We've reported Seattle's declining crime stats to show that Seattle has no need for Mark "Tough on Crime" Sidran. We've run a lengthy list of Mark Sidran's unconstitutional policy bloopers--along with the accompanying harsh words from local judges (e.g., "It is hard to conceive of a more blatant prior restraint on speech."--U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour). We've shown that Mark Sidran's campaign rhetoric about Sound Transit and the monorail contradict his record as an elected official. Indeed, Sidran led the legal fight against the monorail and repeatedly supported pro-Sound Transit legislation. We've pointed out that police accountability reform will take a back seat in a Sidran administration because Sidran has the sole endorsement of the police union, the very group that has bogged down the city council's push for accountability. We outlined Sidran's personal wealth ($1.4 million in assets and investments, $2.8 million in real estate) to defuse Sidran's apparent populist appeal. We pointed out that in addition to the serious constitutional questions raised by King County Superior Court Judge Michael Trickey (can you say "unconstitutional seizure"?), Sidran's impound ordinance unfairly punishes minorities. We even got personal, pointing out that, despite gentile Seattle's amazement at Sidran's "wit"--the guy just ain't that funny.

But it was all for naught. As November 6 draws near, conventional wisdom predicts that Mark "Republican" Sidran will be the next mayor of Seattle.

Given that the next mayor is sure to confront an economic downturn and a shaky city budget (the city council is currently looking to cut $27 million from the budget), we think we've finally got an argument that will knock some sense into Seattle voters: outlandish budget overruns in the city attorney's office during Mark Sidran's tenure. Case in point: In the initial 2002 city budget, Sidran's budget estimates were so off that he is seeking $5.6 million above the original funding request. Translation: Sidran is asking the council for an 88.5 percent increase for judgment awards.

And this isn't the first time. Sidran's bad financial planning is evidently a trend. In 2001, Sidran's office needed a $7.4 million cash infusion. Translation: They had a 64 percent cost overrun. Given that budgets have displaced transportation as the number one issue in 2001, voters would be foolish to send Mark "88.5% Overrun" Sidran to the mayor's office.

Oh, and speaking of that other top issue--transportation--Sidran has just plain flip-flopped. Throughout the campaign, Sidran has attacked light rail in the press--stating in the October 4 Seattle P-I that he would shift money away from light rail, and in the September 23 Seattle Times that he would try to force Sound Transit to abandon its light-rail plan. Whoops! Check out Mark "Decisive" Sidran in his latest round of TV ads, promising he'll work for getting a light rail system.

In short, Sidran's not just a Republican. He's a flip-flopping, over-budget, constitution-flouting Republican. Seattle deserves better.

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