protected lands, its controversial needle-exchange program, its reproductive-health services—could, after this election, fall under the control of Hutchison, a woman who gave thousands of dollars to anti-choice wacko Mike Huckabee, disparaged "evolutionists" this year at the Governor's Prayer Breakfast, served as a board member of the right-wing think tank Discovery Institute, enthusiastically backed George W. Bush, Dino Rossi, and Dave Reichert, and who has zero—zero—relevant political experience.

And the shit that pours out Hutchison's mouth about being a nonpartisan running in a nonpartisan race for a nonpartisan position? You know who helped pay to encourage voters to make it a nonpartisan position last year? Hutchison. Her strategy all along was to hide her true political colors from the voters. It's a plan she's been working on for a long time, and one that could work. We need an authentic liberal with a taste for the jugular to take Hutchison out and then steer the county out of its budget crises and other myriad problems. That's Dow Constantine.

King County Council

Position 9

Beverly Harison Tonda

Bev Tonda is a pink-sweatered ray of strawberry sunshine. Bev Tonda can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. Every time Bev Tonda claps her hands, a fairy punches a rapist in the tit. Bev Tonda is a self-described "Democratic-leaning Republican" who lives in a log cabin she built with her own teeth on the banks of the Cedar River and occasionally says the craziest thing ever ("I was raised Christian, I'm converting to Judaism, and I hang out with Muslims!!!"). There was no chance the SECB wasn't going to endorse Bev Tonda—her opponents are Reagan Dunn, the shriveled weasel who fell out of Jennifer Dunn, and something called a Mark Greene—but we really fell in love with her after her hour-long endorsement meeting, when she e-mailed to let us know that she didn't fucking want our endorsement: "I do feel compelled to say that I was not looking for an endorsement from The Stranger when I came to interview on my lunch hour. The part-time unpaid intern billed the appointment as an interview." Vote for Bev Tonda. Vote the FUCKING SHIT out of her!

Court of Appeals Judge

Position 3

Anne Ellington

Anne Ellington is the incumbent in this race, and everyone in the world loves her. Except Robert D. Kelly! He specializes in personal-injury claims, has a website better suited to a mortician than a candidate for the appeals court, and thinks he can do a better job. No one in the hard-nosed business of ranking judicial candidates seems to agree, and neither do we. (There's no quid pro quo here, Ms. Ellington, but should anyone from the SECB ever come before you because some crooked cop planted dope on a straight-edge Stranger staffer or our publisher finally got arrested for sexting while driving—just remember your friends at The Stranger, okay?)

Port Commissioner

Position 3

Rob Holland

Port Commissioner

Position 4

Tom Albro

You don't have to read our endorsements in Port of Seattle races. Seriously. The only thing duller than port races is the Seattle Channel. (And the only thing duller than the Seattle Channel is Seattle school-district races.) Do yourself a favor and skip ahead to our endorsement for mayor, which comes next because that's the order of the races on the ballot, which is insane. Interesting races should be at the top. Anyway...

The port runs the waterfront and Sea-Tac Airport, has a $604 million annual budget, and oversees 4,000 acres in real estate (nobody knows how much it's worth—the port hasn't appraised it all). It's also losing business (down 8 percent in 2009) and is best known for scandals and lousy performance in state audits. Some hero needs to march into the port and straighten shit out. But none of this year's candidates seems equipped for the job. Some candidates are ideologues, some are egoists, some are too cozy with commercial real estate, and at least one candidate is all three. (That's David Doud, a "top broker" at Wallace Properties who said he was running because the job "is synergistic with my career." However you vote, don't vote Doud.)

We're going with Rob Holland (lefty, uniony, big on jobs) and Tom Albro (an entrepreneur who runs the company that operates the monorail). Yes, Albro has some Republicans in his closet, but he's also got the support of Senator Ed Murray, who met Albro and grilled him about "choice, the environment, and gay and lesbian issues." During our endorsement interview, Albro's opponent Max Vekich was short on specifics, long on rhetoric, and occasionally incomprehensible. The port needs a business-minded person who isn't evil. That's Tom Albro. (We hope.) The port also needs a reliably lefty, union vote. That's Rob Holland. (Ditto.)

Mayor

Mike McGinn

Mayor Greg Nickels has accomplished some things—did you know that he built light rail with his bare hands? And he has the right idea about cities—he's pro-density, for instance. But he has been the mayor for eight years, he's not a popular guy, he's waged a clumsy war on bars and clubs, and it snowed a lot right before Christmas. Luckily, there is one person running against Nickels who—unlike all the rest—offers a real choice and who can prevent it from snowing in Seattle ever again.

That's Mike McGinn.

McGinn is the only candidate who disagrees with Nickels about one very big issue: blowing billions (more than $900 million from the city) on a tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the aerial freeway on the waterfront. McGinn points out that we don't need the tunnel, that it's a car-only infrastructure project with a price tag equal to every property levy we're paying now combined, and that Seattle taxpayers are going to be on the hook for all cost overruns. With the city in distress in so many other ways (schools, gang violence, economic development), we can't afford a tunnel that we don't need. Simultaneously, McGinn is the only candidate for mayor who calls bullshit on nonissues (like everyone's sudden opposition to the head tax, which requires businesses to pay $25 for each employee who usually drives solo to work and helps pay for transportation projects—he thinks it should stand). He's got the strongest environmental record. He's got the strongest civic résumé among the candidates who've never held elected office (founded the nonprofit Seattle Great City Initiative, chaired the local Sierra Club). He used to practice business and employment law. He rides his bike everywhere. He's mayor-shaped.

And he's opposed Mayor Nickels on issues before and won. In 2007, at the Sierra Club, he led the fight against the ballot initiative that bundled light-rail funding with highway funding. McGinn argued that if voters rejected the roads-heavy measure, the light-rail component would come back to the ballot the next year and win. Nickels argued that this was our only chance to expand light rail. McGinn was right and Nickels was wrong: Even though the measure had been polling at 57 percent, the campaign against it worked, and the following year, funding for just light rail was on the ballot and passed by a wide margin. And in 2008, while running Great City, McGinn chaired the campaign for the parks-improvement levy, which won at the polls, despite the opposition of Nickels. Unlike Greg Nickels, Jan Drago, James Donaldson, and Joe Mallahan—the other major contenders in the primary race—McGinn has no campaign manager and no staff outside of a scheduler who works five hours a week. His is a volunteer-run organization, grassroots, of the people. It is the opposite of the Nickels campaign and the Nickels machine. For the good of the mayor's race, for the good of the city, McGinn is the man to challenge Nickels in the general election.

City Council Position 4

Dorsol Plants

After 16 long years on the city council, Jan Drago is vacating this seat to run for mayor. Drago has been among the more conservative—and erratic—voices at City Hall. She's pushed for onerous nightlife regulations and a smaller levy to build affordable housing. Drago also recently said she wants to "establish and enforce a norm for acceptable and safe behavior on the streets," which sounds like the last thing that happens before anti-democracy tanks come rolling through Westlake Park. If a progressive candidate takes her place, it will tip the council's balance leftward.

But the current front-runner and top fundraiser in the race, Sally Bagshaw, hasn't demonstrated that she's more progressive than Drago. Bagshaw, who worked as an attorney and prosecutor for King County for over a decade, has contributed to only the council's more conservative members in election years. And Bagshaw's campaign-contribution filing reports read like a roster of Rainier Club members—and those people have enough friends at City Hall already. We wanted to like David Bloom, a cofounder of the Seattle Displacement Coalition, but his anti-density activism made us fear he would be an advocate against sensible development. Bloom also told the SECB that he wants to rebuild or retrofit the viaduct, which is a mind-fuckingly atrocious idea.

Bagshaw and Bloom are not young. And frankly, city council meetings already look like an AARP bridge club. The city council lost its younger members, Judy Nicastro and Heidi Wills, back in 2003, and it's time for some fresh blood on the council. So we're throwing our ink behind Dorsol Plants, a two-tour Iraq war veteran who turns 25 this month. He's assembled a battalion of supporters and speaks passionately about the issues facing the city. He has dozens of smart ideas, including rewriting neighborhood plans to accommodate more density, especially around light-rail stations, and supporting targeted human services to help people avoid losing their homes to foreclosure. Plants wants to expand alternatives to incarceration for low-level drug offenders and grow the youth-violence-prevention initiative.

Plants lacks the experience of his competitors, but in the few months since launching his campaign, he's demonstrated organizing skills and the nimble mind required by a city council member. Plants is also a renter—an unrepresented group on the council—and he doesn't own a car, like a lot of people in this city. We think Plants will be a reliably progressive vote on the council.

City Council Position 6

Nick Licata

Did we say we wanted to see fresh blood on the council? We do. We've gushed about Nick Licata before (see almost every issue between 1997 and 2007), but, as he runs for a fourth term, we figured his best years in politics might be behind him. Licata, a devout lefty with some latent anti-growth/NIMBY tendencies, has been on the lonely end of 8–1 votes lately, and, in 2002, he fought light rail. So we listened closely to his primary challenger, Jessie Israel, an employee of King County Parks and Recreation who says Licata is "bogging things down" and promised to make Seattle "more livable."

But some of what we heard from Israel stinks. For example, she said she was voting for mayoral candidate Joe Mallahan, a dud when we met him, who props his campaign on a thin résumé with T-Mobile. Israel also supported repealing the bag fee, siding with the American Chemistry Council, which was bankrolling the pro-pollution campaign to the tune of $1 million at the time of our meeting. (Israel reversed her position when the plastic lobby threw another $300,000 into the campaign, calling it a "game changer"—please note, wealthy corporate interests, that you'll get a pass from Jessie on the first $1 million, but then watch out!) Israel talks about change, but it's not clear what revolutionary policies she would muscle through the council.

Licata, on the other hand, has consistently pushed underdog legislation that the SECB supports. In his most recent term, Licata created a group to study whether the city could avoid building a new $200 million jail. The group appears to support diverting low-level, nonviolent offenders into less expensive, more effective treatment programs. Licata also fought to provide better public defense for indigent people in the municipal court system while raising standards for judges. When considered along with his career on the council—where he secured funding for pre-arrest diversion programs, led the first council discussions on reforming drug policy, and called City Attorney Tom Carr on his bullshit—Licata has proved to be the strongest council member on issues of civil rights and smarter criminal justice. He's also fought against nightlife restrictions. In addition, in the last few years, he's passed bills to provide more workforce housing, increase standards for pedestrian safety, and get more police on the street.

The issues we disagree with Licata about—sometimes favoring a less dense city, his idiotic stance on retrofitting the viaduct—are votes he doesn't have a shot of winning. But no other city council member has carried the torches that Licata has carried for 12 years, and neither candidate running against Licata this time appears ready to pick them up. Licata still has fire in his belly, and we want to see more.

City Council Position 8

Mike O'Brien

Mike O'Brien, who rode his bike to meet the SECB, has a great ass. But that's not the only reason we want to see him on the council. He's simultaneously a granola-munching environmentalist (former chair of the local chapter of the Sierra Club) and a business wizard (got his MBA from the University of Washington). The combination of idealism and realism is refreshing, and we think O'Brien's approaches to increasing density and transportation represent the sort of forward thinking Seattle needs more of.

Others in the race didn't impress us as much. David Miller, while a strong nightlife advocate, concerned the SECB because his anti-development fights as past president of the Maple Leaf Community Council indicated a tendency to support irrational NIMBYs over sensible city planning. In his meeting with the SECB, Miller was reluctant to support towers on the Yesler Terrace redevelopment, the best way to produce more low-income housing in the middle of the city, and was reticent to endorse infill development outside of prescribed urban villages. Others in this crowded race ranged from scary (Robert Rosencrantz wants to "give neighborhoods more authority" over nightlife) to bland (Jordan Royer loves Greg Nickels and doesn't present any particularly interesting ideas).

