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November 14, 2013 at 10:06 AM
King County Executive Dow Constantine and his longtime partner Shirley Carlson got married Oct. 31 in a private ceremony. King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu presided in the county’s largest courtroom, just after dusk, the executive said.
Constantine, who turns 52 tomorrow, met Carlson when they were University of Washington students and DJs on the University of Washington radio station, KCMU. They bought a West Seattle house together about 10 years ago.
“When it became clear that I was going to be elected to a second term, it seemed like a good time to take the plunge,” Constantine said.
King County is still counting ballots today, but Constantine has won nearly 80 percent of the votes tabulated so far. He served as a state legislator and King County Council member before taking the helm of the county, and has political ambitions at the state or federal level.
Carlson is a strategic planner in the fashion industry with a background in branding and marketing.
November 7, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has conceded the mayor’s race, saying he called state Sen. Ed Murray this morning to congratulate him on his victory and offer support in his transition.
“I let him know he was going to be in for an extraordinary four years,” McGinn said at a morning news conference.
After more ballots were counted Wednesday, Murray was leading by 13,211 votes, with 55 percent support, compared with 44 percent for McGinn.
In a speech at his Chinatown International District campaign headquarters, McGinn acknowledged that he might have rubbed some people the wrong way, but said “I hope people know I was always trying to do the right thing.”
McGinn did not close the door to future political runs, saying he would find a way to be involved in public service once his single mayoral term ends in December.
November 2, 2013 at 3:13 PM
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.
November 1, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Correction: An earlier version of this blog post incorrectly said Comcast has a monopoly on local Internet service. Other companies also offer the service.
Mayoral candidate Ed Murray responded today to a Washington Post story yesterday that said Comcast was giving big money to his campaign because he might stop a public-private broadband network being pushed by Mayor Mike McGinn.
McGinn has proposed a partnership with Gigabit Squared and the University of Washington to lease fiber to the private sector to build a better broadband network. It’s a spin on McGinn’s original 2009 campaign promise that he would make a publicly owned broadband network in Seattle. Once in office, he determined that was too expensive.
Today, Murray’s campaign released a statement saying he supports McGinn’s broadband plans:
“A story posted online on the Washington Post web site yesterday incorrectly implies that Ed Murray might not be supportive of citywide high speed broadband because Comcast has contributed to his campaign. As we made clear to the reporter yesterday — and as the article reports — Ed does support the city’s current efforts with Gigabit Squared to create a high-speed broadband network.”
Murray went on to say in the written statement that speculation in the article that Murray might not support all of McGinn’s initiative “is simply wrong.”
“Ed thinks competition is a good thing, and supports the creation of a citywide high-speed broadband network.”
It’s another example of the two candidates agreeing on a policy issue. Murray has said in his campaign that he doesn’t question McGinn’s progressive values and wouldn’t change anything about the consent decree the mayor negotiated with the Department of Justice about the Seattle Police Department. The race, Murray has said, is about style, and he opposes McGinn’s sometimes combative approach.
Comcast, the dominant local provider of Internet service, and its local executives, have contributed about $2,000 directly to Murray’s mayoral campaign. In addition, Comcast and a PAC funded by Comcast have given $10,000 to PACs supporting Murray.
“Comcast is a very sophisticated company,” McGinn said today. “They’re not putting thousands of dollars into this unless they believe they are threatened.”
The McGinn campaign went bonkers yesterday — tweeting the story, sharing it on Facebook and McGinn emailing the link directly to supporters — after seeing the Washington Post story and resulting blog posts about the Comcast contributions. The story stemmed from a reddit Q&A the mayor did recently, but it never got traction in the local media.
And now, Seattle Times technology blogger Brier Dudley has chimed in.
October 14, 2013 at 5:36 PM
The Port of Seattle says it will stop airing welcome messages at Sea-Tac Airport until after the November election following a complaint that they violate election laws.
Passengers heading from the parking garage to the terminal hear one of Seattle’s Port commissioners welcoming them to the airport, with a few facts about job creation and the Port’s 25-year plan. But now Andrew Pilloud, who lost a campaign for Port commissioner in the August primary, has filed four complaints with the state Public Disclosure Commission, saying the messages are basically free campaign ads for four commissioners running for re-election this year.
