The SECB was late to Michael Maddux’s party and it’s nearly over now. We asked if he agrees that Rob Johnson looks like Woody from Toy Story (in a loving, endearing way, of course) and he says that he has no idea right now because he’s a few too many beers in.
When asked if he would strip out bike lanes and replace them with lazy rivers if elected to City Council, Michael said he doesn’t know what lazy rivers are. This is like quaaludes all over again. He did say though that he is in favor of getting rid of all parks so that they could be replaced with roads. Sedans will be banned in favor of single occupancy vehicles, preferably SUVs. Michael is fighting on the front lines of the War on Cars like a true patriot. We could all learn something. Michael did say that he is not in favor of replacing light rail with roller coasters because they make him sick. There are a lot of things you can say about Michael Maddux, but you can’t say he’s in the pocket of Big Theme Park.
During the primary election, Michael told the SECB that he spent a few weeks binge-watching The Wire despite warnings from those close to him. The SECB asked if Michael thinks he’s behind in the race because he spent so much time on TV and he says he doesn’t think that’s the case. Although, he did recently spend a lot of time catching up on American Horror Story and Heroes: Reborn. The SECB and Michael Maddux then had a heated argument on which seasons of the original Heroes are good. He likes most of those seasons, the SECB only likes season one. Let that factor into your political opinion of Michael Maddux.
Michael spoke candidly on how he’s proud of his campaign. He's proud he spent less per vote than any other candidate in the city and he did it without donations from large companies like Amazon. And no matter what happens, he'll keep on working towards building a better city. Toward end of our time at the Michael Maddux party, he said to the SECB: “Put this in there, I am a fan of parties.”
Shannon Braddock temporarily forgot what the SECB looked like and approached the SECB for a hug, then realized mid-hug who the SECB really was and loosened her embrace.
This was before the results came, back when Braddock was also very nervous. She was standing outside her party in West Seattle with a few friends and her mother watching for the ballot drop on their phones. Shannon said she was hiding out so she "wouldn't pass out in front of everybody."
Her mom, Kay, admitted she was "scared" but that her daughter "knows how to buckle down and get the job done."
At 8:26 pm, Braddock addressed the crowd inside Talaricos and thanked them for their support. Then lots of screaming erupted when the numbers arrived and showed Braddock leading Lisa Herbold, 53 - 46.
"I feel good about where we are," Braddock said later on. "We all expected it to be close."
When you look at the raw numbers beneath those percentages it's really close. Braddock's only ahead of Herbold by 733 votes.
Asked by the SECB what she's doing with the rest of her night, Braddock replied: "Staying here a while longer then going home and having a drink."
What's her drink of choice? "Bourbon or Pinot Gris, depending on the situation. But tonight it's bourbon."
The SECB could not tell you about Lisa Herbold's party earlier because it was located in such a remote part of West Seattle that the SECB could not text, email, or otherwise communicate.
However, there was delicious-smelling chicken gumbo and vegetarian chili, plus doughnuts, pastries, beer, and wine. The SECB gives Lisa Herbold's party an A+ for food and F- for accessibility.
Herbold said she was expecting a close race, and that it could take a couple days to find out the results (and may come down to potentially having to validate ballots).
Lisa's mom said she was sending out "lots of positive energy."
After the sad hour with Sandy, we returned to our official SECB Soccer Mom Sports Coupe only to find that the windows were all fogged up! While we waited for the windows to defrost, we decided to pass around some kind bud and listen Harvey Danger on the radio. Paranoia paranoia.
Super-blazed on some Black Haze shake, we walked into the Seattle Drum School, where Debora Juarez's daughters have been known to beat the skins.
And holy shit:
An edited version of Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money" started playing. (The SECB may need to take some credit for that selection.) Pizza was all over the place. There was TWO kinds of cheese (goat and blue) and a serious fucking crudite. We were handed a solo up full of "bubbles." People were dancing. Rumors were going around about an after party at Linda's at 10.
We asked Juarez's campaign manager, Tyler Emsky, what his official statement was. He couldn't remember. We asked him what the unofficial statement was. He said, "Hell yes! We stayed positive and we're excited to move forward. Now we're going to get to council and work on transportation and affordable housing and all that other good stuff."
Then we tracked down Juarez, and asked her how she was doing. She held her face with her hands and said she was tired, in the most excited way we'd ever heard before. She liked the Rihanna as party music, but bemoaned the lack of Earth, Wind, and Fire.
We asked how she felt about winning, and she said she didn't take anything for granted, despite the general consensus that she was winning the whole time.
"I didn't get to swim once. Didn't get to make my famous potato salad. Didn't get to make my famous fried chicken. Didn't get drunk ONCE on scotch. Now I'm going to drink scotch with my mom and sisters and then drunk dial Cher," she said.
While we were busy trying to explain to Juarez how she might not be able to drunk dial Cher, but she might be able to drunk Tweet Cher, Emsky tracked us down and forwarded the official statement, which reads: "We campaigned on our vision of a transit rich, equitable, and affordable North Seattle. We are thrilled to have the support of our friends and neighbors, and look forward to a productive term as District 5's first representative on the city council!"
We liked his unofficial statement better. As we exited, the hot beats of "Return of the Mac" pursued us into the parking lot.
A man with a proper Rollie Fingers/Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor mustachio and a Fedora (or is it a Trilby? we can never manage to give a shit) was busy bending our ear with unprintably salacious gossip about a candidate, when a high five SLAP between Tim Burgess and his flak indicated that the Burge would emerge victorious over the basically progressive charisma-free zone known as Jon Grant. John Roderick could not be reached for comment. (Actually he could, though not in any official capacity.) The 57.88 to 41.57 margin appeared to be wide enough to convince everyone in the room that the jig was up. Rollie Fingers claimed to have voted against Burgess. Better luck next time, Rollie.
And SECB, too. Despite having a legitimate claim to having handed us our own ass by trouncing the candidate we endorsed, Council Member Burgess took the high road. After receiving congratulatory handshakes from luminaries like James Keblas and David Meinert (both looking pretty psyched), il Burgio gave a desultory victory speech alongside another victorious incumbent, Sally Bagshaw, who won in a massive walk (as did Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Courtney Gregoire, who both beamed from a few feet away)—and then assented to a quick word with your humble servant.
"So," we said, proverbial hat in proverbial hands, "do you have anything to say to the Stranger Election Control Board in this, your moment of victory?"
"I don't," said Burgess, politic in triumph, but unamused in every sense.
(He went on to lament the low overall voter turnout, adding that the 50 percent or so that has been projected is "terrible. In this country, we should have 80 or 90 percent." But you are the Stranger's readership, so you must be wondering only one thing: How did he feel? "Happy, humbled," he said. (He also said he'd just received a congratulatory text from John Roderick only moments before, but it seemed clear that his happiness and humility issued more from the results than from his vanquished rivals.)
And with that, he was devoured by public radio and the sweaty squeezes of glad hands. The diverse spread of food, so bountiful only a few short moments ago, was completely gone, like so many beloved Seattle cultural landmarks of yore. Within moments the room was de-chaired and wiped down, with only a few stragglers lingering to celebrate the decisive victory of the three hosts.
And though there are still 80 percent of votes to be counted, this party is clearly over.
Shit is off the hook at the Honest Elections party at Grim's, where everyone is smiling, hugging, and smelling strongly of mac and cheese. Initiative 122 passed by a whopping 20-point margin. (The fucked up thing is that if campaign finance reform hadn't been blocked from passage last year, there'd likely be even more progressive wins to celebrate tonight.) But better late than never, y'all. Queen's "We Will Rock You" is blasting over the speakers, consultant Heather Weiner is dancing in circles, and we hear bar owner Dave Meinert is offering limo rides to the Seattlish ladies (?). Here's to a stronger, fairer democracy...
Yes. Mike O'Brien is up 60-40 in the early results. And of course that is exciting for the candidate. And SECB will return to such things.
But first, SECB has food news to report. "There are two food stages," says the candidate.
One food stage is out back in the chilly beer garden, where nobody is, and it involves meatballs in a red crockpot and a tray of deviled eggs that's only half empty, and one other swirly savory pastry thing that looks like SECB's Mom's "garbage bread" (which was very, very good), and all of this neglected food was made by the candidate's family, including an aunt who plainly makes the world's best deviled eggs.
But nobody is eating that stage!
Instead, everybody is eating what's here in the main, glowy room of Peddler Brewing, where strings of lights are strung and candles are gleam-reflecting off the dark wood tables and bikes are on the wall because PEDDLER Brewing (and that includes Mike's broken bike, which he bought in 1991 and proceeded to put 40,000 miles on until it broke one day recently while he was trying to get up the Fremont hill).
The food in this main room, where it's warm and even the aunt is inside somewhere, is tacos with all the fixins from El Camion, about which a man in line with SECB for the tacos says he does not know where they are from, "But it's going down."
And also here in the warm glowing place is a table from Firefly Kitchens, the fermented-stuffs place run by Julie O'Brien, including a lemonade spiked with kraut brine, which tastes good and which will help SECB's guts, SECB is told by Julie "The Ferment" O'Brien.
But why must the aunt-food be alone outside? Is the loneliness of the aunt-food a statement about Mike "The Bike"'s attitude about development versus home-grownness in Ballard?!!
SECB cannot think about such things in such a nice room with so much food and beer and cider.
In the past, SECB had a grudge against Peddler Brewing, because SECB thought that this place was where that whimsical/expensive cycling saloon thing came from. SECB HATES WHIMSY. (That whimsical/expensive cycling saloon thing simply stops here, and its riders get off to use Peddler's bathroom. Thanks for the effluvia, whimsy!)
Rather, Peddler Brewing is run by an extremely pleasant, apparently whimsy-free woman named Haley Keller (she got married two months ago to a man named Dave Keller, but she still forgets her last name sometimes, because it recently used to be Woods).
Haley WoodsKeller puts free tampons in the bathrooms. SECB loves free tampons. She also releases reportedly killer videos about the dangerous state of Ballard Bridge for pedestrians and bikers like Mike "The Bike." (So much peddling around here.) "If they don't fix the bridge soon, we're releasing another video!" says Dave Keller.
SECB is told that the candidate is drinking Pedal Strike Pale Ale. A pedal strike is when you turn a corner too fast and your bike pedal sparks where it hits concrete. Is this a statement about how Mike "The Bike" intends to govern for the next four years?!
SECB, again, cannot think about such things in such a nice room with so much food and beer and cider.
The SECB was asked if they had any shards (Note to my editor Eli: I don’t know if you know what shards means but it’s crystal meth) by someone on the street on the way to Rob Johnson’s party. Sadly, we don’t, but ask us again on Friday when Tim Keck has finished cooking up his latest batch in his secret lab in The Stranger’s “murder basement." The Pub at Third Place is pretty crowded and the SECB has no idea if everybody here is a Rob Johnson supporter. The SECB could ask, but we’re too anxious and we enjoy having a little mystery in our lives.
We found a back room behind the bathroom that was full of Johnson’s supporters. Everyone is in good spirits from the news that Johnson is leading. The song that’s playing is Tuesday by ILoveMakonnen and Drake. The Pub is definitely going up on a Tuesday.
While speaking face to face with Rob Johnson, the SECB had trouble listening to what he was saying because they were imagining him with a cowboy hat. He looks a lot like Woody from Toy Story! We think Rob spoke on the friendly competition between him and Michael Maddux, he called our coverage of the election “fair,” and he said that he thinks things may have gone differently with our endorsements if it wasn’t for the thing on independent expenditures.
The SECB asked if he wanted to be a politician when he grew up as kid. He says he wanted to be a teacher or a basketball coach, but once he got bit by the politics bug that was it. Way back when the SECB wanted to study sharks. Sometimes there's a snake in your boot and you're just forced to change course. Such is life.
Fred Fellemannnnnnn. This is a first! It's looking like a dyed-in-the-wool environmentalist is going to sit on the port commission and replace Republican Bill Bryant. Felleman's got 56 percent of the vote to Marion Yoshino's 43.
Fred's throwing a fancy ass party at The Edgewater, which is an establishment at the edge of the waterfront with an outdoor fireplace and a water fountain in the carpool loop. "I'm not just taking Bill Bryant's place," Felleman said during his "thank you" speech. "I'm trying to change the overall composition of the port commission here. We're going to make some progress in a quick order. We got global competition, we got global climate change. We all gotta work together so we don't get beaten up."
At the bar, the SECB ran into Peter McGraw, the port's gracious maritime spokesperson who had to deal with all the kayaktivists (and our coverage) during an Arctic oil drilling rig's stay at Terminal 5. McGraw brought Port of Seattle baseball caps as party favors, and he was kind enough to give one to the SECB. "Sorry for making your life hell for six months," the SECB told McGraw. "I've been doing this job a long time," he said and laughed, which seems like a good sign.
McGraw also introduced the SECB to the Port of Seattle's chief of staff, Mike Merritt. "I've read your e-mails!" the SECB told Merritt. "I know," Merritt said.
That seems like a good enough sign.
At least Felleman's reformist side doesn't seem to be too tempered by the new digs—and the new supporters. "We beat big industry!" Felleman's campaign manager Mario Brown told the crowd. "We beat oil! We beat Shell Oil!"
Okay, Felleman. Show us what you've got.
Amid a room full of people hitting “Refresh” at 8:15, the first person to see any numbers was Harry Teicher, Tammy Morales's husband. He released a guttural scream. Within a minute, Morales's campaign manager Aaaron Fishbone was on stage, obviously thrilled.
"Right now, Bruce Harrell is at 54.87%, Tammy Morales is at 44.93%," Fishbone said. "Tammy Morales wasn't even supposed to be a contender. For someone who wasn't even supposed to have a party tonight, we are fully in this." Fishbone pointed out that this first ballot drop only counts ballots submitted before Thursday and that they expect many late votes to be for Morales.
"Wow," said Morales when she got on stage with her family. "When we started this people said I was crazy, that there was not chance this was going to happen. It's not over yet. We just don't know. But this is an exciting early return." Indeed. Currently, there are only 889 votes separating Harrell, who won 62 percent of the primary vote, and Morales, who finished with just under 25 percent in the primary.
"It was pretty lonely out there for a while," continued Morales. "But door knocking and canvassing has been great." Fishbone tells the SECB that Morales knocked on over 5,000 South Seattle doors before the primary and continued doing so up until last night.
Speaking of lonely, the SECB also spotted former District 2 candidate (and primary casualty) Josh Farris drinking a tall boy of Rainier in the corner of the Royal Room. Farris seems to have the male equivalent of Resting Bitch Face.
The SECB is signing off from Columbia City, giving our full support to the election night platform of Morales's husband Harry (who turns out to be the campaign volunteer who hugged us when we showed up). "Everyone start shaking your stuff," he screeched as Rapper's Delight came on the stereo. "Because tonight is a great niiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!"
The Rendezvous at the Jewelbox Theater went crazy when tonight's ballot drop showed Lorena González with 76 percent of the vote, crushing her slow-growth-focused opponent Bill Bradburd. This wasn't really a surprise considering González also crushed Bradburd in the primary, but it's still a decisive victory for a woman who says she'll be the first person of Latino descent ever elected to the Seattle City Council.
"Seattle is ready for something different," González said before dedicating the victory to her family. González grew up in a family of migrant farm workers and says she earned her first paycheck at 8 years old. At this point, the whole place was crying, the SECB assumes through its own tears.
González will take office earlier than other council members because she's replacing temporary fill-in John Okamoto. She tells the SECB she's ready to take up homelessness legislation, in particular by making sure the mayor's new spending plans are racially equitable. She's also ready to tackle labor law—in particular, massive overhaul of the city's labor laws, which may include increased penalties for violations of wage theft, minimum wage, and other laws as well as new rights for employees to sue their employers.
(THE SECB IS TRYING TO KEEP WRITING ABOUT THIS BUT STRANGER PUBLISHER TIM KECK IS HERE AND HE IS YAMMERING AT THE SECB ABOUT ALL THE RESULTS IN ALL THE RACES. HIS NEW GLASSES ARE NICE AND ALSO HE PAYS OUR PAYCHECKS, SO IT'S UNCLEAR WHEN WE SHOULD TELL HIM WE REALLY NEED TO WRITE INSTEAD OF CHIT CHATTING.)
Socialists just got the result (52.6 percent for Sawant; 47.1 percent Banks), and they are dancing to MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This." To this member of the SECB, this looks like a revolution. It's clear Sawant is on her way to a solid win. The first drop should have have been more favorable for Banks. "This is the first drop, we fully expect our numbers to go up," she says. In short, she is claiming victory. Socialist Alternative are a political force in this city. "We have had an open socialist reelected," says Sawant. "Socialist politics are here to stay."
The results don't look good for Jonathan Grant, who is trailing Tim Burgess 58 percent to 42 percent. But he has one message, speaking from on top of a table to supporters at a packed Bar Sue on Capitol Hill: "I am not conceding... I'm not going to lie. We are behind, but it's not inconceivable that we could pull another 8 points." He also points out that it took almost half a million dollars for Burgess to get that 58 percent. A ton of that cash came from corporations and developers, while Grant took none. And he claims credit for pushing Burgess to the left over the past year, as election day as approached.
"This is not a David vs. Goliath story, it's a story of a lot of Davids," he said to applause, "but it's more accurate to say this is a story of many Danielles. This was a campaign run by women, and I think that needs to be recognized." OMG, we heart you, Jon Grant, and we earnestly hope, like your starry-eyed supporters here, that you somehow come from behind and close the gap with
Tywin Lannister Burgess.
"Each and everyone of you played a huge part—" Pamela Banks was saying to her cheering supporters, right as the screen refreshed. "Ugh," Banks said, interrupting herself. The screen showed Banks at 47.12 percent to Kshama Sawant's 52.56 percent.
"It's early," someone said.
"It's early," someone agreed. "It's close."
After a moment, Banks said, "We have nothing to be ashamed of. We worked our ass off to win this election... We worked hard, and we're going to continue to work until all those ballots are counted... We had to raise a lot of money in this race, and there are some very, very special people in this room..." After thanking key supporters, volunteers, neighbors, friends, and Sally Bagshaw, Banks is hugging people, laughing, and encouraging the DJ to turn up the volume.
They're here. We're looking...
Lisa Herbold: 46.48%
Shannon Braddock: 52.92%
Bruce Harrell: 54.87%
Tammy Morales: 44.93%
Kshama Sawant: 52.56%
Pamela Banks: 47.12%
Rob Johnson: 54.80%
Michael Maddux: 44.70%
Debora Juarez: 63.08%
Sandy Brown: 36.43%
Mike O'Brien: 58.80%
Catherine Weatbrook: 40.93%
Sally Bagshaw: 79.85%
Deborah Zech-Artis: 19.38%
Tim Burgess: 57.88%
Jon Grant: 41.57%
Lorena Gonzalez: 75.97%
Bill Bradburd: 23.54%
Holy moly, this billionaire does good hors d'oeuvres. Paul Allen's conservation/anti-poaching/hell why not Initiative 1401 has falafel bites, grilled cheese, deviled eggs, and beef short rib "with a little bit of roasted vegetable." (Clearly the conditions of America's industrialized meat and poultry production systems did not rise to the level of Allen's concern.)
When the SECB entered Sole Repair on Capitol Hill, lots of young-looking interns milled around while a projection of manta rays, elephants, and lions in the wild played on the wall. Paul Allen, the primary financier of the initiative aiming to eradicate demand for poached animal parts, was nowhere to be found. Still, the beats were, uh, hot, and we decided to poach some free temporary tattoos of endangered animals for later.
For the fuck of it, the SECB also decided to take an informal poll. How many people here actually knew what a pangolin was before this campaign? "I actually had no idea what it was until a month ago." "I didn't until this campaign." "I've always been into animals, so I knew." After asking seven people, it was revealed that three of them actually knew what pangolins were before Paul Allen started financing #pangolinawareness and four people did not.
One of 1401's campaign managers also offered up some #pangolinfacts:
1) Pangolin babies are called "pangopups."
2) "Pangolin" comes from the word "pennguling," which means "to roll up."
3) If you google "pangolin facts" there's a website called Pangolin Facts.
4) John Oliver said that a pangolin looks like a stegosaurus humping an artichoke.
It looks like I-1401 overwhelmingly passed, which makes sense. Great. This was fun. So can Paul Allen focus on endangered humans now? How about affordable housing? Mass transit? Homelessness? What about local animals, even? If we grew scales and started humping artichokes, would Paul Allen care to give money to The Stranger? We'd look pretty good humping an artichoke.
SECB entered Catherine Weatbrook's party wearing a very disgusting metaphor smeared on its face, provided by the SECB's own diss of Catherine Weatbrook, culminating in the line, "Even if Weatbrook personally mixed Frank Blethen's splooge and his editorial board's wiry gray ball hairs into an environmentally sustainable, concrete-like substance that could be used to fill all the potholes in this city, we still wouldn't trust her NIMBY nonsense."
SECB's plan was to create diversions, but DIVERSIONS WERE EVERYWHERE. The Weatbrook election-night party is at the rehearsal room for the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, people! The theater company practices in this former school that's now a place for several nonprofits. It is called Crown Hill center, and Weatbrook is the one who brokered the conversion in 2007.
This place is props central!