On the other had, O'Brien supports removing parking requirements from housing developments, allowing developers to build small apartments and condos to reduce housing costs, and maintaining the head tax for pedestrian and bicycle improvements. He believes Seattle must build much more housing within city limits to combat suburban sprawl—to reduce the region's carbon footprint and bring down housing prices—and we wholeheartedly agree.

Referendum 1 (Bag Fee)

Approved

(uphold the disposable-bag fee)

This was a tough one, as both sides made excellent points. On the one hand, environmentalists who know about things like "science" and "dead sea mammals" have researched the issue thoroughly and say that the 20-cent fee on disposable shopping bags—the proceeds of which go partially to the stores and partially to fund recycling programs—would help decrease the number of plastic bags currently piling up in landfills, or being downcycled to shittier plastic bags and then piling up in landfills, and, eventually, slowly disintegrating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch until they resemble tiny, delicious plankton particles that fish mistake for food but are actually POISON.

On the other hand, plastic-bag companies want more money! Waaaaaaaah!!! Do you want to see plastic-bag companies and chemical corporations cry? ON THEIR BIRTHDAY!?

Despite compelling arguments from the staggeringly disingenuous anti-bag-fee spokesman, whose organization, the Coalition to Stop the Seattle Bag Tax, has raised an absurd million-plus dollars from chemical companies and trade associations like the American Chemistry Council (but "one guy in Ballard gave $25!" he told us), we decided to go ahead and endorse a "YES, FUCKING OBVIOUSLY" vote on upholding the bag fee. Because 20 cents is approximately the same as zero cents if you remember to bring a reusable bag to the store anyway, which people who don't want to pay the fee will do, and we'd like to continue having oceans, thanks.

Seattle School Board

District 5

Kay Smith-Blum

This race pits incumbent Mary Bass, the dissident board member who fought against the school-closure plan and a longtime advocate for the needs of Central District families, against several challengers who say Bass has become too dissident—and ineffectual—for her district's good. While we've supported Bass in the past, her challengers are right. Bass lost the school-closure fight, which was a familiar experience for her—in the right, but without enough votes from fellow board members to win. Enter Kay Smith-Blum, co-owner of the "European specialty store" Butch Blum, longtime do-gooder-about-schools (creating and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for public-school "annual funds," for example). Smith-Blum is exactly as crazy as you'd expect for someone who really, really wants to dive into endless collective decision-making about chronic, incredibly knotty public-school problems.

A person has to be crazy—or Cheryl Chow—to want to serve on the school board. But while Bass is ha-ha-wince-whatever crazy, Smith-Blum is holy-shit-she's-probably-right-and-she's-going-to-chew-my-face-off-if-I-disagree-with-her crazy. And that fresh brand of crazy—plus Smith-Blum's mind for spreadsheets and track record of strong public-school advocacy—is just what this position needs.

Full disclosure: Smith-Blum owns a business that advertises in The Stranger. The SECB does not take advertising into consideration when making endorsements. If we did, we'd have to endorse a lot of local she-male escorts.

Seattle School Board

District 7

Betty Patu

This race came down to two qualified candidates: Betty Patu, a three-decade veteran teacher in Seattle schools, and Charlie Mas, wonkiest wonk of all school-district wonky-wonks. Mas, who maintains a creepily obsessive school-board blog, is clearly well-versed and interested in the überboring intricacies of school-board bureaucracy. But Patu—currently a teacher at Rainier Beach—has that rock-solid, unflappable gravitas that comes with sitting behind a public-high-school desk for 30 years, as well as a concrete understanding of what works and what's bullshit in Seattle Public Schools politics, and a commitment to underrepresented minorities like Asian/Pacific Islanders. Best of all, she's hard-fucking-core. In her endorsement meeting, Patu—in the context of an anecdote about personally connecting with students—told the SECB that she once talked down a former student who was holding another student at gunpoint. "Give me that gun," she barked, barely blinking. Betty Patu, we will literally do anything you say. Just please don't cut us. recommended

 

Comments (106) RSS

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1
Albro is only 1 degree removed from Pat Davis and the rest of the port insiders. The Stranger has made an avoidable mistake endorsing Albro.

As another commenter put last week, check this out from the group Port Reform (www.portreform.org):

"A leaked email reveals that Port Commission candidates Tom Albro and David Doud, who share a campaign manager, are appealing for help and funding from a large group of anti-environmental interests, real estate developers, and cronies of former Port CEO Mic Dinsmore."
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/DjBcx

Albro's supporters include:

George (Skip) W. Rowley, Chairman of the Board of Rowley Properties and a real estate developer. He funded Pat Davis' campaign and the Citizens for Healthy Economy PAC in 2007.

Randy Pepple, Republican strategist and chief of staff for Rob McKenna.

James Blackmore of General Steamship and Cruise Terminals of America, which has a contract to operate the Port of Seattle's cruise ship terminals at Pier 66 and Pier 91. Blackmore was criticized for taking Mic Dinsmore on perks like fishing trips. He is on the board of the Port-owned World Trade Center Seattle.

Jim Dwyer, former Port of Seattle CEO. He is now President and CEO of the insurance company Delta Dental and was accused of helping Mic Dinsmore influence port elections in 2007.

Bob Wallace of Wallace Properties, a commercial real estate developer, and source of the Meydenbauer Center controversy at the Port during Dinsmore's tenure. He came under fire in 2005, when he was treasurer of "Citizens for a Healthy Economy" an independent expenditure committee to shield port commissioner Pat Davis. He led the fight for the 3rd runway, dismissing community concerns about noise and pollution. Wallace is port candidate David Doud's boss at Wallace Properties.

James Eddy Warjone, CEO of Port Blakely Forestry the second largest timber owner in WA and owner of Pacific Lumber and Shipping, a forest products export firm. He is also a real estate developer and former chair of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. He helped the Port of Seattle come up with a response to the State's scathing audit of the Port's practices.

Mark Knudsen of SSA-Carrix, the country's largest port terminal operator which controls 3 of the 4 cargo terminals at the Port of Seattle. He is a former senior staffer for Dinsmore. SSA-Carrix is controlled by Goldman-Sachs.

J. Tayloe Washburn, attorney for Foster Pepper. He is former chair of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and land use attorney. He is the lead advocate for the deep bore tunnel. He helped the Port of Seattle come up with a response to the State's scathing audit of the Port's practices.

and more...

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/DjBcx
More...
Posted by Leaward on August 4, 2009 at 5:16 PM · Report this
2
McGinn is such a good choice, I could squeal like a little girl! And those sad, smart, sexy eyes...what is it about black and white that makes the familiar exotic?
Posted by Grrrr! on August 4, 2009 at 5:17 PM · Report this
3
Another round of good endorsements.

Port Commission races are a dull and dreary topic, but you've culled the best of the bunch. I worked with Tom Albro when he was board chair of The Municipal League around 2000-2002. The League was about to die after 90+ years and Albro really stepped up save an independent voice for good government in our region. He restarted the League's oversight of local government activities, helping to instigate a major investigation into City Light that led to some major shakeups there. If Albro brings the same focus to cleaning up the Port, it can only be an improvement.
Posted by Smartypants on August 4, 2009 at 5:29 PM · Report this
4
I've been around long enough to remember when the Seattle Weekly was the best port watchdog in town.

Too bad the Stranger is too young to remember that Albro-backer Ed Murray, who is great on lots of other issues, faced ethical questions for working on contract for Mic Dinsmore and the Port of Seattle in 2006.

Seattle Weekly: Ed Murray's Port Job
The state House transportation chair wanted to consult for the Port of Seattle, so the Port found work for him.
http://tiny.cc/T80CN

According to emails obtained by the Seattle Weekly, Murray had SSA's Hemingway get him a contract from Dinsmore. http://tiny.cc/T80CN

Who was Pat Davis' big supporter? Hemingway.
Who was Ed Murray's big supporter? Hemingway.
Who is one of Albro's biggest supporters? The Hemingway family.

The Stranger just got played.
Posted by eastside dem on August 4, 2009 at 5:30 PM · Report this
lizzie 5
Good endorsements, but I'm still voting Jessie Israel over Nick Licata. I think you are giving Licata way too much credit because he is an incumbent -- Jessie Israel is more progressive on density, public safety, education, the environment, and transit.

Yes, she changed her mind on supporting the plastic bag tax, but as she explained, it's because she originally wanted a ban on plastic bags -- not because she supports free plastic bags like the chemistry council. Would you criticize Licata if he flip-flopped on wanting to rebuild the viaduct?

If you want specifics about what progressive policies Jessie Israel supports, she lists literally dozens of specifics at super-progressive Friends of Seattle's thorough endorsement page (with video):
http://www.friendsofseattle.org/2009-vot…

Nick Licata's non-endorsement page for comparison:
http://www.friendsofseattle.org/2009-vot…

Also, like you said, the city council is fairly geriatric, and will also be 78% male if Israel (and conservative Bagshaw) lose.

(I'm not involved with any campaign, or Friends of Seattle, in the slightest.)
Posted by lizzie on August 4, 2009 at 5:59 PM · Report this
6
Forgive me for sounding 1,000 years old, but the language in these endorsements is terrible. (Fuck! Shit! Fuck! Shit!)

It just doesn't sound smart.

Posted by Miss Manners on August 4, 2009 at 6:07 PM · Report this
Lee 7
@6: Sounds like a personal problem.

I'm still conflicted about Albro/Vekich. I wish the endorsement had said a little bit more specifically about the chioce.
Posted by Lee on August 4, 2009 at 6:25 PM · Report this
8
Does anyone on your election board have children in Seattle Public Schools? I do and don't find the school board elections even a little bit boring. I also read that "creepy" blog that actually covers education issues, unlike most other sources in town.
Posted by jkjk on August 4, 2009 at 6:33 PM · Report this
9
The only thing worth reading in the Stranger's Port endorsements is the first paragraph urging readers to ignore them.

Its clear that you really don't get how important the Port of Seattle is. Even I know that the the Port creates thousands of jobs. Without the Port of Seattle, we would be Olympia.

When an agency this important is as fucked up as the Port of Seattle, one would expect the Stranger to take this race a little more seriously.

Maybe next time the Stranger can get its shit together, get off its ass, and give this race (and voters) the respect they deserve.
Posted by SeaZak on August 4, 2009 at 6:40 PM · Report this
10
I'm sorry but when did Mike McGinn get so hot?! I am super happy someone is throwing down over that tunnel also.
Posted by joannab on August 4, 2009 at 7:09 PM · Report this
Renton Mike 11
@7. I have the same problem. Though I've suspected since the picks were announced that Albro just fell into the "token Republican" slot.
Posted by Renton Mike on August 4, 2009 at 7:24 PM · Report this
12
So you think Bloom's idea of a viaduct retrofit is a "a mind-fuckingly atrocious idea", but isn't the tunnel worse? You endorsed O'Brien, McGinn, and Licata, all of whom want to revisit the tunnel. And then you endorse Plants, Bloom's opponent, who thinks opposing the tunnel at this time is a bad idea.

What gives? Oh, right, Dorsol Plants is 24 years old. Which means he's hip. Old people are so LAME! Plants has some ideas he thought up about human services on the campaign trail, while Bloom has been involved with human services advocacy for 30 years. He'd maybe like to see some affordable rental housing near transit hubs, while Bloom co-founded the displacement coalition. We can trust Plants to be a "reliably progressive vote" more than Bloom, who has been a community activist since before Plants was born.

