I don't read it as defensive, I read it as indignant, and frankly justifiably so.
Murray's a fucking dolt. He represents us, which by definition should mean that everything he does should be because of "pressure from below".

Unless he's a pawn of Seattle's monied elite...
@1) Yes, being indignant worked out great for the last mayor.
Oh good! The Mayor and the Council are fighting again!
Wow. Not even a week and he's getting pissy. The smart and graceful thing to do would have been to just ignore it.
If Murray was so committed to this goal why didn't he move on it during his 18 years in the legislature? He suddenly got interested in this during the campaign when it was already an issue that had seen a huge grassroots mobilization. It's totally legit to call him out on that, especially since he excluded workers on city contracts from his order last week.
The mayor and once councilmember are fighting over who will raise minimum wages faster nomatter what the perceived motivation ? The winners being the workers making less than $15/hr.

City of Seattle employees, about 10,000
SeaTac employees in professions related to the $15/hr proposition, 6,000.

If anyone has the bigger swing on this, I see Murray with his 167% bigger coverage.
I read the Seattle Times article and didn't find Sawant to be attacking. Clearly, Murray was reactive, over sensitive and he got his panties in - a- wad over this one.

Time for Murray to calm down.
It's clear that the campaign is still happening. Murray wants to make sure Sawant doesn't steer the conversation. If he makes it look like everything he does is because of things Sawant rallied support for, he doesn't get another term because he looks like an opportunistic douche. Sawant, Murray, and The Stranger are a little guilty of baiting the other side to engage in an argument. Nothing really that offensive in any of it.
ChefJoe - Murray's order affects 600 employees directly (or about 6 percent). It does not address the wages of employees that are contracted by the City.…
Murray's History Re-write, Take 1.
No government anywhere has ever passed legislation anywhere to help marginalized people without pressure from below.

Obviously if protests and campaigns never happened the executive order would never have happened.
Hi, Dominic: Wait a goddamn minute. What am I missing here? Murray does something Sawant agrees with, and Sawant responds by casting aspersions on his motives. And he's the dick?
It's telling that Sawant, who promised so much she can't possibly deliver, is attacking Murray for implementing a campaign commitment. This is a blackened kettle calling a still clean pot black.
@14) No, that's where you and Murray got mixed up. She's not "casting aspersions on his motives." She's recognizing that this action--this great thing that he did--was the direct result of popular pressure. Hooray for politics in the public interest! But Murray responded by getting divisive and defensive (and spinning an implausible yarn about how he's kinda wanted to do this since childhood), when he should enjoy the political room that Sawant and others are creating for him to do more great stuff.
Murray is the same guy who threw a fit over a UW parking ticket. Come on. You *know* he has thin skin. He's all hairdo and image.

@7's right. Murray hadn't done anything about raising the minimum wage until now. He hadn't even spoken it about publicly. Now he wants people to think it was his idea all along. Please, man.

God forbid we think of Eddie Murray as anything other than a progressive saint!
And still, every time Murray opens his mouth, I like him less. What a weasel.
@11, and Sawant's boyfriend's website has changed the minimum wage for $0 people if you intend to minimize the number of people who have actually seen their wages change.

But, no, the numbers are right. 10,000 for City of Seattle vs 6,300 SeaTac Prop1 workers.... and that's being generous considering the court cut the number of workers the Seatac prop one applies to down to 1,600.…
Whatever happens, I hope the next forever shows us a bunch of politicians in this town that are willing to be extremely Alpha in getting things done.

I didn't vote for process, four special advisory elections, a blue ribbon commission, and three years of debate until what we originally wanted has been reduced down into a bland gruel of the original idea to avoid offending even a single human in the city. I voted for stuff to happen.
UGH!!!!! The mayor just raise Seattle's min-wage to 15 bucks for city employees. Why can't we just be happy about this? This is why us lefties can't have nice things!
Seriously! Washington state has the highest min wage in the country, and we're lucky enough to have both voters and politicians in Seattle who recognize this still isn't a livable wage and are working to raise to 15 bucks, and what does "Seattle's only newspaper" do when the mayor takes the first step? Goldy writes an post about how it's a very small step (with more words dedicate to how small of step it is then anything else in the post), and Dominic writes an article about how catty the mayor is...Seriously guy, can't we call this a win and move on to the next step in the fight for the $15 min wage or do you really hate the mayor that much...
@21 Why can't HE be happy about it? Unless @2 is right:

"Murray's a fucking dolt. He represents us, which by definition should mean that everything he does should be because of "pressure from below".