We've got a giant swan and a princess fairy wand thing that lights up, from Utopia, Limited; or, The Flowers of Progress, which "satirizes limited liability companies."
There is nothing like a satire of a limited liability company to take a mind off ball jokes.
We've got a very, very large set of gears on one wall, with red splatters that candidate Weatbrook does not deny is the blood of her opponent, Mike O'Brien (okay, SECB did not ask) (though Weatbrook does have to stop herself when she is about to say something surely nefarious about O'Brien, SECB doesn't know what—it came after the words, "I went to Lakeside—Mike was a year behind me. He..." and that was it).
Weatbrook is very good at identifying the props around the room. She's seen most of the shows. She worked on HMS Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance at Lakeside Middle School, BY THE WAY. She wasn't acting, she was tech-ing. "Making props and flying things, that's more my shtick," she tells SECB.
Weatbrook cannot eat nightshade foods. She explains to SECB that her party does have those two kinds of yummy homemade crockpot chili, yes, but it is not for her. If for any reason, she faints tonight and someone needs to use food to revive her, DO NOT USE THE SHADES OF NIGHT. Her party also has a bartender who would really like SECB to be tended. SECB appreciates, bro!
Weatbrook waved signs for 90 minutes in the rain this morning, she said. She then belled 107 doors. (BUT WHO IS COUNTING.)
If elected, Weatbrook may tear out the concrete that was just poured somewhere around 85th and 17th. Stay tuned to SECB if this comes to pass and concrete shall be torn near you.
SECB does not want to talk about the giant, vaguely Asian pots from The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu, but they are HUGE and there are SEVERAL and SECB can't stop seeing them, so SECB has to ride off into the night with the smeared face and the memory of dangerous chili.
At first we were a little depressed to attend the Sandy Brown election party because we heard he was going to lose. It's hard to see a nice guy who goes with the Lord lose, really is. But then we walked in and saw baskets of Gardettos on the tables and got PUMPED.
Upon closer inspection we discovered that our sweet, sweet 'dettos were o’erstuffed with plain pretzels. Woeful.
We sat down with Sandy Brown and talked about his love of poetry. He name-dropped Wendell Berry, who is a semi-deep cut of American poetry. We smiled, both at Brown's serviceable knowledge of poetry and because we saw heretofore unseen bagel chip hiding beneath a mound of pretzels.
Then a bunch of assholes swooped in and started talking to Brown and we sat there patiently and waited until like 8:00pm until he could talk again. Finally, we had us a sit n’ chat:
What kind of beer is that?
Then he applied frosting to a cupcake with a pizza crust and gave it to us. We were impressed with his ingenuity.
What did you change in the campaign between the primaries and now?
We did huge work on the ground. Lots of doors. That’s been the story of our whole campaign. We’re sitting at 42,000 doors. Personally I’m just under 13,000 doors myself. I’m at something like 12,900.
You got a lot of union support, how do you feel about that?
We got 90 percent of the Unions. I have history with the labor unions. So I think they understood I’m a reliable friend. SEIU 1199 NW is negotiating with both Harbor View and Northwest Hospital. I’ve been supporting them from the very start, and it’s great to see them supporting me. They’ve been canvasing with us. Sad to say that they may see themselves facing a strike here in the next several days.
You didn't get endorsements from The Seattle Times or The Stranger. How do you feel about newspaper endorsements in general?
They’re important. They’re what caused the primary results to end up as they did. It makes me sad. Even though The Stranger is a sterling newspaper, it’s headquartered on Capitol Hill. I don’t believe there are any members of the SECB or The Stranger who live in District 5 or know a lot about the District 5 issues. I didn’t get that impression from our interviews with the SECB. Seven candidates sitting around a room. It’s very hard to show the strengths of your candidacy in such a quick moment.
More or less the same thing happened The Seattle Times. They endorsed my opponent because of her stand on Terminal 5 and Shell Oil.
There isn’t a medium for news that is District 5 focused. If anything would make us stronger, it would be a news outlet that just covered District 5.
Do you feel confident?
I feel hopeful. We’ve done number of doors. We’ve had good responses after forums, too.
There was some loose talk about a "miserable, short attorney general" who has been paying for ads. We don't know what they're talking about because we are practically deep throating a slice of pizza as we walked out the door to catch the Debora Juarez party.
On the way to Pamela Banks's party at Tougo Coffee, the SECB stopped by Little Uncle for some Thai food. If we had to choose between Little Uncle and democracy, we'd probably choose Little Uncle. If we were hungry enough. And we were. If you're not familiar with Little Uncle, it's the outdoor Thai restaurant on Madison currently covered in Pamela Banks signs. There are Banks signs in planters, on walls, and all above Little Uncle's awning. Pamela Banks's campaign office is right above the restaurant.
So is everyone who works at Little Uncle voting for Banks? "I don't live in the district," one of the Little Uncle folks said. "None of us can afford it."
He added that Banks walks by all the time and she's unfailingly polite.
Banks told the KIRO reporter, "I'm excited. I'm anxious. I think we've run an incredible campaign." When the KIRO reporter asked Banks to describe Kshama Sawant, the SECB overheard the words "divisive" and "diehard." Then Banks said, "I'm not a soundbite. I do action. I'm a problem-solver. I'm solution-based."
When the SECB introduced ourselves to Banks, she said, "It's cool." We asked her if she had anything to say to the SECB or Dan Savage, and she said, "Thank you for coming to my party." She smiled, sipped her tea, and broke away to talk to someone else.
"Congratulations on a great campaign," said the person, who happened to be Allison Holcomb.
Once they unveiled the food, we were happy we'd eaten. Hummus.
The Burgess/Bagshaw/Kohl-Welles affair at the Belltown Community Center is still revving up. Into what remains to be seen, as do the candidates—unless of course they're here and just blending with the other normal Seattle people we couldn't pick out of a line-up (as if they would ever be arrested).
The supporters on hand so far consist of some TV news cameras and "a lot of old white men," according to the guy, non-white, who has been talking to us while waiting to tuck into the ribs on his paper plate. And women, we interject. "And women, it's true," he concedes, before explaining that his number one concern in tonight's election is the potential legalization of marijuana in Ohio. He says that he's excited by the prospect of people, like his parents, being exposed to pot culture in the midwest. Oh, do they live in the midwest, we wonder aloud? "Las Vegas," he replies.
In contrast to the crowd, the spread of food—"amazing" according to Mr. Ribs—is impressively diverse: pizza, pintxo, subs (or are they hoagies?), a variety of meats and cheeses, (holy) cannoli, and a reasonably well-stocked bar. "Emperor Constantine is here," says our new friend. "Dow Constantine," he clarifies. (The guy knows how to party hop.) That might be our cue to go snag a cannoli and try to get a good spot for the early results unveiling.
Meanwhile, it's impossible to be in Belltown, contemplating our changing city, without pausing to hum this brilliant Robyn Hitchcock song from 10 years ago.
Considering this is the most expensive levy in city history, the SECB was expecting the Let's Move Seattle campaign to host its election night party inside a streetcar made of fucking cocaine. Or something.
Instead, the SECB is in the little balcony area of the Belltown Pub watching three blonde children shove fried chicken into their faces. Transit nerds / ghosts of SECB past Erica C. Barnett and Josh Feit are here along with a lot of North Face jackets standing around drinking what the SECB assumes are microbrews.
Shefali Ranganathan, deputy director of the Transportation Choices Coalition, which ran the pro-levy campaign, looked tired and nervous when the SECB cornered her to talk about the levy.
"Tonight we are expecting to be down," she said. "We also expect the later votes will swing our way."
That means that even if things don't look good at 8:15, they're expecting it to get better with tomorrow's more progressive ballots.
Why, exactly, do they expect to be down? Faye Fucking Garneau, that's why. Garneau dumped a ton of money into trying to convince voters that Move Seattle was a slush fund of non-guaranteed projects instead of a super necessary transportation measure to help this city keep up with its growth. Spoiler alert: Faye was wrong, as she (almost) always is. (We say almost because she gave us districts and districts got rid of Jean Godden and we are v, v, v thankful for that.)
TCC, Ranganathan's organization, has worked on plenty of previous transportation and transit measures but the sheer amount of money Garneau dumped into this one made it different, she said.
INTERRUPTION: THE SECB JUST SAW DOW CONSTANTINE AND HE IS LOOKING DAPPER AF, AS USUAL. THE SECB KNOWS IT'S UNCOOL TO OBJECTIFY POLITICIANS—EVEN MALE POLITICIANS—BUT DAMNNNN.
Anyway, Ranganathan impressed the hell out of the SECB when she pulled up stats on her iPhone showing that the Let's Move Seattle campaign called a total of 170,000(!) people urging them to vote "yes" and correcting "misinformation" spread by the no campaign.
