Ed Murray: "I Am Not Running to Be a Progressive Mayor of Seattle"


really. well. put.
"And that speech made me feel disappointed in Ed Murray."

No, your boss told you to feel disappointed in Ed Murray.

Says it all.
Go Seattle!

Implement Fuel Cells, Google Cars and High Speed Rail!

Join the 21st Century...it's really fun here.

Murray is a moderate, at best. His pro-business inclinations are nothing new and there's nothing specifically liberal about pro-equality leanings if Senator Portman and Dick Cheney can support it. Sure, it was the decent and historically necessary thing to do to pass that bill, but it doesn't automatically make him a liberal, nor do his play it safe antics that require him to only vote for progressive measures when they can't pass and to press on more moderate measures that can pass.

Also, let's all recall that in his DSA questionnaire Murray suggests openly that he'd like progressive measures to slow down and for business to be at the table via more economic studies.

The key to the word progressive is "progress". Let's not vote for the exact opposite.
Very well articulated, PC, and I am definitely not a fan of yours!

Murray is blatantly throwing his support for the powers-that-be, the Community Development Roundtable bunch.

He is trashing (or as you described "Murray would use the words progressive and liberal like they're pejoratives") positive thought and values, while avoiding any substantive issues.

When Murray first ran, and lost, for office, his campaign slogan was,

"Don't vote for me just because I'm Gay."

An nobody voted for him, he was later appointed to fill a vacancy due to the death of Cal Thomas.

Murray may receive the neocon gaytard vote, but no thinking person, regardless of sexual orientation, would cast their vote for Murray and the Community Devleopment Roundtable..

Agreed 100%, which doesn't mean I think McGinn is the bestest most progressivist mayor either.
Murray is really starting to unnerve me. He sounds like another compromiser-in-chief.
Well said Paul! Agree entirely. And also agree w/MLM, not sure that McGinn is our standard bearer here either. But he's clearly more aligned with a vision of a truly progressive Seattle than Murray.

You're gonna look awfully stupid when McGinn loses in November.
Everything Baconcat said.

Seattle is the ultimate liberal-on-paper, regressive-when-it-actually-matters city.
Agreed 100%, Paul. And I'm a moderate myself, or what used to be called moderate; on the national scale anyone who doesn't want to bring back slavery is a crazy librul. I am pro-business. But I'm a progressive, too, and saying "I'm not a progressive" to a bunch of Seattleites is just nasty.

In the legislature you have to appeal to the crazies in Eastern Washington and Clark County. In Seattle, you don't. We don't want to. We don't WANT to appease the nutjobs who think bike lanes are a commie conspiracy. I think Ed has hung around with them long enough that he's been poisoned.
Agree with the sentiments of this column and most of the commenters.

The biggest difference that I see between Murray and McGinn is that Murray is running for mayor because he *has to* (to fulfill long-term personal political goals), but McGinn is running because he *wants to*...
YES YES YES. When I saw that quote in last night's summary, it reinforced why I didn't vote for Murray. Yes, I DO want a progressive mayor.
There were a fair numbers of Seattle voters who only planned to vote for Conlin in the primary to send him a message.
i'd say that if Seattle really measured up as a self-proclaimed progressive city, then we'd have more than just one person of color on the current city council, or as mayor or city attorney.
I think that both Murray & McGinn are using the term progressive as a campaign jargon and I wish it would stop. It's a branding mechanism more than an actual ideology, a label - and not a very accurately descriptive one.

That said, I don't think that Murray was saying that he's not a progressive (the man who brought the State gay marriage, anyone?). I think he's saying that using that label as a political identifier is a not a priority to his campaign. And that I can agree with.

I want both campaigns to stop telling me who these candidates are and telling me more of what they'll do. I wish all local media would do the same.

I'm so glad you wrote this, Paul. I am not a moderate, and I don't want my liberal candidates to act like one. I want progress, I vote for progress. I agree with 8, Murray would be another Obama.
" We're sick of kowtowing to moderates, the craven imbeciles who tell us to wait on gay marriage until the national mood deigns to approve of it."