The reason we can trust Plants is because he is young and untested. He's also pretty nice and earnest. Those people last long in politics! They come in with fresh new ideas and become instant game changers! Like his idea that we should all support the tunnel now. And did I mention density? He favors that.
Posted by Trevor on August 4, 2009 at 7:42 PM · Report this
john t 13
I don't live in Seattle so I normally just skip over Slog's election coverage, but I want to compliment whoever took that incredible photo. It makes me wish I could vote for the guy, and I don't even know who he is. Yeah, I know, I'm totally superficial.

Carry on.
Posted by john t on August 4, 2009 at 7:55 PM · Report this
slade 14
None of them are Jewish! I cant vote for any of them! they all suck!
Posted by slade http://www.youtube.com/user/guppygator on August 4, 2009 at 8:32 PM · Report this
15
Your school board endorsements clearly show that either you couldn't care less about the schools, or you really didn't take a minute to research or think about your endorsements.

Mary Bass is qualified and experienced. You insult our children by thinking that somebody else should have her position because she is "crazier".

And Patu? Seriously? First of all, she's a teaching assistant, not a teacher... there is a big difference. Second of all, it's at one of the lowest-performing schools in the state. How does that qualify her to run anything except her mouth? I saw her at a candidate's forum and she had nothing to say. Platitudes spilled from her mouth. Furthermore, I don't see how a commitment to a very small minority of her own race would benefit the schools as a whole or the board.

Smarter endorsements: Bass or the dude with the glasses, and Charlie Mas
Posted by meks on August 4, 2009 at 9:03 PM · Report this
16
Three points of fact:

1. Charlie Mas is Jewish. Go ahead slade and vote for him.

2. The Board job does not include disarming students, but does include engaging and deciphering wonks.

3. Betty Patu has retired, so she is not "currently a teacher at Rainier Beach".
Posted by factchecker on August 4, 2009 at 9:04 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 17
Mostly good endorsements, even if you're wrong on the port (Rob Holland is great in Posn 2, but you blew it on the other in Posn 4) and wrong on the I'm A Wimp Afraid To Ban Plastic Bags Tax On The Poor.

But hey, the bag tax will die cause people realize we need to get real and ban them anyway, wusses.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on August 4, 2009 at 9:14 PM · Report this
Oldskool 18
@8, I'm with you. Having been in the public school game for a few years now, I've become impressed with Charlie Mas and his blog. Betty may be sexy, but he's where the action is.

Also, Kay Smith-Blum? Not impressed. It's easy to raise a hundred thou if you go to the right school in Seattle. I'm more concerned with the Central Cluster schools (Stranger, do you know what a cluster is?), where one school barely scraped together $2,000 this year. The system is inequitable, and Kay's from the plush side of the tracks.

That's where Andre Helmstetter and Joanna Cullen, whom you've rendered invisible, come in. I love me some Mary Bass, but for results I'm voting Andre. He knows the District 5 issues.
Posted by Oldskool on August 4, 2009 at 9:15 PM · Report this
19
It would be great if the Stranger would quit thinking that School Board is soooooo dull. Hey! They help run the school district that thousands of Seattle residents send their kids to. Yeah, your child's education, so boring. You want to be smarty-pants and smart-ass about something, go for the mayoral candidates but with School Board, we're talking about the future of this city.

As for your endorsements. Kay Smith-Blum is very energetic and smart but unfortunately, does not know this district well enough and certainly doesn't show that she could work as one of seven. She won't be out there on her own and part of the reason not to vote for Mary Bass is because she was too much on her own. Same thing would happen with Smith-Blum but for different reasons. Andre Helmstetter is the better, smarter choice (or even Joanna Cullen).

Charlie Mas isn't the only person writing for Save Seattle Schools. I do,too and if we're obsessive, again, it's about educating the children who will run our country (and pay for our Social Security, remember that?). We're the ones going to the meetings and actually reading the budgets and figuring out where your tax and levy dollars are going. So yeah, having someone like Charlie who knows this district inside and out just might be the ticket. Betty Patu for all her good works, isn't going to be encountering gun-toting students at Board meetings (way too dull for that,remember?) and we need someone who understands governance and policy-making.

Both your School Board endorsements sound like you are more afraid of the candidates than endorsing them. The School Board isn't really the place to kick ass and take names. It's about defending and creating great public education.
Posted by Melissa Westbrook on August 4, 2009 at 9:52 PM · Report this
tabletop_joe 20
What is this Goodspaceguy nonsense all about?
Posted by tabletop_joe on August 4, 2009 at 10:04 PM · Report this
21
@12 No, O'brien and McGinn are in favor of the surface/transit option, not a tunnel of any kind.
Posted by Harumph on August 4, 2009 at 11:00 PM · Report this
22
Nick was sitting right next to me in the endorsement interview and said he was voting for Mallahan for Mayor.

While you have every right to make whatever endorsement you please, it seems odd to point to that as the example of your decision?

Posted by Jessie Israel on August 4, 2009 at 11:05 PM · Report this
23
I've heard a lot of trashing of Albro, probably by the reform-the-port campaign, but I haven't heard a damn thing that's good about Vekich. Is an entrenched union man that much less corruptible than an entrenched corporate man? This isn't the Pete Seegar and Mother Jones era anymore—we live in a post-Hoffa era. Many (most?) unions are dirty chiselers, just like the corporations they pretend to fight. It's a Hobbesian world, folks: A war of all against all. The smart money isn't on factions anymore. It's on individuals. So Vekich is pro-labor and did his time in the compromising halls of power—so what?

Sounds like tired, lazy liberal defaults at work. Somebody, please, give me a specific reason to vote for Vekich.
Posted by pretty please? on August 4, 2009 at 11:31 PM · Report this
24
I'm coming around just a little on McGinn, though I admit it's on the same basis as the endorsement above: he's totes the best of a bad lot.

And I still wonder whether he's actually interested in doing all the mayor work, or if it's more about gaining the power to do what he wants about the relatively few things that seem to capture his attention.

I mean, I'd definitely elect him as "tunnel-thwarter" if such a position existed - I know he'd work nonstop and be good at it.

And overall, a really informative endorsement explanation page. The editorial positions are a little bit "I know what I like and I like what I know," but you guys do one hell of a lot on that shoestring you got.
Posted by gloomy gus on August 4, 2009 at 11:31 PM · Report this
25
And oo, @22, your comment's last sentence is not a question? So it doesn't get a question mark? For example, if you're drafting council legislation containing only declarative sentences, don't use any question marks? Or else the other councilmembers will make fun of you? Like this?
Posted by gloomy gus on August 4, 2009 at 11:41 PM · Report this
26
@5 -- how on earth is Jessie Israel "more progressive" than Licata on public safety issues? I don't agree with Licata on the viaduct and similar issues, but on public safety, one would be hard pressed to find any local elected official nationally who has been more progressive AND more effective. He is responsible for the existence of a model pre-arrest diversion effort for low-level drug offenders that may help turn around national drug enforcement policy. He led the successful effort to amend Seattle's car impoundment ordinance so we stopped abducting and selling the vehicles of the poorest people in the city when they couldn't pay minor traffic fines. If the jail gets re-thought, it will largely be because of Licata's leadership.
Posted by sorrytony on August 5, 2009 at 3:10 AM · Report this
Lee 27
@25: So, as it turns out, comments on a web site aren't the same thing as City Council legislation.

Also, I heard that Marty Kaplan once wrote "lol" in a text message.
Posted by Lee on August 5, 2009 at 7:06 AM · Report this
28
@23 I'll tell you why I am supporting Vekich over Albro:

1. Vekich has oversight experience. He's a former 4-term state legislator in Olympia who passed landmark environmental legislation and workers' rights (specifically farm workers) legislation. He knows how to ask tough questions instead of just rubber-stamping port staff proposals and he'll speak up when no one else will.

2. Vekich actually wants to improve the Port. When I've heard him speak he talks a lot about addressing the port's impacts on the communities, environment, and jobs. He's focused on making the Port a better economic engine and reducing its negative impacts -- he is not using it as a political stepping stone like Tarelton and Albro.

3. Vekich is who he says he is. Maybe he got flustered in the Stranger interview? That's understandable because those guys can be dicks.
Posted by eastside dem on August 5, 2009 at 8:03 AM · Report this
29
Great comment on Court of Appeals! Great endorsement!
Posted by independent on August 5, 2009 at 8:42 AM · Report this
30
My experience with Mary Bass.

I came to know Mary Bass through the closure process, being a parent at TT Minor I was active in the process trying to keep TT Minor open. Up that point I had never thoughtfully considered who I was voting on the school board; it didn’t seem important. I was incredibly naïve about how schools are managed and still feel woefully uninformed about the ins and outs of how the district manages schools. I was raised in Department of Defense schools, this was never a conversation my parents had, there was one neighborhood on base and one school.

I will not be voting for Mary Bass and this is why.

I attended several meetings regarding school closures with Mary Bass at the table. At almost every meeting she implored people to “look at the numbers – look at the numbers”. A strange mantra to my ears because I thought, “you are the school board member, why aren’t you looking at the numbers? Why aren’t you telling us about the numbers and the arguments to be made against closing the schools in your district?”

At one of these meetings, I directly asked her about what proposals she thought would be palatable to other board members to keep schools opened, she said she didn’t think that way. The message to me was, in essence, I don’t play political games in trying to get things done and voting for what I think is right. And this is a very important point for me, while it is commendable to be on the side of the righteous and brave to stand alone while speaking your truth, it is nonetheless impossible to get things accomplished on a school board when you are one vote of seven, your no vote means nothing more than an “I told you so” which I am sure feels good for her but for the rest of us that suffer the inaction it is very unsatisfying. Nothing is accomplished when you are unwilling to offer a proposal that might not be all that you want but acknowledges that there are valid differences in what intelligent people believe is the right thing to do.

At the 11th hour, and I mean that literally, the eve before the final vote there was a meeting with Mary Bass. I was there until almost 11pm and people were still there when I left. The meeting was full of discussion about what the numbers said about what viable options could be proposed tomorrow. What was the point? What was she doing up to this point? I couldn’t figure it out. How was she going to get any board member to vote for her last minute proposal when they had no time to seriously consider it? I am willing to consider part of this is an issue of how governance is set up for the school board but it still doesn’t answer why she was doing what seemed to me an about face. Hadn’t she been begging us to look at the numbers? Why hadn’t she been? Hadn’t she said she was unwilling to negotiate alternate proposals? Wasn’t that what she was doing now?
Admittedly, this is my version of what happened, there were others at all those meetings who will have different impressions than mine, I am sure. Intelligent people can disagree. However, the impression I have been left with is that Mary Bass does not even walk her own talk. She at the final hour was looking at the numbers and calling other board members trying to work out some sort of proposal. And what did she finally end up with, a proposal to please everybody except those that could make a change, the voting members of the school board.
More...
Posted by Voting for Andre on August 5, 2009 at 9:20 AM · Report this
31
I know that it would take important time away from drinking, and whoring, and smugly not driving, and showing disdain, and doing drugs... but as "Seattle's only newspaper" with a physical distribution throughout the "greater" Seattle area, I am once-again disappointed that the SECB doesn't cover the region.

I blame you for Reichert.

(Well, the SECB and that Simms guy who appointed him sheriff.)
Posted by Darcy Burner on August 5, 2009 at 9:45 AM · Report this
32
Yeah, I didn't give a rat's ass about the School Board until I had kids in the system either. Now it's more important to me than the city council. Hasn't the Stranger staff started aging and having kids? Dan Savage? Charles Mudede? I'm sure there are others. Are you letting the twenty-nothings and college interns handle the endorsements these days?

I love Mary Bass, bless her heart, but got really disheartened seeing her on the losing side of 6-1 and 5-2 votes along with Harium Martin-Morris. Harium should be on notice, as well if he can't find an effective coalition on the board. I'm hoping that some fresh faces will provide that opportunity. I'm leaning towards Charlie Mas and Andre Helmstetter.

I don't see how the board can sleep at night with the trail of broken promises and busted math curriculum they have following in their wake. Call Charlie an obsessive wonk, but I can tell he lies awake at night contemplating how to get SPS to be accountable for a change. That's the kind of guy I want working for me.
Posted by Swanky Modes on August 5, 2009 at 10:10 AM · Report this
33
Yeah, I didn't give a rat's ass about the School Board until I had kids in the system either. Now it's more important to me than the city council. Hasn't the Stranger staff started aging and having kids? Dan Savage? Charles Mudede? I'm sure there are others. Are you letting the twenty-nothings and college interns handle the endorsements these days?

I love Mary Bass, bless her heart, but got really disheartened seeing her on the losing side of 6-1 and 5-2 votes along with Harium Martin-Morris. Harium should be on notice, as well if he can't find an effective coalition on the board. I'm hoping that some fresh faces will provide that opportunity. I'm leaning towards Charlie Mas and Andre Helmstetter.

I don't see how the board can sleep at night with the trail of broken promises and busted math curriculum they have following in their wake. Call Charlie an obsessive wonk, but I can tell he lies awake at night contemplating how to get SPS to be accountable for a change. That's the kind of guy I want working for me.
Posted by Swanky Modes on August 5, 2009 at 10:19 AM · Report this
34
So... if we go back and kill the tunnel where do we stand? Surface option? Please don't tell me you are seriously endorsing a new or repaired viaduct.

Can we please get a real waterfront that real people who really live here frequent? Does anyone believe that can happen with a highway running down the middle of it?
Posted by collywobble on August 5, 2009 at 11:14 AM · Report this
35
To say that the Seattle Port Commissioner's Race is boring, and readers should simply go to the next race is silly! The port has the ability to create jobs (how many of you are unemployed), tax, and can make some of the largest changes that can impact our carbon imprint. I don't know who wrote the article, but is sounds like they are not serious writers, and they don't know much about how these elections impact our society.

All that being said, for the most part they selected the right candidates (outside of Albro). I don't get it, Albro is a Rebublican who has washed down his political opinions on the environment, unions, and social issues; and he is in the pocket of real estate firms (the ones who caused the port corruption in the first place, and on a national scale, the industry that caused the economic meltdown).

Vote for OUR values and vote for:

Position 3: Rob

Position 4: Max
Posted by serious about politics on August 5, 2009 at 11:29 AM · Report this
36
To say that the Seattle Port Commissioner's Race is boring, and readers should simply go to the next race is silly! The port has the ability to create jobs (how many of you are unemployed), tax, and can make some of the largest changes that can impact our carbon imprint. I don't know who wrote the article, but is sounds like they are not serious writers, and they don't know much about how these elections impact our society.

All that being said, for the most part they selected the right candidates (outside of Albro). I don't get it, Albro is a Rebublican who has washed down his political opinions on the environment, unions, and social issues; and he is in the pocket of real estate firms (the ones who caused the port corruption in the first place, and on a national scale, the industry that caused the economic meltdown).

Vote for OUR values and vote for:

Position 3: Rob

Position 4: Max
Posted by ITAKEPOLITICSSERIOUSLY on August 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM · Report this
37
This is the first time in at least several years that the SECB and I have differed wildly. Seems that too many of you are slapping the label progressive on regressive ideas and people with recycled versions of environmentalism that are unsustainable. McGinn is a joke and Licata is an ass, the bag fee is a punitive measure pushing people away from reusable materials, and this city should go to a dictatorial format of govt, with Butch Nickels ruling with an iron gut.
Posted by jenc01 on August 5, 2009 at 12:46 PM · Report this
38
This is the first time in at least several years that the SECB and I have differed wildly. Seems that too many of you are slapping the label progressive on regressive ideas and people with recycled versions of environmentalism that are unsustainable. McGinn is a joke and Licata is an ass, the bag fee is a punitive measure pushing people away from reusable materials, and this city should go to a dictatorial format of govt, with Butch Nickels ruling with an iron gut.
Posted by jenc01 on August 5, 2009 at 12:46 PM · Report this
39
Dear "Serious,"

Mayhaps you have never read The Stranger before, but you should try looking through all of their tongue in cheek humor and get to the bottom line:

- Albro is competent, and hopefully not evil
- Vekich is also hopefully not evil, but "short on details, long on rhetoric, and at time incomprehensible."

I'll go for a Port Commissioner I can trust, but in the absence of that, I'll go for one I can understand when he speaks.
Posted by blahblahblah on August 5, 2009 at 12:57 PM · Report this
40
I just got a robocall for Nickels from area code 224-which is in Chicago. Hey, Greg-still want to claim you're a true Seattle person?
Posted by persiaa on August 5, 2009 at 1:44 PM · Report this
41
Dear "blahblahblah,"

Ok, I will look "through all of their tongue in cheek humor and get to the bottom line:"

First I would like to address their first assertion,

"Albro is competent, and hopefully not evil"

There are many Republicans that are competent, but I have a liberal philosphy that they don't agree with. However competent a candidate is, if they don't buy into my world view, they will not make decisions that I would agree with (eg. John McCain was competent, but not a Democrat).

There are Democracts that I don't find all that competent, that I would have voted for in the general election because the alternative would have been a Republican (eg. Bill Richardson over McCain). Simply put, I have values that make me a Democrat and I will not be smoothe talked by a Republican to make me think he understands me.

As for the second assertions,

- Vekich is also hopefully not evil, but "short on details, long on rhetoric, and at time incomprehensible."

He may not be all that articulate, and when that is the case, I give my fellow Democrats the benefit of the doubt and do some research about where they stand. From the content on his website, and the people at Portreform, it appears that his values are consistent with mine.

I just wonder how much research was put into the decision on Max.

As I previously stated, the Stranger did a wonderful job on the rest of the endorsement for all of the others positions, just not the Albro one!

Posted by ITAKEPOLITICSSERIOUSLY on August 5, 2009 at 2:23 PM · Report this
42
Am I the only person who thinks that just about all of these names sound like they came from a comic book?
Posted by Northside on August 5, 2009 at 2:49 PM · Report this
43
McGinn has the right stuff to beat Nickels. We just need to help him get thru the primary and its a done deal!

http://thegreennw.com/2009/08/seattles-s…
Posted by TheGreenNW on August 5, 2009 at 6:02 PM · Report this
44
Imagine buying a bottle or can of pop, paying 20 cents and then NOT being able to return it for recycling to get your 20 cents back. What kind of system is that? A tax system plain and simple. So many loop holes. May I double bag your pack of gum?
Posted by JOV on August 5, 2009 at 8:12 PM · Report this
45
Dear "Serious,"

Looks like we're getting into a legit Internet relationship here. Ooh. La. La.

I get what you're saying about the need for someone to line up with your philosophy and vision in order for you to vote for them. Heck, that's why I vote for most people. However, on a purely as-stated-in-their-campagin-materials-and-at-official-forums stance, Vekuch and Albro don't differ much, if at all. They are both running on the same basic platform:
1. We need jobs. The port can make jobs.
2. Pooping on the environment sucks, let's make the port green.
3. Lying and corruption also suck - go accountability!

So at the end of the day, when there's no difference in vision, what matters? I'd go with competence.

Posted by blahblahblah on August 5, 2009 at 10:52 PM · Report this
Lee 46
@34: Chicago has a surface highway running near the waterfront through most of the city, and a vibrant waterfront enjoyed by many people. It's very possible -- in the sense that it's already been done.
Posted by Lee on August 5, 2009 at 10:56 PM · Report this
47
nice
Posted by viviennewestwood on August 5, 2009 at 11:56 PM · Report this
48
Accountability, Accountability....
The Central Administration of Seattle Schools speak about that and data driven decision-making while using only "Club Ed" politics and failing ideology in decision-making.

Charlie Mas is the only current candidate, who issues a real call for accountability and has enough command of the situation to bring it about. To bring change and convince a majority of 7 directors will require extensive knowledge and the ability to communicate; Mas brings both skills in abundance.

Consider Andre Helmstetter, Mas, and Martin-Morris as a potential thinking force that could generate enough thought to produce something other than another two-years of "Rubber Stamping".
Posted by Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr. on August 6, 2009 at 7:43 AM · Report this
49
It occurs to me that the reporters from The Stranger who cover the local music scene and City Hall politics have a knowledge on those topics as deep and broad as Charlie Mas' knowledge of school district issues. Does that mean that your reporters and your paper are "creepily obsessive"? Will that become your new slogan?
Posted by creepily obsessive on August 6, 2009 at 9:48 AM · Report this
50
Absolutely agreed that Kay Smith Blum is a terrible person for the school board job.. Not only is she from the [very] plush side of the tracks but she's known for her open disdain for those who don't exist socio-economically at her level. How this fits in to a diversity in schools agenda is not encouraging.

She's also well known to be a bully and treat people very poorly to get her own agenda met. Not a team player.
Posted by don'tdoit! on August 6, 2009 at 9:54 AM · Report this
51
@36 I agree.

McGinn will be a continuation of the issue-oriented one-sided leadership we've had for far too long. If we can never come to agreement or compromise on an issue we will be in constant gridlock. I am the only candidate who is a true centrist who wants to build partnerships to get things done. We don't have enough resources for the government to do it all.

I encourage all of your readers to look at all of the candidates for mayor and make your decision based on what you hear and what future you would like for Seattle.

I've got a great plan at www.SiglerforSeattle.com.

Thanks,

Norman Sigler
Posted by Norman Sigler on August 6, 2009 at 10:54 AM · Report this
52
No McGinn
Posted by No McGinn on August 6, 2009 at 11:00 AM · Report this
53
Your profane judgments are so often based on irrelevant observations (hair, style, associations, party, attitude, posture) that they are irrelevant, too.

Posted by DeadlineMaven on August 6, 2009 at 3:20 PM · Report this
54
The Stranger's endorsement of Referendum 1 is remarkably juvenile and devoid of anything resembling actual analysis. The Stranger would have readers believe that no one could possibly object to the bag tax unless they were a shil for the various chemical companies that produce plastic bags. Bullshit.

If the author of the endorsement had even bothered to skim the voter's guide, they'd see that Referendum 1 has some glaring flaws. For example, exempting big box stores, y'know that ones that actually distribute the bulk of the plastic shopping bags in Seattle. The supporters of Referendum 1 also never addressed the fact that polling done by the city showed that 91% of respondents already reuse and recycle their shopping bags.

Yes, a bunch of chemical companies spent a bunch of money fighting Referendum 1 but it's still an unnecessary and poorly-written law and the Stranger demonstrated extremely poor judgment in dismissing all opposition to Referendum 1 out of hand.
Posted by steve.bowen on August 6, 2009 at 4:51 PM · Report this
55
blahblahblah, your posts regarding Port Position 4 are inane. If you want more of the same, vote for Albro, the candidate brought to you by the same people who gave us Pat Davis. That's the people who are running, financing and backing Albro's campaign. If you want more scandal, more waste, more money poured down the drain, vote for Albro. The status quo isn't good enough for me. I want a candidate who is their own person and that is certainly Vekich. A candidate endorsed by every single democratic legislative district in the county. Those people are nobody's fools. If you want competent for special interests vote for Albro. If you want better than competent, how about sterling, vote for Vekich and sleep better at night. BTW, the Stranger should have stayed awake during those interviews and done just a little research, they never would have endorsed Albro over Vekich, or have they become part of the downtown cabal as well? Grow up and do your homework.
Posted by wsoutsider on August 6, 2009 at 9:36 PM · Report this
56
Disappointing that you didn't pay more attention to what David Miller has actually done for the community. He's so far from a NIMBY-er; he's a fantastic community advocate who was actually PROPOSING building on the site; but building RESPONSIBLY. Too bad the Stranger didn't get their facts right on that one. The whole Sierra Club schtick is kind of like Seattlite Greenie wannabe candy, but if you want to see how good community work is done, take another look at David Miller. He's got the solid environmentalist record, PLUS he's a serious community activist & representative. It's a pity these two guys are running for the same seat, but I'd have to go with Miller.
Posted by tangytown on August 6, 2009 at 11:23 PM · Report this
57
NO MCGINN! Hell no! ...or anyone else with these old dysfunctional ideas for some rich environmental hippies. We have dangerous roads because of all these bicycling and pedestrian "enhensments." There is nothing but conflict and disruption, causing injuries and deaths. Look at the bicycle plan... it screams sadomasachism all over it! ...an adventure plan for the rich to get some adrenaline rush, that's what it should be called.

Plastic bag tax?! You nuts?! Why not to raise the fee on garbage bags instead? Be thrifty, use your grocery bags as your garbage bags, duh. These is what i am talking about, folks who come up with these ideas don't even know how to be thrifty.

I am staying away as far as I can from McGinn, Dorsol Plants, and other green freaks. Sorry guys, their green ideas only work when economy is booming and everyone has money and plenty of time. And economy will never boom like it did post 9/11 because that whole era was nothing but a lie. We live in a different time now when everything we thought was right gets discredited by the minute, so... I urge everyone to look at the calendar, then their bills, their work schedule, their social life, their healthcare access, and think if it at all makes any sense before you talk about saving the environment, getting rid of vehicles and taxing plastic bags, etc. Then go research on each candidate for yourself!

Unfortunately The Stranger's ideals are stuck somewhere in 2002 and I can no longer agree with their picks. However, we agree on Constantine and maybe Licata for his opposition to the Mercer pedestrian/bicycle(code word for real estate beutyfication project) that turned out had nothing to do with reducing congestion.

In the mayoral race, I found more reasonable talk on transportation and crime prevention in Norman Sigler's and Elizabeth Campbell's campaigns, people who I never even heard of before. The rest is just a bunch of old mushy-goo that has nothing but the same old stale dead ideas.

More...
Posted by mikey on August 7, 2009 at 2:33 AM · Report this
58
NO MCGINN! Hell no! ...or anyone else with these old dysfunctional ideas for some rich environmental hippies. We have dangerous roads because of all these bicycling and pedestrian "enhensments." There is nothing but conflict and disruption, causing injuries and deaths. Look at the bicycle plan... it screams sadomasachism all over it! ...an adventure plan for the rich to get some adrenaline rush, that's what it should be called.

Plastic bag tax?! You nuts?! Why not to raise the fee on garbage bags instead? Be thrifty, use your grocery bags as your garbage bags, duh. These is what i am talking about, folks who come up with these ideas don't even know how to be thrifty.

I am staying away as far as I can from McGinn, Dorsol Plants, and other green freaks. Sorry guys, their green ideas only work when economy is booming and everyone has money and plenty of time. And economy will never boom like it did post 9/11 because that whole era was nothing but a lie. We live in a different time now when everything we thought was right gets discredited by the minute, so... I urge everyone to look at the calendar, then their bills, their work schedule, their social life, their healthcare access, and think if it at all makes any sense before you talk about saving the environment, getting rid of vehicles and taxing plastic bags, etc. Then go research on each candidate for yourself!

Unfortunately The Stranger's ideals are stuck somewhere in 2002 and I can no longer agree with their picks. However, we agree on Constantine and maybe Licata for his opposition to the Mercer pedestrian/bicycle(code word for real estate beutyfication project) that turned out had nothing to do with reducing congestion.

In the mayoral race, I found more reasonable talk on transportation and crime prevention in Norman Sigler's and Elizabeth Campbell's campaigns, people who I never even heard of before. The rest is just a bunch of old mushy-goo that has nothing but the same old stale dead ideas.

More...
Posted by mikey on August 7, 2009 at 2:34 AM · Report this
59
http://www.myspace.com/thehighwireact

play "McGinn for Mayor"
Posted by shamblos on August 7, 2009 at 2:26 PM · Report this
60
Thank You Stranger. I share a house with a 3 month old baby and with every minute so precious, your Cheat Sheet was perfect answer to being able to vote on time!! I know I can always count on you.
Posted by 7ly on August 7, 2009 at 4:23 PM · Report this
61
In my struggle so far to determine something about the port position 4, of Vekich vs. Albro, I came upon this article at:
http://publicola.net/?p=10913

Where apparently several people whose writing I've seen in the news section of the Stranger are editor and news editor...very interesting.

Anyway, they endorsed Vekich, and here are some of the reasons that they gave for doing so over Albro...they also explained why Albro might not be someone to vote for...(whoa nelly...)

"Vekich not only says he’ll prioritize getting the Port’s environmental record up to green standards, he’s truly fired up about it—advocating for an upgrade at all the terminals that would include pushing for non-polluting, energy-efficient trucking and eliminating toxic runoff. He calls recent steps the Port has taken to clean up its act “token actions.”

Most important, as an eight-year Democratic state legislator (D-35) and a lead player in passing the state’s Growth Management Act, Vekich will bring sorely needed lawmaking experience to the perpetually sloppy Port Commission (the Port CEO Mic Dinsmore salary fiasco, the Christmas tree at SeaTac fiasco.)

Vekich has the undisputed backing of labor, including the Teamster, SEIU, the King County Labor Council, and the longshoreman. His critics, including his opponent, paint him as a labor lackey, but we like that Vekich is in sync with the people whose livelihood depends on a successful and environmentally sound Seattle Port.

Vekich’s main opponent is Seattle Monorail Services director Tom Albro. Red flag: Albro’s contributors list (unlike Vekich’s) looks all too familiar: It’s littered with business interests that benefit from the Port’s $70 million tax levy largesse, such as Holland America, SSA Marine, airline service companies, and the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Also on Albro’s business-as-usual donors list: Ousted state lands commissioner Doug Sutherland and Eastside developer Kemper Freeman, whose conservative agendas are out of step with Seattle. Albro himself has given money to GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi and GOP Attorney General Rob McKenna."
More...
Posted by lilysotoo on August 7, 2009 at 9:37 PM · Report this
62
Just ban plastic bags, don't charge us for them. A ban costs nothing. Charging us for them costs a lot in more government and more accounting. Instead of reusing and recycling my plastic bags from the store as I do now, if this is passes, I will have to buy plastic bags from Glad or Hefty to serve the same purpose. Either way, I lose and big business and government wins. Just ban, do not charge.
Posted by chichitalbot on August 9, 2009 at 7:29 AM · Report this
63
Just in case you did not get my drift from my previous post. I will be voting against the bag tax. Just ban, don't tax.
Posted by chichitalbot on August 9, 2009 at 7:42 AM · Report this
64
I think that after looking at these endorsements, I am just going to have to go back to the drawing board to review everyone's actual issues/platforms, not just personal reasons like the ones you have provided. I'm a little upset about that. I understand you are trying to be humorous, but next time could you try to persuade me with qualifications? Thanks.

And PS Larry has since stepped up to the plate in combating that crazy-ass "nonpartisan" Hutchison. Ross just...needs to learn how to speak properly first, insults come later.
Posted by FrankieG on August 9, 2009 at 10:36 AM · Report this
65
I think that after looking at these endorsements, I am just going to have to go back to the drawing board to review everyone's actual issues/platforms, not just personal reasons like the ones you have provided. I'm a little upset about that. I understand you are trying to be humorous, but next time could you try to persuade me with qualifications? Thanks.

And PS Larry has since stepped up to the plate in combating that crazy-ass "nonpartisan" Hutchison. Ross just...needs to learn how to speak properly first, insults come later.
Posted by FrankieG on August 9, 2009 at 10:39 AM · Report this
66
Having read the endorsements over brunch this morning, I can see the M.O. of the SECB has definitely changed since the mass Publicola defection. I was expecting the more thoughtful and reasoned explanations of previous SECB editions to justify the selections and not the laughably adolescent 'Yeah rock on!!11' vibe I saw from them this time around.

We'll see how much sway the hipster and Sierra Club contingent of Seattle voters has in this month's primary. I still don't think McGinn finishes better than a distant 3rd, with maybe 12-18% of the vote.
Posted by Gomez http://misterstevengomez.com on August 9, 2009 at 9:21 PM · Report this
67
@65"Larry has since stepped up to the plate in combating Hutchison." Hahahahaha. Yeah, he stepped up, after Dow stuck his neck out first and started getting some traction on the issue. Which is exactly what's wrong with Larry, he has the really bad habit of not standing up for anything until he gauges which way the political wind is blowing, and he's always trying to take credit for other peoples work.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9HKLU6y-…
Posted by Karenin on August 10, 2009 at 2:27 AM · Report this
68
I have an honest question regarding the plastic bag tax.

I agree that it should also apply to all retailers and I agree that in the end we should just ban them all together. But in the interim, is it better to reject the referendum and push it back to the drawing board or approve Ref 1 today and continue to work on extending it to the Walmarts and eventually banning them. Seems to me this is a first step and if we wait who knows how long it will take for something to pass.

Right now that's why I'm voting to approve, what I see as, a lacking referendum.
Posted by PotentMenagerie on August 10, 2009 at 11:33 AM · Report this
69
Are you sure you want McGinn? As I understand it, his only platform is to savage the only non-disruptive solution to the Viaduct problem. Doesn't his non-solution re-direct 105,000 vehicles daily onto city streets? This is nuts!! I guess the city could do nothing until the Viaduct falls down. Then what? I can't vote for McGinn. We need a solution ASAP. He could queer the whole deal.

Posted by WAB, Seattle
Posted by WAB on August 10, 2009 at 2:28 PM · Report this
70
Both Seattle School Board endorsements recently caught claiming degrees that they don't have. Embarrassing.
Posted by seattle76 on August 10, 2009 at 3:46 PM · Report this
71
So if a candidate wants to repair the viaduct, they're idiotic, but the one mayoral candidate that you endorse wants to stop the tunnel. So do you guys have some sort of sweet mario kart 64 jump that you're going to put at the end of Queen Anne to fly all the traffic that will still exist when the viaduct CATASTROPHICALLY COLLAPSES AT THE NEXT RUPTURE OF THE SEATTLE FAULT?

Do me a favor. Next time you're on Bainbridge island, go to Restoration point. That big low lying piece of land pointing east, as well as Blakely Rock it the harbor to the north, is a manifestation of a rupture (See: land before time-esque earthquake feature where the ground actually fractures and causes baby Brontosauri to become separated from their mothers and go on a colorful mezosoic adventure the whole family can enjoy) of the Seattle fault system. The verdict is still out on this, but that 20 feet of rupture may have been caused by an earthquake slightly more shallow and slightly larger than the 6.8 nisqually earthquake of 2002. And there's a major highway built on unconsolidated fill from the Denny regrade right on top of it. So eh, let's do something about it? If you guys are going to talk all this shit, then suggest solutions.

Like it or not, people drive. They do! I know, it's ludicrous, but people travel everywhere in this country by burning up dead shit, and it's a reality that we have to deal with. The less we're going nowhere in cars, the better.

Anyway, when the viaduct collapses and the city has done effectively NOTHING to remediate the situation, I blame y'all.

