Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.
July 24, 2013 at 7:42 AM
Anthony Weiner, Mike McGinn and Whole Foods
In the New York mayor’s race, they’re talking about a fresh batch of explicit text messages uncovered that were sent by mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner to women other than his wife.
In Seattle, we’re talking about Whole Foods. The incumbent, Mayor Mike McGinn wants to block the development of a Whole Foods in West Seattle over wages. News columnist Danny Westneat wrote about the “juicy debate” in columns on Wednesday and Sunday.
Every year I build a spreadsheet, for my own notes, comparing positions as candidates come in for editorial board interviews. And when it came down to debating who the board would recommend, I looked through the chart and realized that there’s not much separating the mayoral candidates on the issues. (BTW, here are our editorial board’s recommendations to the voters for the Aug. 6 primary election.)
The major points of difference:
Seattle Police Department reforms: McGinn believes that the Department of Justice and Seattle Police Department are both “pulling together” after the DOJ found use of excessive force and evidence of biased policing. All the other candidates criticize McGinn for handling it poorly.
Proposal to build an NBA/NHL arena in Sodo: Candidates Peter Steinbrueck, Kate Martin, Mary Martin and Joey Gray are against it. Bruce Harrell, McGinn, Charlie Staadecker and Ed Murray are open to having it in Sodo. (I have advocated for it to go back to Seattle Center at the Memorial Stadium site in an earlier column, “Sonics fans, it’s time to give your heart a break.”)
On education, transportation, affordable housing, most of the candidates are basically saying the same thing. We need to improve education and build more affordable housing. We need to make it easier for cars, freight, buses, cyclists and pedestrians to get around town. Kate Martin went out on a limb and said some roads should be closed to cars to prioritize transit during rush hour. Socialist Mary Martin is the most differentiated candidate because her answer to almost every question is “the working class.”
As Westneat wrote, the Whole Foods issue is the juiciest debate yet.
I would like to hear from the voters in West Seattle, who have lived with a block-sized hole in the ground at a major intersection since the recession hit. With the viaduct construction going on, West Seattle is basically an island. People who live on Bainbridge Island can get downtown faster than a West Seattleite can during rush hour.
In the meantime, I’m getting educated on the New York mayor’s race. Check out the Associated Press interactive on the latest Weiner revelations above, and Froma Harrop’s column, which offered a scoring system on politicians’ cheating hearts.