In July 1998, the The Stranger news department, never shy about making declarations, proclaimed: "Sidran is Satan." Mark Sidran--easily more reviled by The Stranger than any other villain in local history--was city attorney at the time. Sidran spent the '90s authoring a run of "civility laws" that discriminated against the poor, writing a constitutionally dubious "poster ban," and throwing his support behind an entertainment licensing law that seemed tailored to squash black nightclubs. Yecchh.

In 2001, when Sidran dared to run for mayor, we escalated our attack, writing that Sidran was even worse than Satan. He was, we concluded--citing recent anti-Sidran court rulings--actually "unconstitutional." We wrote: "We were wrong when we reported that Mark Sidran was Satan. Satan, after all, is a big fan of the U.S. Constitution. Lucifer likes to exploit our constitutional freedoms (dancing, listening to hiphop, etc.) for his dastardly goal of luring us to the dark side. But Sidran has no patience for the personal risks that come with our constitutionally guaranteed rights." Ouch. Sidran went on to lose to The Stranger news team's choice for mayor, Greg Nickels.

This year, in our most controversial move yet, we revised our Sidran position once again. We endorsed him for state attorney general! Readers were outraged. What the hell were we thinking? What happened to The Stranger our readers loved and trusted? How could we endorse a candidate for state attorney general whose career accomplishments in the city consisted of throwing his weight behind legislation inimical to the rights of poor people, music clubs, and the First Amendment? In retrospect, is this our biggest regret of all time?

Not a chance.

What we regret is that the outspoken brainiac lost in the Democratic primary.

The truth is, Sidran was the only Democrat who stood a chance of beating evil Republican charmer Rob McKenna. But Democratic voters statewide--most of whom don't have the luxury of reading The Stranger's endorsements--favored Deborah Senn, Sidran's challenger in the primary, easily the most unelectable woman in state politics. (Although Gregoire is a close second.) While Sidran actually walloped Senn in The Stranger's turf, King County, getting 55 percent of the vote, Senn--a lefty drip of a politician--won 50.6 percent statewide.

In our Sidran endorsement, we cautioned: "We believe that Senn [will] be blown out of the water in the general election by Rob McKenna." We were right. Senn only got 43 percent in the general election. It's regretful that The Stranger isn't distributed statewide. If it were, we might not be facing four years under a Republican attorney general.