And don't get me started on calculating CO2 emissions from all the ()*@#$(R*ing cars stopped on I-5 every day because of this city's inability to shit without cancelling 3 toilet construction projects before getting anyone can actually sit down and do their biz.

/rant
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Posted by Dendrite on August 10, 2009 at 4:06 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 72
While the legislature did indeed attempt to foist tunnel cost over-runs on the City, it is highly improbable that they would be successful in doing so. See, the tunnel will be a State-managed contract; since the City will have no say in the final scoping document, in overseeing the design, in managing the construction, they can not legally be held responsible for the overruns. No chance. That language was added by the legislature for posturing purposes only. An editorial board should be smart enough to see this.

In general it appears that the way to get the Stranger's endorsement is to simply be more lefty than the next candidate, logic, reason, or reality be damned. Go ahead and criticize Hutchison for misrepresenting herself as anything but a far-right conservative - I'm on board with that; but simply dismissing others for not hugging the tree tightly enough? Please, give us a bit more to consider. Some of these races are actually pretty damn important, and deserve more thoughtful discourse than describing someone as an "ally of the local music and club scene."
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on August 10, 2009 at 4:56 PM · Report this
73
First of all, who in the hell is Charlie Mas??? I have been an active parent, aunt & grandmother in the Seattle Public Schools for over 10 years and not once have I seen Charlie Mas present at the schools/school events, community meetings or school closure meetings. We don't need another politician on the Seattle School Board who makes rash decisions without gathering all of the information. We need someone who knows the issues firsthand not through hearsay!!!

I know for a fact that Betty Patu knows the issues concerning parents because she has worked directly with school faculty, students, parents & the community. I am very greatful to Mrs. Patu for helping my son graduate. She took the time out to meet with my son and I to find out what assistance we needed. Immediately following our meeting, she explained the academic requirements to me, met with my son & his counselor to ensure he was enrolled in the correct classes, connected my son with a tutoring program, assisted me in filling out College applications & Financial Aid for my son and connected me with other resources to help me. I am only 1 of many parents that Betty Patu has helped over the years. Betty Patu is about serving the underserved. Betty Patu played a key role in keeping Rainier Beach High School open TWICE by organizing students, parents & the community in fighting the Seattle School Board with their "slash & burn" tactics. This is the person I want representing me & my community on the Seattle School Board.

It's amazing what people will say when their candidate is not endorsed. I have never read so many ignorant comments by so many uninformed "WONKY WONKS" in my life. It's obvious that all of you are on the campaign to elect the "WONKIEST WONK OF ALL"- Charlie Mas!!!

To MEKS-
Do more research before you make comments about something you clearly don't know anything about! Betty Patu is not a "teacher's assistant", she is an Administrator. I will have you know that Rainier Beach High School is not "one of the lowest-performing schools in the state". Rainier Beach High School has met the AYP Standard over the past 3 years. There are 12 highschools in the Seattle School District and Rainier Beach was only 1 of 3 highschools to meet the AYP Standard. What does that mean for the remaining 9? Yes you guessed it- they DIDN'T meet the AYP Standard!

You stated that you don't see how "a commitment to a very small minority of her own race would benefit the schools as a whole or the board". Betty Patu has never only served her own race. My son & I are African American and Mrs. Patu never hesitated to help us when we were in need. She's about serving the underserved regardless of race, ethnicity or gender and we are far from "a small minority" and YES I DO THINK THAT THE SCHOOLS & THE BOARD WILL BENEFIT AS A WHOLE!

To FACTCHECKER-
You said "Betty Patu has retired, so she is not "currently a teacher at Rainier Beach". What's your point? Betty Patu just retired this past School Year after 32 years, but you wouldn't be able to tell because she's still providing academic assistance to students at the high school. If your going to call yourself "Factchecker" come up with more interesting facts next time!

To MELISSA WESTBROOK-
What makes you think that Charlie Mas knows the school district inside & out? Going to School Board Meetings for 8 years doesn't qualify him as an expert. What has he accomplished as a result of attending these meetings? How can Charlie Mas adequately represent those of us who are underserved if he hasn't taken the time out to find out who the underserved are? I have lived in the 37th District for over 20 years and didn't hear about him until he decided to run for the Seattle School Board. I have never seen him at any of the school closure meetings for Rainier Beach, AAA or TT Minor. How is he fighting to save our schools & he hasn't even made himself accessible to our community to hear our concerns or issues with the Seattle School Board.

Betty Patu knows & understands the issues surrounding our youth, community & schools in the 37th District. She has been proactive for years in raising academic standards and providing the resources & tools for students & parents to reach these standards. Betty Patu has successfully directed award-winning educational programs recognized to increase graduation rates,
grow the number of college-bound students and reduce gang violence.

You stated, "Betty Patu for all her good works, isn't going to be encountering gun-toting students at Board meetings". Where do you live? Are you not aware of the increase in youth violence in Seattle? Particularly the South End & Central District Areas. How do you think this is effecting our schools? There have been frequent shootings at the schools and community centers. Who's to say that the Board meetings are exempt??? It's obvious to me that this is not your reality, however it is a reality for others including myself. Don't be so small minded that you neglect to see the bigger picture. You question the relevance of Betty Patu's heroic act in talking down a former student who was holding another student at gunpoint? Read between the lines! She was only able to do this because of her established relationship with the student & his family. This is very relevant to the safety of children in our schools. I think your perspective would change quickly if it were your child being held at gunpoint.

MY VOTE FOR SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD POSITION 7 IS FOR BETTY PATU. SHE IS THE MOST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE TO REPRESENT THE 37TH DISTRICT.
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Posted by A Conerned Parent on August 11, 2009 at 2:14 AM · Report this
seashell 74
Ah, humor is often lost on philistines.
Posted by seashell on August 11, 2009 at 3:31 PM · Report this
75
why no new ??this is Aug.4 today is 12
Posted by viviennewestwood on August 11, 2009 at 6:30 PM · Report this
76
I just came back from meeting McGinn at the Bus Stop bar on Capitol hill and I must say that I'm very dissapointed. I wasn't there for the entire thing, but McGinn proved to me in less than 10 minutes that he's not suited to be mayor of this city.

First, I asked him about the traffic situation. He mentioned that there was a group that studied the consequences of not replacing the viaduct and found that improvements could be made to I-5 to help alleviate the increased traffic. McGinn specifically mentioned closing the Seneca St. exit. I asked him about the merging problem from the west seattle bridge on to I-5 and about how there are only two through lanes from Michigan street all the way through Mercer street. Not only did he have no answer, he dismissed the question completely.

Next, he said how he was pro-nightlife in seattle and would help restore the vibrant music and nightlife scene that seattle had prior to Nickels destroying it. He was asked by someone else if he knew what agencies he would be coordinating with (I said *cough* SPD *cough* and got a laugh). McGinn gave no specific answer, but worse than that, he said that there are lots of people and committees that assist the mayor and help him do "stuff" (he actually said "stuff"). He then mentioned that he didn't organize the event and that he didn't do the graphic design for his website and that he relies on other people to do things for him. That was his whole answer; he never mentioned anyone specific that he would work with or talk to other than people who help him with stuff. Another clear dodge.

I then told him my commute situation where I live in west seattle and commute to redmond every day. I explained that the reason I can't take a bus is that driving is always significantly faster, even in traffic, and that my time is more valuable to me. I asked how transportation improvements could help benefit my getting to work. McGinn raised an eyebrow that I worked in redmond and lived in west seattle and said that his priority was getting people from west seattle to downtown and that the other stuff would have to wait until later. To me, it seems like he simply doesn't care about me and the 15,000 other people who work at MS and the other 250,000 trips accross lake washington that we make each day. That's not acceptable.

Finally, I asked him about what he would do to fight the likely propaganda that would rise against taking any action that is in favor of bars, clubs, concerts, and all the other things that people love to hate and yet still go to. He had no answer. He asked me if I had a suggestion. I said that we should make the busses run when the bars close on Friday and Saturday nights (they don't) and this got a cheer from the crowd. I said the same about the light rail (change to every half-hour after 10pm on Friday and Saturday and run until 3am). I also proposed eliminating parking penalties on Sat and Sun mornings for cars left overnight until noon the following day to give drunk people a chance to get home safely by not driving and still be able to collect their cars the next day without worrying about them. Did McGinn say "wow, great idea" or "well, here's the problem" or anything like that? No. He said nothing.

Now I'm just an ordinary citizen but what I'm seeing is that when *I* ask him about simple issues, he's dodging questions and folding like a piece of paper. I'm just some dude. What about when the city council starts grilling him? What if some special interest group gets after him with their own agenda? What if these things run contrary to what the people of seattle want? Do you really think McGinn is going to fight for what is right for seattle? After meeting him, I must sadly say that I do not think he will. I simply cannot support him for mayor any longer and the stranger was foolish to endorse him. I'm not going to say who I'm voting for (but it's NOT Nickels), just please do not vote for McGinn, he's not ready for this job.

Also, don't bother just taking my word for this. Please. Go out and meet McGinn and formulate your own opinion. If all this comment does is make you re-think your vote and take some more time to dig into McGinn's positions and ask him some tough questions. See what he says. I did, and I'm not impressed.
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Posted by JeffT on August 11, 2009 at 10:54 PM · Report this
77

I was at the "Drinks with McGinn" thing, and while he seems like a decent man with a commitment to civic issues, he was a wild disappointment. The guy couldn't give a simple, straightforward, specific answer to ANY question. He failed even when he had many openings to move beyond campaign rhetoric and dive into specifics. And he flat-out dismissed questions on transportation and homelessness and crime and poverty and so much mroe.

For example, I asked him, "How can we get Seattle into the 21st century on transportation?" His answer had a couple nice ideas but basically was (a) walk more, (b) ride your bike and (c) expand the freeway. Wow, really? That's not a fucking transportation system, it's not even wishful thinking. And when he began placing Seattle into the context of other, more developed West Coast cities like Portland (in terms of transportation), he didn't really formulate a plan that made sense on any specific grounds.

Another person asked about homelessness, an issue really important to me as I've known someone mentally ill who was homeless, and it was just dismissive. My friend Jeff asked about commuting from West Seattle to Redmond, and he was dismissive. He basically said we have to worry about commuting into Seattle first, which is just so backwards given and doesn't address the issues of citizens commuting across 520 and I-90 for work. He basically didn't care. It's as if commuting to the east side is just a nothing issue and that Redmond isn't our neighbor (which it is). No mention, from a guy who is Mr. Community, about engaging Bellevue, Redmond and even West Seattle as our neighbors and finding constructive ways to address costs (believe me, I take a shuttle so my car is off the road --- I mean he didn't even think about THAT).

Oh yeah! The best part was this surly, heavy-set guy who kept asking for money in an increasingly alcohol-fueled and at times offensive way. It was the most blatant, in-your-face thing ever --- literally telling people, "YOU NEED TO WRITE A $25 CHECK." It was way, way over-the-top and Mike looked visibly embarrassed as this guy trotted himself out 3 or 4 times.

It was a letdown. Mike seems like a great person and a valuable public servant, but when you run for mayor --- especially against someone like Nickels, who I disapprove of --- you need specifics, innovation and a lot more. It's not enough that I agree with him on his progressive issues. We need more; McGinn isn't it.
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Posted by paulwashere on August 11, 2009 at 11:12 PM · Report this
78
Regarding Referendum 1: you should try researching something before you endorse it.
Such as reading the Rucker Report, which says the tax will have little to no impact on landfills or oil dependence.

http://www.seattlebagtax.org/RuckerRepor…

Or you could try talking to the poor and elderly who often get only $3-$6 a day for food, and will have to pay for this tax out of their own pockets, since they are not exempt from it, and the state will only give them ONE reusable bag each.

