Frustrated by his lack of media attention in the Seattle mayoral race, businessman Charlie Staadecker produced his own four-page tabloid newspaper and paid to have it inserted in city copies of the Seattle Times Friday.
Under the headline “Believe in Seattle,” Staadecker outlines his leadership philosophy, experience, priorities and his “Six pillars of good government.” His faintly old-world tone (he regularly sports a bowtie and talks about civic virtues) can be heard in the lead story, in which he says about Seattle residents, “We want a Mayor who leads by words and deeds and inspires our untapped capacity.” Dare we say that choosing a black-and-white newspaper format is itself seriously old world?
Staadecker hits his experience running a commercial real-estate company downtown and his service on the Vashon Island School Board, to which he was elected twice. He vows to launch a 20-year strategic plan to rebuild the city’s aging infrastructure — something that on the campaign trail he calls a “Forward Thrust 2”-type bond measure.
Staadecker, 70, also paints a contrast between his own plans to change the city’s leadership and priorities and unnamed other candidates who are “celebrating the current situation” or “offer a little tweaking.”
The tabloid cost $3,000 to print and another $7,300 to distribute. Despite his lack of name familiarity or experience in city government, Staadecker has kept pace in fundraising with the higher-profile candidates, raising $195,000 to date, compared with $300,000 for state Sen. Ed Murray, $268,000 for Mayor Mike McGinn, $240,000 for Councilmember Bruce Harrell and $150,000 for former Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck.