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August 1, 2013 at 6:11 AM
Mike McGinn’s Seattle map of imaginary rail lines
I like to look at campaign flyers to see how honest they are. Here is a technically honest but tricky one from Mike McGinn’s campaign to be reelected mayor of Seattle. The other side is a big picture of Link Light Rail with a headline, “What if we had a mayor with a plan to connect our neighborhoods with transit?”
By dictionary definition, “transit” includes buses. But in Seattle politics, “pro-transit” means pro-rail. Add that the picture is of light rail, and that the phrase, “a plan to connect our neighborhoods with transit” implies that the existing connections by King County Metro don’t count.
We’re talking rail.
Turn the card over, and you get this:
If you read the copy carefully, it doesn’t lie. But if you just glance at the map, which a lot of people will do, what do you see? It looks like the subway maps you can get in New York, London or Hong Kong, with each line a different color and the the transfer points little white ovals. What it suggests is that if you vote for Mike McGinn, Seattle will have rail lines to West Seattle, White Center, Georgetown, Rainier Beach, Seward Park, Interbay, Ballard, Fremont, Lake City, Maple Leaf and Aurora North. Which no one is promising, because there is no money for it.
The author can wave this in my face and yell, “WHERE DOES IT SAY THAT?” and he’d be right. It doesn’t SAY that. But someone has gone to great effort to make it look like that. Compare with a map of London: