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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

Topic: Mayor Mike McGinn

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December 3, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Murray heads off to mayor’s school

Turns out, there is a mayor’s school, or at least a crash course, and Seattle mayor-elect Ed Murray plans to attend. Harvard’s Institute of Politics will hold a three-day session on leadership and policy for more than 20 incoming big-city mayors Wednesday through Friday. “I’m looking forward to visiting the Kennedy School at Harvard to hear from experts…

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: ed murray, Mayor Mike McGinn

November 12, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Seattle hosts National League of Cities this week

Elected officials from across the country will converge on Seattle Wednesday for the four-day Congress of Cities, the annual convention for the National League of Cities. Mayor Mike McGinn will address the opening session. No word yet on celebrity mayors — New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio or outgoing Newark Mayor (soon to be New Jersey…

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Mayor Mike McGinn, National League of Cities

October 29, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Ethics Commission recommends fine for pro-Ed Murray PAC

A Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce political-action committee supporting Ed Murray for Seattle mayor has agreed it violated city and state campaign-disclosure laws when it failed to disclose a $15,000 contribution from Vulcan, according to a proposed settlement agreement  after a  Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission investigation. The commission will vote Wednesday on a recommendation to…

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, Senator Ed Murray

October 12, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Murray, McGinn boast neighborhood cred at forum

State Sen. Ed Murray seemed to echo many themes of neighborhood champion and failed mayoral candidate Peter Steinbrueck at a Saturday breakfast forum hosted by the Seattle Neighborhood Coalition. Murray, who is challenging incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn, pledged to reinvigorate neighborhood planning and the city’s Department of Neighborhoods. He said residents should be more involved with planning for…

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Mayor Mike McGinn, sen. ed murray

October 9, 2013 at 9:58 AM

McGinn supports minimum wage above $15 an hour

The idea of a $15 minimum wage continues to build momentum in the Seattle area, with Mayor Mike McGinn saying he would support an effort to set the standard even higher.

In an interview with The Associated Press, McGinn said he thought $15 was a “fair starting point” for the minimum wage discussion. He cautioned that the issue was best handled legislatively and that the actual number would be determined by city council members.

“If the council proposed a higher number, I’d support that,” said McGinn, who is seeking re-election next month.

He added later: “I would expect that, if re-elected, we would put together a coalition to figure out how far we could go on the minimum wage.”

McGinn challenger Ed Murray recently announced that he would push for a $15 minimum wage but planned to proceed with a phased-in approach. Washington already has the nation’s highest state minimum wage at $9.19 an hour, while San Francisco is the local jurisdiction with the highest hourly standard at $10.55.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and advocates have been pressing nationwide to push the number higher. In a small effort in the Seattle suburb of SeaTac, union-backed advocates were successful in getting a ballot measure that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

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0 Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: ed murray, Mayor Mike McGinn, minimum wage

October 8, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Murray insists he’s against coal trains, too

In another measure of the ideological tightness of Seattle’s “me too” mayoral race, state Sen. Ed Murray called a news conference Tuesday to point out he totally agrees with Mayor Mike McGinn on opposition to coal trains rolling through the city.

Seeking to rebut what he called a “whispering campaign” by McGinn forces, Murray said notwithstanding campaign cash he’s received from some pro-coal train businesses, he’s against the trains, which coal opponents say would disrupt traffic and send coal dust spraying into air and water — in addition to abetting global climate change.

It’s an issue that McGinn has elevated to a top-tier priority in his mayoral campaign. Murray has been more muted on the topic; hence Tuesday’s news conference in which he tried to put to rest doubts about where he stands.

“I have been, since the first day I announced in December, opposed to these coal trains, despite the information you might have gotten from — I guess you could call it the office of misinformation — the McGinn campaign,” Murray said at the news conference next to the train tracks on the downtown Seattle waterfront. As if to reinforce his point about the disruption more trains would cause, Murray’s event was interrupted twice by passing trains at the nearby railroad crossing.

Murray’s mayoral campaign has received donations and fundraising aid from some firms and individuals with ties to proposed new coal ports that would ship Rocky Mountain coal to Asia.

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0 Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: 2013 Seattle mayoral race, coal trains, Mayor Mike McGinn

October 3, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Ed Murray shares vision of Seattle “togetherness”

Without mentioning his opponent’s name, Seattle mayoral candidate Sen. Ed Murray contrasted his vision of a progressive city that works together against incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn’s and what Murray called his “politics of division.”

Before an audience of about 100 supporters at the Columbia City Theatre today, Murray outlined his priorities for public safety, transportation and education and said that as mayor he would “embrace opportunity, foster collaboration, provide leadership and reinvigorate our progressive spirit.”

The early-afternoon speech was introduced by Pramila Jayapal, former director of OneAmerica, who praised Murray’s “unshakeable commitment to civil rights and social justice” and said he’s spent his two-decade career in politics “bringing diverse constituencies together to form coalitions to move forward our issues.” Jayapal was one of almost 20 minority community, civil-rights and union leaders who signed on to a letter released by the Murray campaign earlier in the day rebutting McGinn’s accusations Monday that Murray hadn’t supported efforts to retain affirmative action in the state after Initiative 200, which repealed it.

Also in the audience was former mayoral candidate Peter Steinbrueck, who following his third-place finish in the August primary, declined to endorse either McGinn or Murray.  Steinbrueck told reporters today that he might make an endorsement in the race next week.

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Mayor Mike McGinn, sen. ed murray

September 30, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Port commissioners: arena threatens jobs, gambles with city money

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.

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0 Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: arena, Mayor Mike McGinn, Port of Seattle

September 27, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Murray and McGinn get testy over embezzlement case

A mayoral debate sponsored by the Seattle Parks Foundation Thursday night was mostly a genteel discussion of how to pay for and improve city parks. Mayor Mike McGinn floated the notion of a new tax on sugary drinks in Seattle. State Sen. Ed Murray backed the idea of a new taxing district.

But the debate really blew up at the end, when McGinn and Murray tangled over Murray’s legislative record and the alleged embezzlement of more than $250,000 by an employee from a Democratic campaign committee that Murray co-chaired.

McGinn attacked the embezzlement as an example of Murray’s failures, while Murray accused McGinn of taking the race to a “low point” by trying to score points off of personal tragedy.

The exchange showed just how testy the race is becoming as McGinn — after months of listening to criticisms of his mayoral record — tries to turn the tables by putting Murray’s record on trial, while Murray accuses the mayor of resorting to sleazy tactics.

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: 2013 Seattle mayoral race, Mayor Mike McGinn, state sen. ed murray

September 13, 2013 at 4:50 PM

McGinn, Murray make nice at Belltown debate

After a week of sniping, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and state Sen. Ed Murray took a break in a debate at the Belltown Community Council Thursday night, where they stuck mostly to their own talking points, muted their attacks and ended with what may have been the first cordial handshake of the campaign.

Moderators Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the state senator whose district includes Belltown, and Belltown Community Council President Elizabeth Campbell (not to be confused with the anti-tunnel activist of the same name), said no progress is made on formulating policy for the city’s future if the candidates just point fingers at each other. In that spirit, the moderators allowed many two-minute answers that gave McGinn and Murray more time to formulate thoughtful responses.

Crime and public safety were again central themes of the debate. Campbell asked McGinn to commit to hiring 100 new police officers and guarantee they would be on the street next year. McGinn said the city didn’t have money for that many, but said that with improving city revenues, his budget would fund 30 new cops who likely would be on patrol.  He also spoke in favor of his Center City Initiative, which tries to identify bad actors downtown and determine if they are amenable to treatment or other social services or whether they should be arrested and charged with a crime.

“When are services appropriate and when are consequences appropriate? You can’t have one without the other. We all know we need to enforce against violent activities,” McGinn said.

Murray said that Seattle lost officers overall during budget cuts the past few years and needs to consistently add more police. “If people are breaking the law, they need to be arrested,” he said. In one mild attack on McGinn, Murray said, “Officers don’t have a clear message about what to do [about downtown crime]. That’s a problem of leadership.” But Murray avoided being painted into the law-and-order corner — often a loser for mayoral candidates in Seattle (i.e., Mark Sidran) — by reiterating that no officers should be hired unless they are trained in urban policing, anti-bias and use of force.

Murray also outlined his criteria for a new police chief and how he would conduct the selection process. He served on the search committee that ultimately chose Chief Gil Kerlikowske, and said he thinks the current process scares off good candidates.

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Mayor Mike McGinn, sen. ed murray

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