You do realize that it was Murray's nuanced, incremental approach, one designed to appeal those awful moderates, that got this state marriage equality only 5 short years after those "progressives" at Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance made ass hats of themselves by filing Washington Initiative 957 (which failed to even make it to th ballot)? Right????....
Ed Murray for Mayor of Broadmoor!
He worked his butt off for gay marriage, and so did a lot of other people. But he hasn't given me a single reason why he'd be a good mayor for Seattle.
@12 - "In the legislature you have to appeal to the crazies in Eastern Washington and Clark County. In Seattle, you don't."

True - unless the candidate in question is running for Mayor with one eye on the Governors' Mansion. Then they need to be moderate enough to make an eventual appeal to voters outside Seattle - if not "the crazies in Eastern Washington and Clark County" then certainly the less-than-liberal voters in Pierce and Snohomish counties.
@ 19, all that proves is timing matters. Same sex marriage lost everywhere then. It would have lost in the legislature then, too.
@22: true. But I could give a fig about his ambitions to be governor or senator. I want a roaring activist progressive who fights like hell for Seattle.
@19 - a "nuanced, incremental approach" was necessary in a Legislature where it needed votes from conservative Democrats and - gasp! - a handful of Republicans to pass marriage equality.

Paul is right - Seattle doesn't need, nor does it deserve, governing by the Olympia standards that make "progressive," let alone "liberal," a label or ideology to shy away from.
So saying that "this has nothing to with McGinn" doesn't really make that statement believable. It's a pretty crazy idea that Ed Murray somehow has to prove his progressive bona fides just because The Stranger prefers McGinn. Murray was instrumental in first passing the domestic partnership bill, and then followed that with leading on the marriage equality bill. That guy is not a progressive? All he is saying is don't vote for me *just* because I'm gay and progressive....
Oh, and you know what "has to do with McGinn"? His defeat in the primaries! That was all him and the shitty job he's done during his term.
Wow, Paul, it really seems that you missed the point of Murray's words. He's not running as a gay candidate, although, of course, he is gay. He's not running as a progressive candiate even though he is that, too. Pushing for gay marriage is only one example of that. He's running to be effective. Am I supposed to be offended by that? Sounds like a good idea to me. And what's wrong with bringing people together--liberal, moderate or whatever? Sheesh, Paul, you're manufacturing a controversy where none exists. Your article title alone (taking one line out of context when Murray would argue that he is progressive), betrays your pro-McGinn agenda. Take a deep breath. You will, and Seattle will, too, survive the soon-to-be Murray mayoralty.
@16, If this was a progressive city we would have 1) voted for and built light rail or a subway already, like Forward Thrust long time ago and 2) dealt with its police accountability issues instead of denying there were problems and having the Feds come in and deal with them.

Progressive in Seattle is just PR. It is a moderate city.
1000% on the money, nice work paul.

and #16, i agree.
We are a moderate city. We like to pretend we're liberal and progressive and all the other buzzwords that we think will make Rachel Maddow say nice things about us, but we're not.

Income tax? No! Vote it down.

Density? No! How dare those developers displace our beloved car dealers and parking lots?

Mass transit? No! Streetcars and buses will be good enough for everyone. One light rail line makes us world-class.

We talk big, but we're moderate. Ed Murray knows his public more than one editorialist for the Stranger does.
"we'd have more than just one person of color on the current city council"

So you voted for Albert Shen over O'Brien?

That's what I thought - a 'minority' as long as they think like you and not for themselves. "Progressives" are so cute when they're racist.
@27: Thank you for pointing that out. Anyone can pull a few quotes out of context and then beat someone up for something they didn't say. Cheap trick well-known to Constant and Holden.
One, Murray needs to define "effective." Because, on the one hand, you could take it to getting the trains to run on time and that's not really what we want (we all know how that turns out).

Two, is that the central and overriding issue here in Seattle? That things don't work and our city doesn't work? Is it a nod to the Seattle way of overprocessing issues?

Three, don't we live in a great city (most of the time) because we refuse to be other cities? Because we want more from our city than just effectiveness? I suspect you could find some very nice vanilla cities somewhere in the U.S. where their city is effective and everyone nice.

That's not where I want to live. I want to live in a place where my mayor - above all others - stands up for the city and neighborhoods he/she represents.

I'll leave it to Murray to explain to us what he means. But I already have my back up against the pejorative use of the words liberal and progressive.
Man, why a challenger would avoid trying to swipe the incumbent's label away is just beyond my reckoning.
@34. I know, right?

This is silly. The rest of the world must shake their heads in wonder at our candidates/media parsing who's the progressive or not in our City.
A progressive leader; one who resists reform in the abusive and corrup local police department. One who negotiates public projects behind closed doors, at the behest of Wall Street Hedge Fund Managers, to be paid for on public borrowing. One who, within his first six months, was facing the unionization of city employees becuase they were afraid of draconian job cuts targeting their job class. One progressive, who cuts deals with Oil/Natural Gas speculators to being a hocky team to Seattle. One who witholds public documents in public requests in the same manner as the olf FBI, and is finally being sued over it (finally). And one who lied to the public, by claiming he was against a public project, than for it in the run up to the election, then tried to unravel it, breaking his campaign promise of supporting it. One who doesn't blink in his You Tube video, because liars do not blink (google it). Yes, that man is Mike McGinn. A true progressive.
@ 32, yeah. Like that cheap trick from last year, wgen theyade a big deal out of Romney's "47%" remarks.
Even Joe Mallahan and Al Runte claimed they were progressive. Is Ed Murray going to lose his state senate seat too now that people are actually paying attention to him?
@35, you have to admit it's fun to watch, though. This is my favorite time on Slog, after the SECB endorsement and primary running up to the general. I'm enjoying it especially this year since I started taking it all with a grain of salt -- artisanal finishing salt.
Yet, Ed Murray is from the FORTY FUCKING THIRD district, and he is a tired, establishment, suit, who will just as soon collaborate with the Nazis, as long as they are gay. Just how the fuck did the most progressive district in the state elect such a aging edifice of the Old Order?

If I remember correctly he was elected in spite of temper tantrums from the Stranger.

The zealous over-analysis is strong with this one. OMGURRRD he tried to make the point that doesn't want to go so whole-hog ideological that he alienates much of the city! Let's twist that around as much as possible because we're effectively a Mike McGinn newsletter!
Inconsistent much, Goldy? Ed says "I am not running to be a gay mayor of Seattle. I am not running to be a progressive mayor of Seattle." You then say "I'm disappointed that Murray would use the words progressive and liberal like they're pejoratives."

The only way that logic works is if he's also using the word "gay" like it's a pejorative.
@ 41, that would make sense if it was twisted. But it's 100% fair to focus on these remarks and react to them. That's what sound bites are, after all.

If Murray didn't want them to be digested in this fashion, he should have been more careful about his phrasing.
@ 42, Paul Constant wrote this piece. But that's a good point.
@hmmmmm: Way to Godwin. You're really elevating the discourse.
Please tell us more about what Seattle is Paul 'Transplant" Constant. Does The Stranger have a single staffer that is actully from The Northwest? Or even The West?

Apparently McGinn being in the back pocket of out of state developers is "progressive."

At least Murry understands that "seattle is a special place." and not just some backwater where a least coaster can make a quick buck.
I love this post. Beyond your well-made points about Seattle's unapologetic progressivism, however, I'm also turned off by Murray's wimpy style and what it says about how he'd run things. To me, the principal characteristic of an effective mayor is balls...Ram aggressive proposals past your dithering council, throw your weight around in the state legislature (which Seattle can do as the economic engine of the state) and get shit done for your city. If you have to, play Chicago/Daley-style hardball and smite your enemies. I don't want some spineless "communicator"/prevaricator running my town. Seattle's too badass for those losers. Give me someone with vision and guts, not talking points and bridge building.
Does "gay mayor" indicate how he would govern? No.
Does "progressive mayor" indicate how he would(n't) govern? Yes.
Relevance is relevant.
@42: I understand your point, but with all due respect, did you hear the whole speech? Because I did. I didn't pull those quotes out of nowhere; his speech was packed with supporting evidence for the "not a progressive" argument: an "integrated transit" system that for some reason has to appeal to everyone in the state rather than just the Seattleites who use it; working with (presumably the Republicans in) Olympia to get things done. Seattle should lead Olympia, not the other way around.