Or maybe talk to the many people and organizations who actually reuse these bags, weather it's to hand out goods, or keep our parks clean.

And then there is the fact that we are trying to prevent something that is recycled both through our city recycling program and through the stores from ending up in the landfill? There is no reason any should be there unless they were used for garbage bags. Spend some money on education about recycling programs rather than punishing people for buying more items than fits in their Whole Foods bag.

If you still want to vote for it, fine, but please tell people the facts before you blindly lead them.
Posted by Valasia on August 12, 2009 at 4:05 AM · Report this
79
Rather than raising money for the city's coffers surreptitiously, step up and ban plastic bags. When people have to carry their groceries several blocks or have them roll around their car, they will remember to bring a bag next time. A better lesson than a $.20 fee which wealthy non-caring people will afford. I'm sure all the money raised from this tax, I'm sorry, fee, will go straight to environmental purposes and nowhere else. Keep opening your wallets and they'll keep digging in. What is the problem with the bold move of an outright ban? No money for the city. Make both sides cry and really help the environment.
Posted by Nonsense on August 12, 2009 at 6:50 AM · Report this
80
I wasn't at the McGinn for Drinks event the other night, but I've been around Michael plenty over the past few years as a volunteer for Great City. Not to discount @76 and @77, but Michael's always amazed me in his detailed knowledge on land use and transportation for this city and region. I know for a fact that he "gets it" much more than, say, Mallahan (zero policy chops) and I would assert also understands the repurcussions of our choices better than the mayor. I mean, he was surrounded by some of the smartest people in this area through Great City's coalitions and committees. So, I'd recommend you guys give him another chance.

Also, I'm a strong supporter of the Eastside rail link. I recognize the importance that Microsoft has on this region, and certainly on this city. But when you locate a major campus 30 miles from an urban center, you're setting yourself up for some serious gridlock. How about instead of investing major infrastructure and transportation dollars on getting Microsoft employees to their jobs in BFE Redmond, we get Microsoft to locate in SLU? What a difference that would make to our region.

Also, and not to be a dick, but when you live in West Seattle and work in Redmond, you probably should just shush and sit in the corner. You sort of brought it on yourself (and you're not going to get a lot of sympathy for working at Microsoft).
Posted by Gordian on August 12, 2009 at 8:40 AM · Report this
81
Gordian,

I'm #77 and I fully understand your passion for McGinn, which I shared based on his incredible civic resume and dedication to community. I like McGinn and I want him to continue serving Seattle. But he's not ready to be mayor.

The issue with Microsoft/Redmond/Seattle isn't a Microsoft issue -- it's the pure fact that lots of businesses are now relocating and developing on the East side and they are our neighbors. If you believe in community, in sustainable transit options for Seattle, that means we have to engage our neighbors East of us (as well as North, South and West) and craft solutions that work. This means (a) you don't simply dismiss someone who lives in West Seattle and (b) you come up with a better answer beyond walking, riding your bikes and making new choices. I don't expect McGinn to wave the magic wand and provide the comprehensive transportation plan we all know doesn't exist, and I like that he stresses personal responbility, but he basically doesn't have or didn't have a more viable, innovative, creative transportation plan.

What about, for example, proposing tax incentives for large and small busineses that do what Microsoft does and provide connector shuttle services and/or luxury buses that transport employees to their point of destination. I live near the Sand Point/Wedgwood area of Seattle and it only takes me about 25 minutes start to finish to get to Redmond and I fly past the gridlock on 520 because of the Connector. Why not encourage more businesses to do the same, and why not hold monthly or quarterly meetings with the mayors of Bellevue, Redmond, Medina, Issaquah, Everett, Tacoma, Lynnwood, Auburn, etc., to help put the heat and pressure on Olympia?

There were other issues that came up and I don't want to regurgitate myself, but I didn't get substantive, specific information from McGinn. Like with schools and education, he basically said he wants to invest in our children and communities. Of course he does because we all do --- but invest in what, target what, do X to achieve Y, etc.

I believe McGinn is a good man with sharp intelligence and has the ability to do great things for Seattle. I just don't think he's my guy for mayor any more, and I think he needs to sharpen and specify his policy positions to be more inclusive, more specific, more innovative.
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Posted by paulwashere on August 12, 2009 at 10:07 AM · Report this
82
Being at the Bus Stop last night with McGinn was really amazing. A lot of people told me that they were very impressed with the ideas that he had and that he was there on the hill interacting with the very people he would be working for. Several people were so impressed they were making donations to the campaign.

It was even more exciting as we proceeded up the hill hitting the Redwood, Linda's, and the patio at the Wild Rose. People were very anxious to meet McGinn and ask him what he could really do for them, to help improve their lives in this city. Everyone I spoked to was very impressed. A few people even joked about moving to Seattle from the eastside just to have him as their mayor.

All in all it was a great night and I look forward to electing this man as my new mayor!
Posted by JoeGDWNTWN on August 12, 2009 at 10:08 AM · Report this
83
JoeGDWNTWN, I had to leave at 9:30 pm --- could you provide specific things he said and promises or ideas he posed that go beyond the generic terms I heard, like "making the right choices," "investing in our schools," etc.?
Posted by paulwashere on August 12, 2009 at 10:24 AM · Report this
84
I'm confused. First Charlie Mas isn't at any meetings and then oh, he only went to meetings. Can't have it both ways.

Also, Charlie ran for School Board before; it might help to pay attention to elections especially in your own district.

The point seems to be that it is The Stranger who thinks it is an important point that Mrs. Patu could break up a fight. Is that most important thing you look for in a School Board Director?

Seems odd that someone would tout a candidate as highly as Concern Parent does Betty Patu and seemingly have an on-going relationship with her and yet not sign their name?

Just sayin'.
Posted by SPS parent on August 12, 2009 at 10:57 AM · Report this
85
Gordian, are you seriously advocating that MS just relocate to Seattle? This is your "solution?" That's simply not going to happen, although MS has significantly expanded their SLU presence (this was halted due to the crappy economy though). I live in West Seattle and work in Redmond. Lots of people live in places that are even harder to get to the east side from, like Ballard and Fremont, which are places that you just can't get to the freeways very easily from. The reason I've made this choice is, like the many thousands of other IT people in Seattle, there are simply better career opportunities on the east side. It's no accident, either; B&O taxes have been higher in Seattle although Nickels did take steps to help reduce that for small businesses, which is a good thing (can't believe I just wrote that). I don't care what you think of my personal choices in life but I do expect that a mayor will care about transportation concerns that I have beyond just "getting me to downtown" and then dismissing my question.

Now McGinn may be surrounded by smart people like many of us, but I'm not electing those smart people to office; I'd be voting on McGinn and his policies and they simply didn't impress me. He lacked specifics, preferring to lean on those "smart people." I want a political leader who's smarter than me and is better informed on the issues than I am, which is one of the reasons I voted for Obama because he meets those criteria. I just don't see that in McGinn. What I do see is someone who is very pro-environment, which is good, but he's so pro-environment that he's willing to be green and force people to be green at the expense of other things which are just as important. I listened to him on Dave Ross a few months ago and one of the things he said is that being green is sometimes more expensive and less convenient but that he'd still force that option. Basically, instead of finding a way to make the best option a better option, he's forcing the green option on us.

Nothing represents this currently than the bag tax. The reason I oppose this is simple scientific fact: in psychology, it's a well known fact that people respond better to positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement. If we penalize people for not being green by using their own bags, particularly in this economy, they'll just feel resentment and hatred towards the policy. Instead, we need to find ways to encourage people to want to be green. It will make them happier, and if we really make them want to be green, then they'll change their lifestyle on their own. McGinn doesn't see this and his policies reflect that. It's simple fact: rewarding people for doing something is more effective than punishing them for not doing something and he (and Nickels) are both blatantly ignoring that fact. If he's in favor of the plastic bag tax just because he's green, I shudder to think what my utility bills will be when he greens up city light and the rest of SPU. Find a way to make things better by being green, don't just be green to be green.

I think McGinn is still a good person and a strong candidate, but like paulwashere said, he's just not the right person to represent my interests, especially after listening to him and seeing not only what his answers were but how he answered (or didn't answer) specific questions asking for detail.
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Posted by JeffT on August 12, 2009 at 11:15 AM · Report this
86
I'm really glad I stopped by the Bus Stop last night-- McGinn engaged with a diverse crowd. I think he did a great job fielding questions about nightlife--he learned of a few issues that club owners and musicians face that he had not been previously aware of-- and true to form invited those parties to collaborate with him to come up with a real and pragmatic solution. He did not offer platitudes--he was straight forward, stating that he had learned something new that evening and was willing to work towards the best solutions. Seattle is a great city with many creative and intelligent people. We do not need a mayor who claims to have all answers to all questions--we need someone with a vision and an ability to lead and inspire--someone who is willing to pull the city's best and brightest to resolve the myriad of issues that we face on a daily basis.
Posted by calliope on August 12, 2009 at 11:17 AM · Report this
87
calliope, please name the specifics of the new things he stated he learned. Also offer specifics about what the best solutions he'll work towards are. That's one of the biggest issues I had after meeting him last night.
Posted by JeffT on August 12, 2009 at 11:28 AM · Report this
88
Also...it's great he wants to discuss and collaborate, but it's such a cop-out answer. We ELECT people to collaborate and discuss things, I want to know what the guy actually wants to do. It's like the whole "invest in our children" -- I'm glad he said that, BUT HOW does he want to invest, what OBJECTIVE is he looking for? Come on people!
Posted by paulwashere on August 12, 2009 at 11:30 AM · Report this
89
I am utterly mystified when people criticize Mallahan for not having policy experience and then give McGinn a pass by saying that he surrounds himself by some of the smartest people in the area. Like Mallahan doesn't and wouldn't continue to do the same? Like Nickels is some kind of policy expert? What are these odd (double) standards we hold?

I'm also concerned when people say he "gets it". What, exactly, does he "get"? McGinn owes voters more detail on what kind of management style he has and what his vision is for the city. "No Tunnel" is an advocacy position. It's not leadership.
Posted by More Pie on August 12, 2009 at 11:56 AM · Report this
90
No kidding More Pie!

Remember when we elected Bush president because it was fun to have a beer with him? People are going to vote for McGinn because he's awesome on the issues -- he holds our progressive views, he just doesn't seem to know what the hell he's actually going to do as mayor. One guy asked 3 times if he'd be a competent bureaucrat -- will he know the agencies to employ, the groups to engage, etc., and he couldn't answer the question. I mean that's Politics 101. He couldn't even do that.
Posted by paulwashere on August 12, 2009 at 12:48 PM · Report this
91
I don't know who "Concerned Parent" @ 73 may be, but they can't be all that concerned.

"First of all, who in the hell is Charlie Mas??? I have been an active parent, aunt & grandmother in the Seattle Public Schools for over 10 years and not once have I seen Charlie Mas present at the schools/school events, community meetings or school closure meetings."

Charlie Mas not only ran for the School Board eight years ago, he has been to schools, school events, community meetings, and the school closure meetings. Moreover, he spoke at a great number of these meetings. Charlie Mas is a frequent speaker at Board meetings and community meetings. It is regretful that "concerned parent" didn't notice this, but that's the case.

"We don't need another politician on the Seattle School Board who makes rash decisions without gathering all of the information. We need someone who knows the issues firsthand not through hearsay!!!"

Who, exactly, is the person leaping to conclusions without information? It's "concerned parent". Where in the world did this person get ANY of these ideas about Charlie Mas?

"It's amazing what people will say when their candidate is not endorsed."

Yes, isn't it?

