Topic: Charlie Staadecker
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July 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM
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.
July 15, 2013 at 3:59 PM
With “Candidate Survivor” taking place Tuesday, the hopefuls for Seattle mayor are doubtlessly practicing their singing and dancing moves in the hopes of living up to Tim Burgess’ epic 2011 rap performance.
But candidate Charlie Staadecker says the popular and unusual event is “inconducive to constructive discussion” and “diminishing of the candidates and diminishing of the process.”
“Part of leadership is the ability to say no,” Staadecker said in a recent interview.
Candidate Mary Martin also is skipping the event to attend a socialist convention in Ohio.
The event is definitely a little different. It will feature text-message voting to decide who stays on stage, drinking by attendees and, of course, the talent show. The Washington Bus, which is sponsoring the event, is billing it as “a three ring Circus to determine Seattle’s next Mayor.”
But the executive director of the Bus, which works to get youth involved in politics, said the event will be a unique opportunity for the candidates to engage young people and — because hopefuls are eliminated throughout the competition — will allow for more detailed discussion between the top candidates.
“Not only is it going to be a very fun event, but I actually think it’ll provide some of the most illuminating, enlightening insights into the candidates themselves,” said the executive director, Toby Crittenden.
No major candidate has ever skipped the event, Crittenden said.
About 700 people are expected to attend the 8 p.m. festivities at the Showbox at the Market, 1426 1st Ave.
July 9, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Charlie Staadecker, struggling in the polls, has settled on a strategy for winning votes for Seattle mayor: portraying himself as the race’s version of Dos Equis’ “most interesting man in the world.”
Staadecker, a realtor and arts patron, has made five web videos parodying the popular Mexican beer commercials.
The first video, posted online Monday, starts by touting Staadecker’s shoe collection and diet and then depicts the candidate himself dressed in a light suit and traditional bow tie, seated in a swanky restaurant.
“I don’t always run for mayor of Seattle,” he says in the video. “But when I do, I will fix the problems we face every day.”
Then a narrator’s voice comes on: “He is the most qualified candidate in the race.”
Staadecker closes by saying “So stay informed and vote, my friends.”
The other, similarly themed ads are centered on public safety, education, jobs and infrastructure, according to the campaign.
Asked about the ads, Staadecker said they’re meant to show that “along the way we can have a little bit of fun with some serious issues.”
“Life is too short not to have fun,” he said.
Hamilton McCulloh, a campaign spokesman, said they have not yet decided whether to also run the ads on television or radio.
April 30, 2013 at 1:36 PM
Monday’s mayoral forum in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood was a rapid-fire affair, with plenty of “lightning round” questions that had candidates displaying hastily jotted answers on giant sketchpads. The frenzied pace and eight-candidate field made it hard for anyone to emerge as a clear favorite, but there were some notable moments. Here are a few:
1. A sleeper candidate? City Councilmember Bruce Harrell showed some political knack Monday, playing to the liberal crowd at the event organized by three south-Seattle Democratic district organizations. One example came when he tackled a question about why a recent study found the Seattle area has the worst gender-pay gap of any major U.S. city. Businessman Charlie Staadecker said he hadn’t heard of the study and Councilman Tim Burgess joked the problem would “self correct” if everyone had daughters like he did — and both suggested women need more education. But Harrell led with the response the audience craved when he declared: “The answer is simple: institutional practices!” And Harrell said he’d immediately reached out to the Seattle Women’s Commission to develop a plan to respond to the problem.
Harrell also had other moments where his answers were crisper and less bland than those offered by rivals. He attacked “political cowardice” by some elected officials following the 2010 fatal shooting of woodcarver John T. Williams by a Seattle police officer. And he made the case he’d be able to represent a more diverse swath of the city, saying: “I am welcome in corporate boardrooms and churches and athletic fields and the roughest and toughest neighborhoods.” He didn’t place high in the first public mayor’s race poll but, keep an eye on him — Harrell could surprise some folks.
2. Regrets, he’s had a few. Mayor Mike McGinn had a chance to reflect a little when asked his biggest regret in politics. It’s the kind of question politicians usually hate and typically try not to answer. Indeed, McGinn seemed stumped at first. “I don’t know. I’ve worked really hard,” he said. But then McGinn acknowledged he had perhaps underestimated the difficulties that awaited him after he was elected mayor in 2009 (his first elected office.) “There isn’t a mayor’s school. You have to do it. I guess … I wish I could find the learning curve a little faster than I did.”
That said, McGinn offered a spirited defense of his first term throughout the evening, citing social program funding, transit planning and even his work on the Seattle Police Department. He a union endorsement calling him “the most progressive mayor in America,” and said “I want to work with you to make Seattle the most progressive city in America.”
3. Staadecker’s field of dreams. Bow-tied businessman Charlie Staadecker gave perhaps the most mystical reason for running for mayor when he said he’d had a vision. “It may sound corny, but it’s very personal. It was a vision of standing at home plate in a baseball uniform. And my father and grandfather looked at me — and I’m sorry it’s gender biased but that was the dream. They handed me a bat, and they said ‘Kid, it’s your time to step up to the plate. It’s your time to pass the legacy on to your children and grandchildren.’ ”
4. Steinbrueck makes no friends with Sonics fans. Monday’s forum began just hours after the NBA dashed hopes of an imminent return for Sonics basketball. But former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck observed no mourning period. He blasted the Sodo arena deal backed by McGinn after “almost a year of secret negotiations with a private investor.” Steinbrueck, who had worked as a consultant for the Port of Seattle, which was critical of the arena plan, said he was not opposed to the NBA’s return in principle, but called the Sodo site a threat to maritime and industrial jobs.
5. Socialism is serious. Do not smile. Mary Martin, a candidate with the Socialist Workers Party called Cuba her model for the ideal Seattle neighborhood and maintained a serious demeanor throughout the evening — even on lighthearted questions. When the candidates were asked the most interesting songs on their iPods, some joked about their vinyl collections or apps that told them when it would rain. Martin said her campaign preferred to spend timing dealing with people face to face or writing articles for The Militant — the socialist newspaper. As for iPods, she said: “I don’t have an iPod, but that just puts me in company with millions of people in Africa and Asia who don’t have electricity and who deserve it.”
If you want to watch for yourself, West Seattle Blog recorded the entire forum Monday and has posted it online.
January 22, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Updated at 6:45 p.m.
Charlie Staadecker began Tuesday with a bold announcement: if elected Seattle mayor, he would “lead the charge” to monitor the mentally ill to curb gun violence. But a few hours later, he backed off his own idea.
“I would let the experts come up with what is the best plan,” he later said, and the issue needs discussion by a panel of experts.
One expert, a local mental-health advocate, called Staadecker’s monitoring idea discriminatory and outrageous.
Staadecker, a little-known real-estate agent with bow-tie-themed campaign posters, held a news conference Tuesday to discuss guns. Seattle, he said, is “not safe for either tourists or residents” because of the “deadly presence” of guns.
As a solution, he proposed funding early detection of people with mental illness. Then, he said, their mental instability would turn up in a background check if someone with a mental illness tried to buy a gun.
“Mental illness today remains underreported,” he said.
Staadecker, a long-time arts patron and former member of the Vashon Island School Board, is new to Seattle politics but has raised as much money as some of the best-known politicians in a seven-way primary.
He was surprised to learn his idea offended an advocate for the mentally ill, Christine Lindquist, the executive director of the Seattle affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
She said people with mental illness aren’t any more dangerous than anyone else. A registry of sorts would just perpetuate stigmas.
“It’s offensive that someone in Seattle would even suggest such a thing.”
Hearing that, Staadecker backpedaled.
In a phone conversation, he said he went too far when he said during the news conference that mentally ill people should be monitored.
“Monitor, I think, is too strong a word, because I don’t know what the experts would say.”
The main thing, he said, is finding a way to help people who have mental illnesses.
“I didn’t have specific guidelines,” he said. “I certainly didn’t want to come across that because you have a mental health, you’re on a registry. Is that one solution? Perhaps.”
How would he determine whether a mentally ill person should be included on the list?
Staadecker said: “If they were admitted to a mental-health hospital. … Actually, let me just think about this.”
What he’d really like to do to curb gun violence, he said, is to convene a panel of experts to talk about it.
“To develop a plan, a set of recommendations, that if somebody exhibited harm to themselves or to others, what would be a plan to help these people?”
And then he asked for Lindquist’s phone number, so he could ask for her help first.
December 12, 2012 at 1:48 PM
When the Seattle City Council adopted new campaign finance rules in October, it was widely assumed that potential mayoral hopefuls Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell would transfer surplus money from their 2011 City Council campaigns into the mayor’s race. The new rules prohibited rolling over surplus campaign funds once the law took effect mid-November. Burgess had almost $78,000 and Harrell $64,000.
But citing the spirit of the law, Burgess in November returned almost $44,000 to donors of his 2011 campaign and donated $25,000 to the Washington State Democrats. Harrell transferred his campaign surplus to an account for a council race in 2015. He hasn’t decided yet whether to jump into the 2013 mayor’s race against incumbent Mike McGinn.
Despite starting from scratch, Burgess raised almost $26,000 during the last week of November after announcing he would challenge McGinn. His supporters include two Seattle School Board members, Michael DeBell and Harium Martin-Morris, and developers Martin Smith and Gregory Johnson, an executive with Wright Runstad & Co.
McGinn has raised about $95,000 but spent $57,000. In November, he raised just $7,200, a relatively weak showing for an incumbent. His donors include CleanScapes CEO Chris Martin, Cedar Grove Recycling executive John Banchero III, and more than a dozen of McGinn’s own staff.
Virtual unknown Charlie Staadecker, a commercial real estate broker, raised $18,000 in November to bring his total to $58,000.
State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, who jumped into the race last week, raised just $1,700 and reported almost $12,000 in campaign debt. Because of state campaign laws, Murray can’t raise money or solicit endorsements while the Legislature is in session.
November 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Local realtor Charlie Staadecker reports he has raised $40,000 in the first month of his 2013 campaign for Seattle mayor.
Staadecker, 69, of Mount Baker, runs a commercial real estate firm. His campaign kicked off a month ago with a theme song and four pillars: education, jobs and economic security, quality of life, and safety and core services. About 40 percent of Staadecker’s contributors are retired, and about half of them gave the maximum amount: $700.
It’s an early indication of support for a little-known candidate in what is likely to become a race crowded with familiar names. Mayor Mike McGinn’s perceived unpopularity has made way for a long list of local elected officials considering a run for mayor in 2013. Seattle City Council members Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell are both thinking about it, along with state Sen. Ed Murray, who is just off a big win as a leader if the Referendum 74 campaign for gay marriage.
Former City Council member Peter Steinbrueck has said he may run, and this week, after years outside the public eye, he is launching into public civic engagement about proposed plans for South Lake Union. On his Facebook page, Steinbrueck has questioned proposed zoning for the neighborhood and is urging people to turn out for a Wednesday public hearing. Former King County Executive Ron Sims also has expressed an interest in the race.
McGinn reported raising almost $80,000 at the end of October, but he has spent more than half of that. At the same point in former Mayor Greg Nickels’ last campaign in 2008, he had similar low approval ratings in polls, but he had raised almost $270,000. He lost in the primary.
McGinn ran a famously cheap underdog campaign in 2009, winning with only $290,000 total.
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