Murray mentioned several good meat-and-potatoes programs that made sense, like improving education for children of immigrants. And I agree with those programs. But I want a progressive to lead the way, and there was nothing in his speech to convince me that he could do that.
Here's what I find interesting. Seattleites spend more per capita on transit than residents of ANY other American city. 1.8% of the value of every taxable event in Seattle goes for transit. All that is a direct result of legislation passed in Olympia, and principally while Ed Murray chaired the Transportation Committee. Meanwhile, McGinn is responsible for exactly ZERO new revenue for transit. Now tell me again who you want: a "progressive" mayor or an effective mayor?
I was at that speech and I don't think they got the point. He was making a wider argument that he wants to bring the City together.It is his entire theme. He was saying I am different than McGinn. I will not be the one issue candidate. I will not be the guy who is only about bikes, etc. He is running to be the mayor of all. He will not be the Gay Mayor , the progressive Mayor etc. I do agree it was a bit halting and it was a bit slow, however, I think this is not getting the point of his argument. Remember, we really have only liked one Mayor, Mayor Nice, I mean Rice. We are a diverse City of more than just Dems, or Progressives. If we weren't then we would have no Viduct, tons of mass transit and nudity downtown or whatever. Finally, Gay Marriage was not won by moderates caving, it was won by working with Moderates to get it passed, see the religious exemptions and that it doesn't effect seniors.
I was at that speech and I don't think they got the point. He was making a wider argument that he wants to bring the City together.It is his entire theme. He was saying I am different than McGinn. I will not be the one issue candidate. I will not be the guy who is only about bikes, etc. He is running to be the mayor of all. He will not be the Gay Mayor , the progressive Mayor etc. I do agree it was a bit halting and it was a bit slow, however, I think this is not getting the point of his argument. Remember, we really have only liked one Mayor, Mayor Nice, I mean Rice. We are a diverse City of more than just Dems, or Progressives. If we weren't then we would have no Viduct, tons of mass transit and nudity downtown or whatever. Finally, Gay Marriage was not won by moderates caving, it was won by working with Moderates to get it passed, see the religious exemptions and that it doesn't effect seniors.
Log Cabin Democrat?
Remember, this is the same Seattle that voted down the plastic bag ban and voted pretty consistently for people like Norm Maleng and Sam Reed (even before he refused to let the GOP block Gregoire's election). So, I think to argue that Seattle is now left-of-left is misguided. Seattle has a center-left core among Gen Xers and Boomers (the NPR tote bag crowd Paul referenced) that still makes up a solid chunk of the electorate.

That said, if Murray wants to tack right in an attempt to isolate McGinn on the left, he's walking the same path Mallahan and Sidran walked. And we know that didn't work.

If Murray wants to win, he needs to get an endorsement from Harrell and/or Steinbrueck. And tacking right is not going to appeal to them. (Honestly, he really should just lay out a freakin' plan for Seattle, politically risky as it is. His entire campaign seems to be "I'm the guy who brought you gay marriage and here's my agenda: OMG MCGINN IS SCCCCCCARRRRYYYY!!!!")
@54 - Exactly. No one knows what Murray is for, other than the fact he is left of center, which is true of everyone who holds public office in this city. But there are some differences in the council and amongst some of the candidates. The biggest, most controversial issue in this city isn't roads, transit, sidewalks or the police -- it is density. Steinbrueck made it obvious to anyone who wanted to listen that he wants to put the breaks on much of the development in this city. He is OK with rules that mandate parking or the number of units in an apartment. The council battles over these types of issues. But the mayor, O'Brien and yes, even Conlin are the ones that push for changes to these antiquated rules. They are often out voted (as in the recent votes on some of the South Lake Union development). Parking is nice, but it isn't that important when a one bedroom apartment costs over a thousand bucks. It is time to liberalize these rules so that we can build more apartments. It won't solve the problem (by any means) but it will certainly make it a lot better.

The mayor knows this, as do some of the city council members. But I'm not convinced that Murray knows this (or if he does, he is keeping quite about it).
I love this article. Thank you.
@55, left of center? Murray wasn't left of center in the political landscape of 10 years ago; he's certainly not now.

