November 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM
Kshama Sawant extended her narrow lead over Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin in updated vote totals released Wednesday afternoon.
Sawant led Conlin by 402 votes – 83,095 to 82,693. That translates to a 49.99 percent to 49.75 percent lead.
Sawant, who would be the first socialist on the nonpartisan council in recent history, first took a lead over Conlin, a four-term incumbent, on Tuesday — one week after carrying only 46.1 percent of the initial returns on election night.
On Wednesday, Sawant won about 52 percent of the roughly 6,000 counted votes in the race.
King County Elections estimates it still has to count about 8 percent of the ballots it has on hand.
Election results are to be certified Nov. 26.
November 9, 2013 at 2:19 PM
Socialist Kshama Sawant’s momentum has all but scared the fleece off the trademark vest of Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin.
With Conlin clinging to a steadily shrinking lead over Sawant, the four-term incumbent emailed supporters Saturday, telling them to “make sure every vote is counted.”
The usually unflappable Conlin asked supporters to make sure their ballots had been verified and counted, by checking with the King County Elections. He told supporters they might have forgotten to sign their ballot envelopes, or there might be a problem with their signatures. If so, he urged them to be on the lookout for a form from King County.
“Please sign the form and send it in immediately to ensure your vote is counted!” he wrote.
He also asked for phone-bank volunteers to check on ballot problems.
Conlin led 53.6 percent to Sawant’s 46.1 percent on election night. After Friday night’s ballot count, Sawant was up to 49.5 percent and trailed Conlin by 1,237 votes.
A Seattle Times anlaysis indicates Sawant must take about 53 percent of the roughly 20,000 uncounted ballots to win.
The next vote tally won’t come until Tuesday.
November 4, 2013 at 3:47 PM
Take it from someone whose job includes ambushing politicians with uncomfortable questions: you must always watch for the second door.
Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant failed to do that this afternoon, dooming her plan to ask current council members entering their regularly scheduled meeting to sign a pledge to increase the minimum wage.
Sawant and several supporters were waiting, oversized pledge in hand, outside council chambers as the 2 p.m. meeting start time approached, arrived and ticked past.
“Somehow they found another way to go inside,” campaign director Philip Locker breathlessly announced two minutes after 2, adding, “they have a secret door!”
The group then hurried inside to speak during public testimony.
October 1, 2013 at 1:01 PM
Most medical marijuana patients should be brought into the recreational pot market the state is creating, urged all nine Seattle City Council members in a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee and key legislators.
The medical marijuana market continues to operate, at best, in a gray market, council members said, which could undermine the state’s goal of curtailing illicit dealing through a legal system allowing adults to possess small amounts of weed.
While many medical customers “live with conditions ameliorated by medical cannabis, the vast majority do not and would be better served through the access made possible by Initiative 502,” council members wrote in a letter dated Sept. 30.
That could mean combining the recreational and medical markets into a single regulated system, according to council members — though they also said the state should “make certain that the legitimate needs” of medical marijuana users are met. “Patients deserve a system that supports development of medicines appropriate to different conditions at a price point patients can afford,” council members said.
Under orders from the state Legislature, three state agencies — the Liquor Control Board and the departments of Revenue and Health — are supposed to make recommendations regarding the medical and recreational systems.
On Oct. 21, the agencies are scheduled to provide draft recommendations for comment, with a Nov. 8 deadline for comments.
The agencies will then present recommendations to state House and Senate committees in late November. By Jan. 1 they are supposed to deliver final recommendations to state lawmakers.
August 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM
Mayor Mike McGinn has scheduled an afternoon news conference to announce additional resources for public safety, but three Seattle City Council members aren’t waiting to see what the mayor has in mind, offering instead their own suggestions this morning about how to reduce violent crime and street disorder.
“Contrary to what the mayor and police commanders say, the police department’s own statistics show an increase in violent crime to the highest level since 2009 in some areas downtown,” wrote Council President Sally Clark and Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell in a blog post. “… Here are three practical and immediate steps the Mayor should take.”
The blog post then offers the mayor these suggestions:
- “Acknowledge the problem, don’t deny it.”
- “Embrace a continuum of response, including the arrest and prosecution of those causing the most harm.”
- “Police matter, but give them clear and consistent direction.”
After a Metro bus driver was shot Monday, the mayor and West Precinct police Capt. Jim Dermody both suggested violent crime was down downtown. But a Times analysis of police department data shows that’s not the case. The mayor’s Center City Initiative seeks to reduce downtown crime and provide social services while supporting jobs and tourism.
August 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM
With Seattle’s mayoral race and a King County parks levy hanging in the balance, King County Elections officials say they’ll count at least 230,000 ballots Tuesday night, releasing a single batch of results at about 8:15 p.m.
Turnout in the midsummer primary election is expected to be low. Officials have estimated 35 percent turnout in Seattle and 33 percent countywide.
There are 1,187,886 registered voters in King County, so if turnout projections hold, nearly 60 percent of the vote would be counted tonight.
Voters have until 8 p.m. to get ballots postmarked, or deposit them in county dropboxes.
“If they haven’t voted yet they probably want to get off the dime,” said Kim Van Ekstrom, spokeswoman for King County Elections.
Van Ekstrom said the county had about 250,000 ballots on hand as of Tuesday morning. The county expects another 50,000 or so ballots will arrive by mail Wednesday.
After Tuesday night, additional results will be released on most subsequent weekdays by 4:30 p.m., elections officials said. The election will be formally certified Aug. 20.
July 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Mayoral Candidate Peter Steinbrueck has called out Mayor Mike McGinn for recommending a $1 million reduction to the 2013 library budget in the executive’s supplemental budget.
The mayor’s office was quick to respond that it is not cutting any programs, services, hours or collections. Rather, said spokesman Robert Cruickshank, it’s redirecting some savings the city found after discovering that it had budgeted twice to end the one-week August furlough throughout the library system. And health care costs for the libraries are about $500,000 less than anticipated.
Cruickshank called the reallocation of library funding “a technical change that reflects overbudgeting.” And he added that the library “is on board” with both adjustments.
But Steinbrueck, along with Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Jean Godden, say savings found in the library budget should stay with the library and not be redirected to other general fund programs. They note that 13 branches are still closed on Fridays and the library is still trying to rebuild collections and catch up on building maintenance deferred during four years of budget cuts.
Steinbrueck notes that the recommended reduction comes in the same week McGinn sent out a campaign flyer asking “What if Seattle had a mayor who made sure our libraries stayed open?” The answer on the reverse side picks up a theme from the mayor’s reelection campaign ads and mailers: “We do and his name is Mike McGinn.”
Steinbrueck, who served two terms on the Library Foundation Board, said, “I’d like to see these funds stay with the libraries. I’m certain they could find a good use for them.”
April 29, 2013 at 10:34 AM
Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin has drawn a second challenger: Brian Carver, an Amazon.com manager who says education, police department reform and user-friendly transit are the keys to his second Seattle City Council campaign. Carver lost in the 2009 primary for Sally Bagshaw’s seat.
“We need to do all these things while staying true to our progressive values as a city,” Carver said.
Carver criticized Conlin for being the one no vote on legislation requiring companies to offer sick leave. He has been working as a Democratic activist since his 2009 run. He lives with his wife and their 7-month-old son in Wallingford.
Socialist candidate Kshama Sawant is also in the race.
March 19, 2013 at 2:29 PM
David Ishii, AKA Papa Bigfoot, a self-described West Seattle “character,” switched political races this week. He decided not to compete in the crowded race for Seattle mayor, but to instead challenge City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, who is seeking her second term.
Ishii has raised no money for his campaigns and plans to collect signatures to qualify for the August primary ballot, rather than pay a filing fee.
Ishii said he continues to generate ideas. At a recent campaign forum, he said he proposed sending homeless people to Eastern Washington to pick fruit. He also promised to work closely with the Department of Justice to clean up corruption in the city.
In a telephone conversation, he said he used to golf with Al Capone. When told that Al Capone had been dead for some time, he had a quick comeback. “That’s a pseudonym,” Ishii said.
March 4, 2013 at 3:38 PM
The Seattle City Council voted today to require healthier vending machines on city property. The proposal by Councilmember Richard Conlin also has the support of the Mayor Mike McGinn. Under the new rules, at least half of the food in city vending machines will have to be healthy.
Public Health-Seattle and King County gets to define what’s healthy enough to qualify. Their guidelines list carrot sticks, low-fat yogurt, string cheese and packets of tuna as examples of what people will find in a half-healthy vending machine.
“We are working to do our part to support healthier choices for those who want them,” said Mayor Mike McGinn, in a statement.
Conlin said: “Healthy vending helps to make the healthy choice the easy choice. This is one way that we can support healthy and productive city employees.”
Healthy choices have been offered in the city’s park vending machines since 2010.
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