Unless he's a pawn of Seattle's monied elite... "

Murray won. Your guy lost. Murray won. Your guy lost. Murray won. Your guy lost. Murray won. Your guy lost. Murray won. Your guy lost. Murray won. Your guy lost. Murray won. Your guy lost. Murray won. Your guy lost. Murray won. Your guy lost. Murray won. Your guy lost. Murray won. Your guy lost. Murray won. Your guy lost. FOAD.
I'd rather Sawant and Murry focus on policies that encouraged as close to full employment as possible,
however that requires really putting one's shoulder to the wheel and creating effective policy.

Unfortunately, Ms Sawant is going to quickly find out that
about 80% of the Seattle city council's work is focused strictly on land use issues. Let's hope she has a grasp of the issues.
Well I see Sawant is shaping up nicely to be the kind of protest vote candidate-cum-politician who can't make any friends or get anything worthwhile done... because ideology.
I'm with #14.

She could have gotten more out of this than the approach she took. She cast Murray, somebody that has already acted, as somebody less than and separate from willfully being in agreement on the subject. She put into question that his natural state would not be in favor of this.

Seattle's other problem, McGinn residue, is taking yes as an answer, recognizing and accepting when people agree with you.

Cheer up, Sawant, Murray did the right thing for the right reason. Try recognizing it in a positive way.
Wait a second. You mean that post from the other day wasn't fake?
McGinn stood by as City contractors & sub-contractors rampantly cheated on paying their workers the prevailing wages they are due under federal law. While Mike was out "lending his support to minimum wage workers" in fast food, he stood by a massive wage cheat the Mayor is/was responsible for. Widespread prevailing wage cheating is a massive benefit to the worst of the City contractors & sub-contractors. All City contract work that falls under the Davis Bacon Act is bound to pay all workers the prevailing wage. It is so bad the Seattle Police has officers working undercover to bring charges against the City contractors cheating the system and their workers. Meanwhile good honest City contractors are underbid and locked out of City contracts by the cheaters.

The Law:
The Davis–Bacon Act of 1931 is a United States federal law that establishes the requirement for paying the local prevailing wages on public works projects for laborers and mechanics. It applies to “contractors and subcontractors performing on federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration, or repair (including painting and decorating) of public buildings or public works”.
Putting Dave Meinert on your minimum wage task force after Meinert tells CHS Blog that $15/hr wold be "doomsday" and "would kill the culture of the Hill" is a pretty good indication that Murray is more rhetoric than not.
What I'm hearing here is concern that Sawant doesn't know that it would be proper for her to defer to the feelings and pride of the higher status male - for her own good.

[Meanwhile, Murray hears the quiet tap tap tap of the repair work on the tunnel digger reverberating up through the foundations, like a clock in a crocodile's stomach...)
How dare she suggest this idea came from any head but the mayor's ground-breaking, fore-running, parade-leading head.

He will not be guided by the people, UNDERSTOOD!?!?
Pay your minions at the Stranger $15 an hour at the Stranger and then talk, Dan. Fucking either do it or say or doing it. Either one. Now.
@28, let's be fair, he was never going to like Sawant and this overly defensive missive is just an illustration of how uneasy he is about her.

If I was Sawant, I'd be feeling pretty good about my ability to put him on his heels.

@34 that's a fair point. The Stranger's use of interns is pretty disgusting.
Welcome to local politics, Mayor Murray. It's closer to the people; so, expect less velvet glove treatment than Olympia.

Politicians are unnaturally polite in Seattle (spend a month in Chicago or NYC); so, take a breath before you take offense so easily, especially when the pressure is so light handed. Geez..
The comment from ms. Sawant wasn't even directed at Murray. They were words of encouragement to her supporters and to members of the working class. "Look", she's saying, "When you organize and fight together, they have to listen to you, and you win. Keep fighting!"
Murray is seriously thin-skinned and immature.
All for the $15/hour McMinimum wage. But this particular manufactured (by Sawant) controversy is hard to give a flying fuck about. She made herself look bad and gave Ed the high road while accomplisHing nothing to further her agenda other than stroking her choir at the expense of alienating those who would like to think of themselves as allies on this issue.
It's not the "pressure from below" that reads as divisive, it's the implication that Murray was only interested in raising the minimum wage as a piece of "campaign rhetoric" and not an actionable issue. And honestly, how much "pressure from below" can even be imagined to accumulate over three days in office?
Sawant is absolutely correct, and Murray made a great decision. Murray wants full credit given to his new administration in bold letters. Sawant would never give an establishment politician direct credit for something like this. It's just another pissing contest, really.

I'm just happy to see elected officials in Seattle squabbling over something that actually benefits lower income working people.
And, to be fair, some of this looks like the Times trying to stir something up. The statement on is much more measured and forward-looking.
It doesn't matter how pure of heart Murray or any other candidate or office holder is. The last five years (at least) have shown that after an election, the job of the voters is the same - to keep up the "pressure from below" - regardless of who wins.
Dominic is correct. Murray is known for his temper. Give him time, and I'm sure we'll see more outbursts.

Murray campaigned on his ability to "unite". Yet, he lost control of the Senate and Republicans rule Olympia. Given Murray's latest outburst, I'm not confident he will be able to "unite".

@14 @27 @28

Sawant — and minimum wage workers — have nothing to gain by kissing Murray’s ass. Sawant wasn’t speaking to Murray, she was speaking to the grass roots. Ordinary people who marched and doorbelled and wrote letters and made small donations. The people putting this pressure on Murray.

Sawant was telling the grass roots that it’s working. That’s the entire point. Rally the troops and show them their efforts are bearing real fruit. There will never be a minimum wage increase — not to $15, and not to $13 or to even $11 — if the rank and file activists quit now. Murray and the rest of the Democrats on the city council will be more than happy to go back to the real agenda they had when they got into politics the second the public pressure abates.

Sawant is the sole member of the opposition party. She holds no cards. The only influence she has is her ability to rally the mob to keep the Democrats’ feet to the fire. She has to keep doing this and she has absolutely nothing to lose by pissing off any of these Democrats. She’s not one of them and her reelection hinges more on proving she’s not a sellout than slouching into the role of yet another limp Seattle pol.

Fucking Ed Fucking Murray. What a baby. What's he going to do in a real fight? Write more butthurt letters?
This is just the early stages of Murray, the council and the political establishment war against Sawant. (The same thing happened early in McGinn's term too.) Remember, people who don't kiss the ring of the establishment will experience their wrath.
@44 FTW. Murray is totally Droopy. Totes.

@44 has it right about what Sawant's doing. I don't think Murray is being a baby, though. I think this letter was just a misfire on his part. He should be encouraged to keep up with stuff like his executive order, which is right on.

Murray's not a baby, he's just clueless.
First she tells Boeing workers they're supporting a war machine by doing their jobs, now she's criticizing a potential ally for doing something she herself supported. The whole point of her needlessly pissy statement seems to be "well, I thought of it first."

I'm sure this'll work out just fine tho. Acting like an idiot in the pursuit of noble ideas sure worked out for our last mayor.
All of us have made dumb ass statements. Especially pols, and Sawant's Boeing comments were right up there, however I am more interested in seeing how she responds to the very many issues facing the city and city
council. The $15/hr pitch may have helped get her elected, but it will quickly turn her into a one note Johnny and she'll flame out if she cannot be effective in understanding and dealing with land use issues, budgets, constituent demands of all colors, etc., etc.,
etc.. If she fails to do this, all the cheerleading The Stranger and her supporters can muster won't help
her survive this job.
@34 - Let me know when Tim Keck actively opposes it and uses all the resources at his disposal to do so because right now the opposite is happening as you can see by this very post.

Honest question - have you ever not been a tool?
Shorter Murray (Part One): "I just gave 600 City employees a $4 an hour raise!"

Shorter Sawant: "See voters? If we keep up the pressure, we can get everyone who works in Seattle at least a $15 an hour wage!"

Shorter Murray (Part Two): "Wha - ? Why you gotta piss on my parade?"
Sawant is better at politics than Murray, at least so far. That's what stings Ed.
Putting Dave Meinert on your minimum wage task force after Meinert tells CHS Blog that $15/hr wold be "doomsday" and "would kill the culture of the Hill" is a pretty good indication that Murray is more rhetoric than not.

Yes, task forces are so much more agreeable when you shove them full of your own yes-men... like McGinn's hiring as transportation policy advisor the guy who formerly had a job to advocate bicycle use for the Cascade Bicycle Club.

Meinart was waying a sudden jump could be rough for small businesses to absorb btw. But oh well, you should be grateful that Kshama is in the task force, since Murray so obviously hates her that we wrote "We are thankful to serve a city were there is no scarcity of compassion and where no single leader holds the market on progress. It is by identifying our common commitments and our shared motivations for action that we can best deliver on the trust placed upon us by the people of Seattle to work together and move forward together on their behalf. I look forward to our continued dialogue on this and other issues important to both of us and to the people we as elected leaders are here to represented. " The nerve of that man to look forward to serving the people.

Lost Lake Cafe owner Dave Meinert said if a straight hike to $15 an hour happened tomorrow, the change would be a “doomsday” scenario for indie businesses, and would likely mean drastic cuts in hours at Lost Lake and could force the owner out of the diner business altogether.

“If we’re wrong and we jump the raise too high and too quickly, small businesses close down and big business fills the gap … it would kill the culture of the Hill,” Meinert said, adding that he fully supports a discussion about raising the minimum wage and believes a full-time job should support a worker living in the city.

Lol, how often has a politician ever done something for the workers without being pressured by them? Pretty much never. Was he campaigning for $15 p/h hour before Sawant made it fashionable? Barely it seems. It's all good to say you believe in something but it's a totally another thing to be campaigning for years on an issue. If anyone checks Socialist Alternative's platform, I think you'll find something close to $15 p/h and a living wage on it and they have been around for about 20 years. I don't see $15 p/h in the Democrats platform.
And if Ed Murray knew anything about Sawant, he'd get that she doesn't, like all Marxists don't come from Moral perspectives. She's a Socialist because of Material conditions, workers create wealth, Capitalists steal 90% of it, and therefore that theft should be reversed as much as possible until the workers can seize control and not be robbed at all.
Sawant sounds tactless and Murry sounds petulant. I can't tell if either has anything to gain by their tone in this exchange but they both have a lot to lose.
Let me paraphrase "Honey, I need to mansplain to you how this all works, so shut up and listen."

And Meinert being a Murray donor and staging a big campaign op for Murray has nothing at all to do with this. Murray putting Meinert on his task force is simply cronyism.
Burgess and Rasmussen are going to eat him alive. That letter makes McGinn look like a consummate statesman.
When did McGinn push to increase the minimum wage? Oh that's right NEVER!!

And yeah, this sort of bullshit between Murray and Sawant is going to kill the $15.00 minimum wage before it even gets going. We need to elect adults into public office, not self serving egotists.
@61, did you miss what McGinn was doing with the West Seattle Whole Foods Alley Vacation ?
So we're not to say Boeing workers who build war machines are building war machines because it makes them –or you– uncomfortable?
Sawant is already suffering from Foot in Mouth disease. She'll continue to attack others, just like McGinn did and completely alienate herself from the rest of the council, in addition to voters who were mostly voting against Conlin.
I supports to policies of Social Democrats, and as usual, I can't help but facepalm at the endless sniping of lefties who consistently prove that they can never let their massive egos get out of the way of sound policy making.
exactly the kind of politeness pissing match our local politics really needs to get out of. fact is, ALL politicians, like all people, act out of various motives, high and low. everyone spouts rhetoric. everyone sincerely believes most of it. everyone acts based on pressure from below, the sides and above. Sawant's statement ed murray supporting the higher min wage was "rhetoric" and he acted feeling pressure from a slight slam, totally okay in today's political world. his counter response is also a slight slam, totally justified in today's political world. both have a right to opinionate and slightly slam. to fault murray for taking umbrage, or getting defensive -- is to take sides when both are equally aspersion casting and equally well motivated. to all intents and purposes. they're jockeying for moral leadership because guess what?

