We must be in the final days of Seattle’s mayoral race.
State Sen. Ed Murray held his second news conference in 24 hours Saturday morning, responding to last-minute campaign maneuvering by Mayor Mike McGinn and his supporters. They caused a stir online this week, reacting to a Washington Post story about Murray’s campaign contributions from Comcast and some Planned Parenthood robo-calls in support of Murray that went out on Tuesday.
Murray’s campaign, which has seemed comfortably in the lead, seemed less certain Saturday as the Senate Democratic leader accused McGinn’s campaign of “harassment” and “cyberbullying” because some of the mayor’s supporters put on Facebook the cell phone number of a Planned Parenthood staff member.
Asked why he would engage the mayor at such a late stage of the game, Murray said: “I don’t believe the polls. I don’t believe we’re that far ahead.”
He also said the McGinn campaign’s reaction to Murray’s Planned Parenthood support demanded a response. McGinn’s campaign said Planned Parenthood’s calls left the impression that McGinn was not pro-choice, when he and Murray are actually ideologically the same, with 100 percent pro-choice ratings. Jeff Sprung, a board member with Planned Parenthood’s political arm, said the calls did not mention McGinn, and said the group voted unanimously to endorse Murray because of his longstanding leadership on the group’s issues in the Legislature.
To push back, some McGinn supporters posted on Facebook the phone number for Planned Parenthood’s political arm that was listed on the city’s Ethics and Elections Commission website. That turned out to be the cell phone number of a Planned Parenthood staff member. When she asked to have it changed to the main Planned Parenthood phone number, the campaign asked supporters to edit their Facebook posts, said Aaron Pickus, a McGinn campaign spokesman.
Sprung said the staff member did receive some calls, but he doesn’t know how many or what the impact was of having the phone number on social media.
Reporters asked Murray again Saturday whether he would denounce another ad by an outside group, about McGinn’s record on domestic violence. The Seattle Times found the ad mostly false. Murray said he would not denounce the ad. In fact, he said, he has not even watched it.
“I am not going to denounce the ad,” he said. “I think (McGinn’s) record on this issue is not good.” He also has not read the script of the Planned Parenthood calls made on his behalf, he said.