We no longer call ourselves liberals; now it's "progressive", which pisses me off because it was a wimpy semantic move to make us sound less scary. Now Murray's using progressive pejoratively (yes, he did; it wasn't used in the same context as "gay" was). Do we now retreat to "moderate"? Hell no.
When Ed says he's progressive it's code for "gives away stuff to Eyman without a fight".
Shame on you Paul Constant. You even admit that you don't believe he's not progressive. Did you not listen to the whole speech? He obviously meant he's not only the progressive / gay candidate. We all know he's gay, we all know he's progressive. Did you stop listening and not hear the part about being the mayor of all of Seattle - the poor and homeless and drug addicted? Did you ignore his commitments on family shelters and support for battered women? Also, you left out the part about making city government more diverse. You took the speech out of context, misrepresented the candidate and what - hoped no one would check? Shame on you Paul Constant.
@ 57 I think you will find outside of SLOG Murray is looked as left leaning to left. I know some liberals don't want to accept this because they don't want to know how far left they are but hey sometimes the truth hurts.
Is there a recording of the speech anywhere?
He didn't really say that, did he? Read the whole speech. This is irresponsible reporting.
I don't think there is anything wrong with being a moderate. Your reporting is not reporting. The headline is misleading and intellectually dishonest. You won't be happy living in a progressive utopia either.
Murray's "bringing people together" line is senseless. The democratic process is designed to mediate conflicting interests. An elected's personality isn't going to make those interests go away, Obama has proven as much. Progressives need a fighter, someone who isn't afraid of contentiousness, a necessary part of the decision making process in a democracy. McGinn has showed us what it looks like when a progressive doesn't sell out. The established politicos take offense, and argue that he's divisive. Well, when you have competing ideas, and you stick to your guns, not everyone can be your friend. That's a good thing for progress and it's what Seattle needs to move forward.
I'm sorry I don't think gay marriage is necessarily a "progressive cause." It's rather ho-hum conservative but definitely essential.
@60 nobody cares what people in the suburbs think.

This is a race for the Mayor of Seattle, not the suburban archipelago that subsists off the hard work of Seattle.
I co-founded Friends of Seattle, which during its existence, was to help push the urban issues most Seattle residents live and breath, mass transit, green space, and progressive design/planning (making the city more beautiful while not always enriching developers). While Ed Murray has proven himself a liberal voter in a conservative legislature, he is profoundly mainstream democrat, which is not the politics of Seattle. We are exceptional left of left. McGinn is one of the most radical mayors in the country and the kind of Mayor Seattle deserves. Seattle politics is filled with problems. With the loss of Peter Steinbrueck from Council the progressive minds on City Council are in short supply, Mike Obrian as an exception. We want to keep a progessive mayor, esp if our city council is filled with the uninspiring. Prior to being mayor of Seattle, McGinn ran http://greatcity.org . As a gay person, we often feel inclined to believe gay politicians are the most liberal. If you want to have one of the most liberal transit minded, bike friendly, mayors in the country, vote McGinn for Mayor
@ 66 I know that why Im supporting McGinn but I said outside of Slog not suburbs
@ 66 (and 60): You're confusing neoliberal with "left". @ 67--same thing: Seattle is not "left of left" if "left" has any trace of "democracy" in its meaning. For the same reasons, McGinn is not "radical" in the leftist or democratic sense. McGinn and Murray are both ruling machine candidates (i.e., neoliberal), except McGinn tried to add some sensible and democratic post-automobile planning into the picture—and an abrasive undiplomatic style—both of which pissed off the regime. See Brewster's great essay at http://crosscut.com/2013/04/30/politics-… or the longer series of essays by Domhoff and others referenced at http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/loc…
You fucking dork--really, really have fun on election night. The first statement you took from Murray's speech was completely correct as spoken, that liberals and moderates need to come together; and the second was so laughably misguided that I'm actually empathetic to your idiocy. It's so fucking embarrassing to read good articles from JG, DH, and CM--even academically defensible stuff from BK--and then to come to the inevitable PCon drivel on either politics or comic books.

Christ man, it's getting really fucking bad. Ed Murray's too conservative? L O fucking L
in other words,


don't dare try to stop us from jumping off the cliff!