if that bertha blockage turns into a cost overrun fiasco making 150,000 seattle "area" owners pay overruns...including 80,000 condo owners, and 80,000 small businesses who see their rents rise, and big landlords, and single family home owners deemed to benefit...murray isn't going to win a second term.

But Kshama could win the mayoral slot. or run for fucking congress. she got 58% in the third district two and needs to stay out front stimulate her base and raise hell. only in seattle with its ultra polite etiquette rules, as complex and nuanced as those at the balls described by jane austen, would take umbrage at murray's taking umbrage or get into which umbrage taking was proper and which wasn't. let politicians take umbrage, okay? it's free speech to take umbrage.
MAYOR ED... you need to thicken your skin and LEAD. PLEASE. This town is headed for some us vs. them conversations like San Francisco & it would be a shame for you to get defensive on DAY ONE.

Don't tell us you understand the need for progressive action... SHOW US.

@54: That Hiller hire made sense, unless you think that bikes are not transportation.
A few more words for MAYOR ED....Thousands of us voted for Kshama to bring her voice to City Hall. She speaks for tens of thousands of residents who are struggling with the rising costs of living in our city. THIS SHIT IS REAL.

Is Sawant bombastic? Yep, a lot of the time... She was elected with this rhetoric & posture.... as mayor, you will not be MEDIATING this behavior with chastising & defensive missives.

YOU are a good legislator... NOW be a good Mayor... with respect for your critics and your defenders... THIS was one of your CHIEF complaints about McGINN... please take a step back and listen to this thread.


Sawant is both insane and vehemently racist.


The difference in perspective on how progressive change occurs is actually substantial. Murray's paternalistic vision of a moral leader who occurs independently of grass-root democracy is not really supported by history. I imagine Ed Murray would also like people to go home and leave it to the professionals now that elections are over ..
I think somebody did need to point out that Murray's move only benefited 600 people, and there's much work to be done. The Stranger did, to its credit. Sawant perhaps should have focused on the "more work" and avoided mentioning Murray. Or praise him, and focus on the work ahead. I hope she learns how to speak Politic soon.
Hey Dom,
Is the Stranger’s support of a $15 an hour minimum wage strictly rhetorical? Or will the Stranger be putting a $15 an hour minimum wage in place and use only suppliers, service providers and printers that do the same? If so, when? If not, why?
Idealistic egomaniacs fighting in city hall while comically expensive boondoggles fester under our streets? I is agog.

Frank Reynolds told us all you need to know about the kind of people that get into politics.
@51 We're gonna have to agree to disagree on this one. I just don't see how the Stranger can say every firm should pay its workers at least $15 an hour for moral reasons if the Stranger isn't already doing so itself. The Stranger should walk the walk. Call me a tool if you like. Doesn't change the Stranger's hypocrisy.
@51: So that's the standard now. not actively opposing it??? The Stranger could lead by example; it doesn't have to wait for the city to FORCE it to do the right thing. But it's not, yet continues to call for everyone else to do it, which is pretty damn hypocritical by anyone's standards except their apologists.
@70 Have you met Sawant?
#45 is correct. Sawant is not part of Seattle's establishment. Clearly, she will be a target and I'm glad she has Dominic willing to speak-up for her. It isn't easy going against Seattle's establishment.

#71 is disgusting and should be ignored.
@77: Is it hypocritical for millionaires to call for higher taxes on themselves but not volunteer that money when it is not the law?
I fail to see how Sawant's statement of fact is an affront to Murray. How is responding to "pressure from below" a bad thing? Is this not his responsibility? So whether you see Sawant as being ungracious or Murray being prickly, if you put the egos aside, what truly matters in this minor dust-up is that it effectively makes the $15/hr minimum MORE likely to get passed. Whether intentional or not, Sawant putting Murray on the defensive ensures that he won't dilly-dally, cave,or water down whatever provision goes forward.

The proper response should've been: "Councillor Sawant is absolutely correct. I AM responding to pressure from below. It's my job. So please, Kshama, keep the pressure up!"

If he's all for it, Murray should be grateful that Sawant's making the lay of the land easier for him, not harder. Murray more than Sawant will have to balance business interests in the coming battle. Having loud and constant "pressure from below" is his partner in keeping that balance in check. And should anything go awry -- failure to pass, or negative outcomes from passage -- he is further insulated from the blame.

Mayor Murray, you'll get all the credit you deserve should this measure go forward and be a success. Perhaps you should focus a bit on the fate of Big Bertha, and what you're gonna do when the bill comes due for the inevitable cost-overruns for the tunnel you effectively own.
@77, No, that's not hypocritical. But to say all companies should voluntarily pay $15/hour to employees because it's the right thing to do and then to NOT do it yourself for your own employees is hypocritical.
Whoops. Meant to say @82.
@84: I've viewed the Stranger's activism as calling for not volunteering to pay $15/hour, but making it a legal minimum wage. If there is a post where they call for voluntary increases in wages to a certain level, please link.
@87 That's a good point. I've looked through postings from the past few months, and Goldy, et al, advocate either for raising the minimum wage or imply that other firms, such as fast-food restaurants and hotels, should pay their workers $15/hour via unionization. I'm pretty sure there was a post in which probably Goldy said it's the moral thing to do, to pay your workers a living wage. But I can't find it after a good amount of searching. When I see these guys, especially Dan whom I assume to be in management at the Stranger and who posted about making $24K for a one-night gig, advocate that fast food places and hotels should pay their workers $15/hour, I think "you guys had better be paying that if you think they should be paying it." So I'm the one connecting the dots, not them. There are dots to connect, however. And the Stranger would be in a much better position to advocate for a $15 minimum if it voluntarily adhered to it. That much is true for sure.…………
Everyone knows Murray is combative and sensitive. Expect more of this in the future, not just toward Sawant.
You are so slanted, Stranger. Murray's letter was completely justified and as a newly elected official, Sawant should show some respect to her counterpart, colleague and office superior by recognizing that he is implementing a change that ultimately supports her Socialist stance. Does her letter actually suggest she simply wants credit for everything that could potentially be attached to her "movement" so that she can continue to get the endorsements she needs to fulfill a movement (that she wants credit for)? People have been fighting for a movement like this long before her arrival and will continue to do so well after she is gone. If she is truly passionate about her position, then she wouldn't slam Murray for doing this... but rather, she should care that she has the highest elected official of the city supporting her common cause (because she cares about the people, right?). His letter was just and courteous and ultimately supportive of her movement and their partnership at city Hall. Maybe the TIME Magazine article and national recognition is going to her head? Maybe she wants to be a celebrity... maybe she is using the Mayor to grandstand herself and her own personal agenda rather than that of the people she so strongly speaks for? But why would you think to address that or at least even consider an alternative? No way could she be selfish right? She's one of the people, right? You’re bias and just like Sawant and any far left or right citizen- you will make no pause in the slander of anyone who isn't in alignment with your propaganda - pardon me, your agenda... gosh, pardon me again... your journalism.
Murray never got the type of response that Kshama Sawant received for her inaugural speech. That he thinks "pressure from below" is an insult bodes ill for his mayoral term. His job is to serve the people, right? Take a look at my video of Kshama's speech and listen to the cheering:…
@91 I'm confused? How does her perceived popularity have anything to do with the Mayor's letter to her? The mayor simply said "Hey colleague, why are you bashing me right out of the gates?" He wasn't wining... he was asking for discretion before just throwing him under the bus on day 1 - maybe he can help her? This article has nothing to do with who has more cheers in the crowd. Because she's popular she has cart blanche to dismiss anyone at anytime? She's foolish - she should be looking for allies now that she is in a position of power. If she truly has the people's best interest at the forefront of her mission - she wouldn't start wars without just cause - she would be looking for support were support is valuable to it. IE The Mayors Office.

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