"I have never read so many ignorant comments" yet "concerned parent" is the only person who posted ignorant comments here about this race.

"Do more research before you make comments about something you clearly don't know anything about!"

Sound advice, "concerned parent". You should have taken it yourself.

"I will have you know that Rainier Beach High School is not "one of the lowest-performing schools in the state". Rainier Beach High School has met the AYP Standard over the past 3 years."

Actually, Rainier Beach IS one of the lowest performing high schools in the state. It made AYP DESPITE its test scores, not because of them. Rainier Beach made AYP on appeal after it disputed the calculation of its graduation rate. The school's test scores are dreadful. Only 28.6% of Rainier Beach students passed the math portion of the WASL. That is the lowest rate in the city. Rainier Beach also has the second-lowest pass rate in reading, and the second-lowest pass rate in science.

"To FACTCHECKER-
You said "Betty Patu has retired, so she is not "currently a teacher at Rainier Beach". What's your point?"

My point is that she is retired. It's a simple fact, that's all. The Stranger wrote that she is still working for the District but she is not. I'm sorry if that fact isn't interesting enough for you. I hope you find the facts about Rainier Beach High School more compelling.

"To MELISSA WESTBROOK-
What makes you think that Charlie Mas knows the school district inside & out?"

Melissa Westbrook, who is also an expert on school district issues, gave the reasons that she thought that Charlie Mas is one as well.

"What has he accomplished as a result of attending these meetings?"

Charlie Mas has been credited with saving the Spectrum program and he, by himself, kept APP intact for two years. If you don't know what Charlie Mas has accomplished, that's not his fault.

"How can Charlie Mas adequately represent those of us who are underserved if he hasn't taken the time out to find out who the underserved are?"

What makes you think he hasn't?

"I have lived in the 37th District for over 20 years and didn't hear about him until he decided to run for the Seattle School Board."

Then you're not paying attention, are you?

"I have never seen him at any of the school closure meetings for Rainier Beach, AAA or TT Minor. How is he fighting to save our schools & he hasn't even made himself accessible to our community to hear our concerns or issues with the Seattle School Board."

He was there. Does it disappoint you that he didn't use it as a publicity stunt for himself? Too bad. He was there.

It's a shame that people like "concerned parent" can spill lies all over the place like this. This sort of loose talk needs to be exposed and countered everywhere it appears.
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Posted by Factchecker2 on August 12, 2009 at 8:18 PM · Report this
92
Dow Constantine is in SEIU's pocket. He will not negotiate on behalf of the citizen taxpayers as we search for the budget cuts that are necessary and will become more critical as this recession continues. We will have to cut services to citizens or we have to cut benefits and pay to the overpaid and over compensated KC employees. He can only have one master.
Posted by nonya_bidness on August 12, 2009 at 8:58 PM · Report this
93
Everybody with a significant following in this election is in somebody's pocket.
Posted by Gomez http://misterstevengomez.com on August 13, 2009 at 2:26 PM · Report this
Vacation Now Please 94
Susan Hutchison is frightening. And dishonest. Say you're a far right republican if you are. Don't hide it 'cause you know you'll loose the election. If the public doesn't like it, either you don't belong in that position or change your policies to fit with the public's priorities.

And better in a union pocket than the corporate pocket.
Posted by Vacation Now Please on August 14, 2009 at 10:15 AM · Report this
95
Did I miss it or does McGinn say nothing about housing or homelessness on his campaign site? Evictions and foreclosures are soaring. The numbers of homeless families, elderly, and others are rising - along with the numbers of homeless people who die in our streets. Does he have thoughts about this issue?
Posted by Siobhan on August 14, 2009 at 11:17 PM · Report this
96
Betty Patu doesn't say anything about any issues on her web site.

Neither does Wilson Chin.

Only Charlie Mas, among the candidates for school board in district 7, discusses the issues.

And, as for the test scores at Rainier Beach High School, only 17.0% of Rainier Beach High School students passed the math portion of the WASL this spring. That is absolutely abysmal. It is indisputably one of the worst in the state among regular high schools. The school did NOT make AYP (nor did they last year according to the OSPI web site). There are less than ten regular high schools in the whole state that did worse.

Let's not have any dispute. Rainier Beach High School is unquestionably one of the lowest performing high schools in the state.

Rainier Beach High School's test scores are not a reflection of Betty Patu's effectiveness - either as a teaching assistant or as a board member, but they do go to show that her supporter, concerned parent, is full of crap.
Posted by factchecker2 on August 15, 2009 at 11:18 AM · Report this
97
Care to endorse anyone who's not a white middle age male with a background in environmental law? Has the SECB been replaced by symbiants from the Seattle Times?
Posted by Middle aged white guy who doesn't vote for them on August 16, 2009 at 2:44 PM · Report this
98
Charlie Mas's blog is "creepily obsessive"? No, his blog is passionate, informed, and informative.

Charlie knows his shit.
Posted by Irving on August 17, 2009 at 9:55 AM · Report this
99
Great! Take what you recommend and do the opposite. Makes voting easy.

Posted by warren trout on August 17, 2009 at 6:57 PM · Report this
100
Did you notice that The Stranger didn't mention all of the candidates for Port Commission Position #4? There are four candidates on the ballot.

I'm not sure why The Stranger excluded me from their editorial board interviews. They invited me and I made it clear that I was interested in participating, but they never followed up with a date. Nonetheless, if you're a voter, feel free to check out my Web page at http://www.porkland.org. I think you'll like what you see, and you're welcome to contact me at (425) 802-5385 if you have any questions.
Posted by elect_robert on August 18, 2009 at 2:00 AM · Report this
101
As the summer is ending and school activities begin to stir once again, the school board's Curriculum and Instruction Policy committee met yesterday. There were only three members of the public in attendance, and one of them was Charlie Mas.

None of the other school board candidates were there.

This is where the Board work is done - in committee. This is where things are really discussed and decided. This is where the Board works with the staff.

Charlie Mas not only attended the meeting, he wrote a report on it for the public. He seems to be the only school board candidate who is more interested in doing the job than in campaigning. He seems to be the only school board candidates who knows the issues and takes positions on them. You may not care now, but you will care when the District standardizes all of the books that high school students are assigned to read. You will care when teachers go on strike to preserve their academic freedom - like they did in Bellevue.
Posted by factchecker2 on August 18, 2009 at 6:22 AM · Report this
102
REBUTTAL for Referendum 1 to the Big Oil lobbyists posting here, posing as Stranger hipsters:

1. Food banks and the poor will NOT be limited to one bag. We are starting with that as the goal, (giving one to every resident of Seattle) but since the likelihood is many of us already have multiple bags, the extras will go to whoever needs them.

2. To those who want a ban.. YES! Yes, yes, yes. That is our goal, but this route was thought to be what we could get passed NOW. Ref 1. is modeled after a similar initiative in Ireland which reduced plastic bag use by 90%! Don't vote against a good law because you wish it was perfect. It's not, but it's what we can get done NOW. If this doesn't pass, will it take another 5 years to get a ban? 10? How many disposable, polluting bags will go into Puget Sound while we wait for that to happen?

3. Sorry, this IS a fee, not a tax. Why? BECAUSE IT'S OPTIONAL! If you reuse a bag, you pay nothing! When was the last time you had an option to pay your income taxes?

4. For more info, go to greenbagcampaign.org. I don't have time to address everything here. But one thing is for sure: The American Chemistry Council, largely funded by Exxon/Mobile*, Texaco, Monsanto, & Dow**, are behind the opposition to Ref. 1. To the tune of $1.4 million bucks.

*Who proudly brought you the Exxon Valdez spill

**Behind the disastrous Bhopal chemical spill, which killed hundreds.

Do you really think posters like "Valasia" and "Nonsense" are citizens out there? I smell a highly paid corporate shill, which STINKS. YES ON REF.1 !!!!!!
Posted by ceeg on August 18, 2009 at 11:06 AM · Report this
103
I'm a relative newcomer to Seattle (2+ years). I'm playing a last minute catch up with the candidates, and I guess I'll be voting for McCann just to get him on the ballot against Nickels. the biggest problem I have with Nickels is the anti-nightlife bent; but I happen to favor the tunnel option for the viaduct, despite its expense. I just think it's the best long-term solution that will also help us pedestrians (not to mention tourists) enjoy the waterfront more. Who cares if some of Nickels' friends own property there. McCann campaigning against that will probably do more to sway me to Nickels than Nickels' war on nightlife would sway me to McCann. I think expanding light rail eastward would be great, but is Nickels against that?

As for Ref 1, I'll be voting against the referendum (repeal the ordinance) for a couple reasons. I usually have a reusable bag with me, but sometimes I buy more than I can fit in that bag (and since I'm usually hoofing it, I don't tend to carry around multiple bags). I also re-use all my disposables as small trash bags or bags for recycling (for the paper ones) as my apt doesn't provide individual recycle bins (do any?). The cost of these bags to the stores is no doubt already factored into their product pricing- it's not like the stores get the bags for free.

Whole Foods and QFC at least already offer discounts for using a reusable bag, and if the city wanted to sponsor that sort of scheme, I would support it. I think the bag fee is too heavy-handed, unfair (for exempting big-box retailers), regressive (and our taxes in this state are already regressive enough) and overly broad (the debate only seems to be over plastic bags, but paper ones would be included too).

All that, and the environmental impact of the bags is grossly overblown. Even a marine biologist at Greenpeace said "We are not going to solve the problem of waste by focusing on plastic bags." (http://tinyurl.com/2hsy8v)

Sorry, environment, but I think you'll have to put up with the 0.3% of waste that plastic bags constitute. Let's focus our efforts on the bigger environmental problems rather than feel-good solutions that only lure us into a false sense of do-goodery.
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Posted by madcap on August 18, 2009 at 5:47 PM · Report this
104
Wake up The Stranger, Mike McGinn is using the viaduct issue as an electorate tool to instantly grab the anti tunnel vote. Unfortunately he is not offering or spelling out an alternative. Increasing bus service, light rail, biking! Come on! That's a no brainer and out right pandering. Any mayoral candidate can and probably has already said that. If McGinn wants to stop the tunnel, he has to do the tough job of explaining exactly what he'll do in it's place. Mayor Nickels has already looked at all the options and their corresponding political realities. Can anyone remember negotiating cut and cover, retrofit, suspension bridge, sea wall, pedestrian arcade and even a shopping mall with Christine Gregoire? Now that we've got a direction, we cannot afford to step back and revisit that drill again. Here in Seattle, we keep mucking up progress by pretending that the regular Joe knows more than traffic engineers and professionals that work everyday on complex issues. No tunnel, bike more, more buses, walk to work in birkenstocks. Yeah sure, that sounds great, but so did eliminating car tabs. Remember Tim Eyman? Stop voting on sound bites and silly endorsements!
Posted by seaprt on August 18, 2009 at 9:56 PM · Report this
105
seaprt...you have my vote
Posted by disco dave on August 25, 2009 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Starshadow 106
The Goodspaceguy fool is the man who tried to molest my older daughter almost 30 years ago, before the law took such things seriously. His original name was Michael George Nelson. I have a good friend who was a roommate who can verify that this happened, although there is no legal record. King County Police told me at the time he pleaded guilty but if so I can find no record. They may have lied, or just expunged the evidence.

I don't know which.

He is perpetually running for some office or other. I am perpetually pointing out that he tried to molest my daughter when she was in elementary school and now he denies it ever happened. I find that disturbing and an indication that he has done it again and has just not been caught yet.

My name is Starshadow. I can be found on Facebook (it's my real and legal name) and I will stand behind everything I've said here.

Posted by Starshadow http://www.starshadow.net on August 6, 2010 at 8:47 PM · Report this

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