"At the end of day, it really is, if you think about it, what Charles said today," Ranganathan tells the SECB, referring to this post. "What kind of Seattle do we want? I think you’re going to get that answer from voters: They want investments in safety, in transit, in biking."
The SECB, for one, sure hopes she's right. If this levy fails, Ranganathan says, the Seattle Department of Transportation will lose 25 percent of its budget and some of the projects it's already working on just won't get done. Not to mention all the bike lanes, bus lanes, sidewalks, and street repairs the levy would pay for.
"We’re a growing city," Ranganathan says. "The last thing we need is 25 percent budget cut."
There's already cause for cheer at the Yes On I-122 Honest Elections party over at Grim's on Capitol Hill, which is humming with dozens of campaign finance nerds. (Wise elder nerd Nick Licata is also on the scene.) They've been watching the election results in in Maine—yes, Maine—where that state approved a campaign finance reform measure by a ten point margin tonight. We've never cheered for Maine before—in fact, we're not sure we know what a Maine is. But... go Maine! The mood here is a little nervous (I-122 staffers say they're prepared to go chase down stray ballots if the margin is close), the Billboard Top 100 soundtrack is excruciating (FUCK IGGLOO AUSTRALIA FOREVER), but the edibles are fantastic (folks are absolutely tearing through the mac and cheese, which we're told is made marinated in spices and uses cheddar, Havarti, Gruyere—no corporate cheese here). We'll have more from the Honest Elections party after the ballot drop at 8:15 p.m. Meantime, we're gonna place a safe bet that no other election party has better food. Honestly, it's that good. Also? The fearless, always wonderful Brianna Thomas is emceeing, and she knows how to party.
The SECB finds the spread at the Kshama Sawant party much improved from primary night. They're still offering a lot of satsumas...
...but there's also Swedish meatballs and lots of wine. Both red and white! And the comedian Brett Hamil did a funny set.
The main thing people are talking about is how the campaign raised half a million dollars and knocked on 90,000 doors. Say what you want to say, but that shit is impressive and should be scary for the establishment. It really may represent a major shift in American politics.
First, it must be said that certain members of the SECB are disappointed in District 2 candidate and current city council member Bruce Harrell for not throwing an election night party. (Or maybe he is holding a secret party and shutting out the SECB because we reversed our endorsement of him? Confidential to Bruce: SECB goes by a majority vote and some members wanted to keep our endorsement of you.)
At Harrell's primary night party, held in the parking lot of his campaign headquarters on Rainier Ave, he promised that "For the general we're gonna jam it up." Considering that Harrell's party included grown women chair dancing and singing along to Luther Vandross, along with an abundance of chicken tenders and various dipping sauces, we feel that Bruce is unfairly denying SECB a potentially bangin' South End party.
That said, upon our arrival, a volunteer here at Tammy Morales's party at The Royal Room hugged the SECB and thanked us for our courage in endorsing her in the general. When Tammy arrived a few minutes ago, accompanied by family, she was greeted with cheers and hugs from her supporters, who include a quite a few women of color and their families. (The SECB really loves District 2.)
"Hopefully, we'll have a lot of good things going on tonight," Morales told us. Until the results are in, Morales supporters are keeping busy hugging and snacking on a spread of good, garlicky hummus and vegan tempeh lettuce cups topped with a spread made from squash.
Other people have been making this point, too. Late voters, whose ballots aren't going to be included in tonight's count, tend to be far to the left of the rest of the electorate. Ur example: Kshama Sawant coming from behind to beat Richard Conlin in 2013 as late, left-leaning ballots were counted.
So if you see Tim Burgess in a tight citywide race after tonight's ballot drop, that might mean challenger Jon Grant has a good shot at victory.
Pretty stark. Kshama Sawant precincts are in red, Pamela Banks precincts are in green.
What Sean Nelson saw when we went to deposit his ballot at the 4th Avenue drop box this afternoon. There have been a lot of mutterings about low turnout (so far) in this off-year election.
At the end of primary night, the Stranger Election Control Board found itself at the Canterbury getting deep and philosophical with John Roderick. Maybe we'll end up in the same place tonight, but first we have some election parties to crash and some still-in-the-running candidates to drink with. Back soon with a mouthful of party chips, an earful of election gossip, and—at 8:15 pm—the first results!