In a double editorial, the city's daily paper says voters should toss out highly effective, progressive incumbent council member Mike O'Brien in favor of the ill-informed, anti-pot, anti-bike-lane, anti-streetcar Albert Shen. Par for the Seattle Times, this is an ideological endorsement against a solid, liberal lawmaker in favor of one who is deeply unqualified but more conservative.
But they try to make the case on objective terms: The Frank Blethen Memorial Board complains that O'Brien didn't want to shut down the "illegal" homeless camp Nickelsville—while leaving out the critical fact that O'Brien wanted to legalize encampments in certain areas so they could be safely policed (and would cease being illegal). They also knock O'Brien for helping negotiate a Sonics arena that used public financing, while again omitting two key facts: O'Brien was negotiating to get more public benefits out of the deal so public financing was worthwhile, and, in the end, the full council approved that bill by a 6-2 vote. Finally, the paper complains that "O’Brien would spend public housing money in pricey South Lake Union," while "Shen would take it to the South End to build many more units." There's legitimate debate about building low-income housing in South Lake Union—a debate ignored in this editorial by the Seattle Times, which is located in South Lake Union—but they smudge out essential facts, again. That low-income housing money derives from South Lake Union's new development, and O'Brien says the city should keep the working class close to the new jobs created by South Lake Union's construction boom. But moving the housing down south, critics say, amounts redlining the poor into distant neighborhoods. Our daily paper apparently thinks voters are too stupid to understand these issues and will just swallow this brain-dead endorsement.
Finally, the Seattle Times is standing by incumbent council member Richard Conlin, in part because his socialist opponent, Kshama Sawant, is "too hard-left for Seattle."
Instead of performing its acrobatics of hiding information to suit a conservative bias, the Seattle Times should read its own paper, change a few words, and just admit that the Seattle Times is too conservative for Seattle.