Richard Conlin on the tunnel referendum:
"Some of us are calling it the 'Seinfeld referendum,' " said City Council President Richard Conlin, a tunnel supporter. "It's going to be a referendum about nothing,"
The city council—primarily Richard Conlin—tried to pass a law in February specifically crafted to prevent citizens from referring the final tunnel decision to the ballot. A judge was absolutely unmistakable that, because of that ploy, this referendum was the only chance for voters to have their say on the tunnel. If they hadn't gathered signatures and qualified for the ballot, the tunnel issue would be over. Done with. But it's not. Now we'll be voting this August because of this "referendum about nothing," and the council may have to pass another ordinance (which may be subject to referendum).
Like the lengthy process or not, like the deep-bore tunnel or not, like Richard Conlin or not—this referendum plows the playing field on the biggest political issue the council has touched in a decade.
This is a a vote on whether the tunnel is a done deal, it's a vote on whether Seattle thinks we should pitch in roughly $930 million on a transportation megaproject that fails at moving vehicles, it's a vote on whether the council can slyly cut voters out of a policy decision. Maybe that's "nothing" to Richard Conlin, but that doesn't make him right. It makes him full of shit.