He filed complaints against the four on the ballot this year: John Creighton, Stephanie Bowman, Courtney Gregoire and Tom Albro. Port spokesman Jason Kelly said the Port will cooperate with any investigation and will stop playing the messages in the meantime.
And he said similar messages have played in the airport for about a decade.
October 10, 2013 at 4:43 PM
We fact-checked the first televised mayoral debate Wednesday night on KING5, and posted what we found in this live-chat. You can catch up here if you missed it.
We found that Mayor Mike McGinn and state Sen. Ed Murray fudged a few facts.
Murray tried to deflect the blame for an embezzlement scandal that happened while he was in charge of the state Democratic Campaign Committee. He said the thefts happened before he was in leadership. But reporter Jim Brunner posted the charging papers from that case, which show that the thefts continued and even grew on Murray’s watch.
McGinn repeated a familiar narrative: that he held up the settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice about the Seattle Police Department because he wanted to ensure the city got to appoint a citizens group. In the debate, McGinn made it sound like the Justice Department resisted the citizens group. But in an interview on KUOW two weeks ago, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan says her office proposed the Citizens Police Commission McGinn has often taken credit for.
In response, McGinn points to a speech by the U.S. assistant attorney general last summer, where he gives credit for the idea to McGinn.
Check out a video of that speech, along with fact-checks on police department staffing and other points each candidate made.
October 9, 2013 at 6:02 AM
Mayor McGinn and State Sen. Ed Murray participated in their first televised debate in the Seattle mayoral race. Reporters Emily Heffter, Lynn Thompson and Jim Brunner fact-checked the debate, took questions and added context throughout the event. If you want to re-watch the debate, check out the videos on King 5.
Just for fun, we created some BINGO cards before the debate that catalog the candidates’ well-worn talking points. Print them out if you’ll be re-watching the debate.
For more on the mayor’s race, check out our mayoral election guide.
September 30, 2013 at 1:13 PM
The Port of Seattle Commission sent a strongly worded letter to Seattle Mayor McGinn today, urging the city to start over on the review process for a proposed sports arena in Sodo.
The Port has opposed the arena from the start, saying it would tangle traffic near the city’s seaport, threatening its competitive position and crowding out maritime and industrial businesses that support middle-class jobs in Seattle. The commission’s letter today is a reaction to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed arena.
“Not only are arena proponents risking Sodo’s full-time, middle class jobs, they are also gambling with city finances,” the letter says.
The Port claims that the city should have analyzed alternative sites for an arena, even though a private investment team led by Chris Hansen is only interested in the Sodo site near Safeco Field. The letter also says the traffic analysis in the report “lacks all credibility.” The letter urges the city to start the process over.
September 13, 2013 at 4:44 PM
King County has hired another well-regarded city of Seattle staffer. County Executive Dow Constantine announced today he hired Adrienne Quinn, former director of Seattle’s Office of Housing, to lead the county Department of Community and Human Services.
Quinn replaces longtime director Jackie MacLean, who is stepping down at the end of the year.
While Quinn was director of the city’s housing department for five years, voters approved a $145 million housing levy, and the Seattle City Council expanded a program called “incentive zoning,” where developers can build higher buildings if they agree to provide affordable housing.
Quinn worked for Mayor Mike McGinn for one year before she left to work for a national housing nonprofit. She is the executive director of the Medina Foundation in Seattle.
She was one of several former Nickels department heads to endorse Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess for mayor before he dropped out of the race this summer. In July, she donated $200 to the mayoral campaign of Sen. Ed Murray.
Constantine has plucked quite a few city employees off the city payroll onto his own. He made former Seattle City Light Chief of Staff Sung Yang his chief of staff, and hired away the city’s budget director, Dwight Dively, when he took office.
September 11, 2013 at 1:49 PM
King County Metropolitan Council member Larry Gossett is recovering from a “slight stroke,” his staff said. Gossett suffered the stroke Sept. 2, and spent three days in the hospital.
He is not expected back at work until Sept. 23, on his doctor’s advice, said his chief of staff, Cindy Domingo. She said he is doing very well, and there are not expected to be residual effects from the stroke.
Gossett, 68, is chair of the council. He represents District 2, which includes the southern half of Seattle.
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