Topic: mike mcginn
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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 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM
More vote totals released by King County Elections this afternoon confirmed challenger Ed Murray’s easy win over Mayor Mike McGinn in the Seattle mayoral race.
With more than 108,000 ballots counted, Murray led by nearly 13,000 votes with 55.6 percent support, compared with 43.7 percent for McGinn.
Murray already was meeting with advisers and beginning to sketch out a transition plan today, after receiving congratulatory calls from senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, among others.
McGinn acknowledged on election night his single term as mayor was over, but as of this afternoon he had not formally conceded the race.
His campaign spokesman, Aaron Pickus, said McGinn will hold a news conference Thursday morning.
November 5, 2013 at 7:18 AM
State Sen. Ed Murray’s promise of a more collaborative leadership style carried him to victory Tuesday night, as voters signaled they were fed up with four years of Mayor Mike McGinn’s political brawls.
Murray grabbed a commanding 56 percent of the votes counted on election night, compared with 43 percent for McGinn.
At a jubilant party at Neumos on Capitol Hill, Murray took the stage before 9 p.m. to cheers and hugs from supporters, including a pack of elected leaders who’d endorsed him.
Signaling the change in tone he hopes to bring to City Hall, Murray said his campaign “was energized by the belief that Seattle can show the nation that government can work once again.”
Although he acknowledged votes remain to be counted, Murray said if current trends hold, “we are here tonight to declare victory.”
About 90,000 votes were counted in the mayor’s race Tuesday. If King County elections officials’ estimate of 57 percent turnout in Seattle hold, McGinn would have to capture 54 percent or more of the remaining votes to make up his big deficit — a virtually impossible task.
At McGinn’s election-night party at a 95 Slide, a sports bar just a few blocks away, the previously rowdy room was deflated as the vote totals came in.
McGinn stopped just short of conceding, but spoke as though he’d lost his office. “I’m proud of what we did,” McGinn said, saying his administration had lived up to the Sierra Club rule to “leave a place better than you found it.”
In an interview, McGinn said he was not conceding to Murray Tuesday because his supporters deserved to see more votes counted. But he acknowledged “this is a very very deep hole to climb back from.”
Murray, 58, will be Seattle’s first openly gay mayor, and his campaign capitalized on his signature legislative accomplishment — helping to lead the 2012 campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington. He took the stage Tuesday night with Michael Shiosaki, his longtime partner whom he married this summer.
Although he was the incumbent, McGinn ran an underdog campaign for a second term, portraying himself as the righteous warrior willing to take on the city’s business and political establishment.
Trailing in the polls by double digits just weeks before the general election, McGinn’s campaign bet on an energetic get-out-the-vote effort that sought to attract younger voters and others who don’t reliably vote in off-year elections.
At dozens of candidate forums and three televised debates, McGinn, 53, cited accomplishments in office including guiding the city through a recession, doubling the Families and Education levy, a bond measure to rebuild the waterfront seawall and passage of a paid sick-leave ordinance.
But voters remained unconvinced. During the August primary, McGinn faced eight challengers and attracted less than 30 percent of the vote. Polls since then never showed him gaining much ground.
In the final days of the race, the Murray campaign appeared increasingly nervous by a run of bad news, including negative reports about political donations by Comcast to a pro-Murray political-action committee.
After seeming ready to coast to victory, Murray hastily called a series of last-minute news conferences, including one Monday attacking McGinn’s record on downtown crime and police issues.
McGinn’s fate was forecast two years ago, when voters slapped back his efforts to obstruct the Highway 99 tunnel project, opting to move ahead with the long-debated project. McGinn’s anti-tunnel agitating was viewed as a reversal from his 2009 election-eve pledge not to stand in the project’s way.
One political consultant called McGinn a “dead man walking” after the 2011 vote on a largely symbolic tunnel referendum.
During the 2013 campaign, McGinn said he’d only tried to raise tough questions about the tunnel plan, including a provision added by the Legislature that said Seattle taxpayers would be on the hook if there were any cost overruns.
McGinn’s record in office also includes highly publicized fights with the City Council, City Attorney Pete Holmes and former Gov. Chris Gregoire over the tunnel and with the Department of Justice, the council and Holmes over the breadth and pace of police reform.
Gregoire, Holmes and five of nine City Council members endorsed Murray. When asked about their opposition in a recent interview, McGinn said they were part of “the same old power block” that financed Murray’s campaign.
McGinn pushed back against Murray’s constant talk of collaboration, saying leaders should demand swift action on important issues such as climate change rather than waiting for consensus. At one candidate forum, McGinn said he didn’t want to tell his children “we didn’t do enough, but the politicians got along.”
Murray came across flat in some campaign appearances, but advanced a progressive agenda nearly identical to McGinn’s — including expanded transit and a promise to pursue a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
He highlighted his 18 years as a state lawmaker representing Seattle’s 43rd Legislative District. In Olympia, he earned a reputation as a pragmatist who could work across party lines to craft budgets and major transportation packages.
Murray spoke often about the need for the city to take a more regional approach to governance and to mend broken relationships with Olympia, in contrast to McGinn’s often go-it-alone style.
And while McGinn frequently cited statistics to show that overall crime in the city was at a 30-year low, Murray called for new leadership of the Seattle Police Department and clearer directions from the mayor about enforcement of crime downtown.
Murray raised about $776,000 for the campaign, compared with about $466,000 by McGinn.
Independent spending by political-action committees added $500,000 more to the races — with more than $300,000 of that spent by pro-Murray groups.
Although he faced criticism throughout the campaign that he was running on style more than substance, Murray gained confidence and familiarity with city issues as the race wore on and both men attended community forums and three televised debates.
By mid-October, when McGinn repeated his explanation for his sometimes tumultuous first term by saying there is no mayor’s school, Murray retorted, “There is a mayor’s school. It’s called experience in government.”
For more photos, visit the gallery.
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.
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 17, 2013 at 1:20 PM
Mayor Mike McGinn and some advocates for women today called on Sen. Ed Murray to stop airing an ad that questions McGinn’s decision to eliminate the city’s Division of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention in 2011 and its director, Terri Kimball.
McGinn called the ad “highly misleading and deceptive” and said he protected funding for domestic-violence services, even while supporting a reorganization of the Human Services Department by then-Director Dannette Smith that included folding the domestic-violence division into another.
“We were breaking down silos between how we deliver services. That was my charge to her,” McGinn said. The mayor said the ad shows that “Senator Murray does have an honesty problem.”
The ad is paid for by an independent PAC called People for a New Seattle Mayor, and the Murray campaign is not allowed to coordinate the spending or strategy of an independent PAC. But Murray strategist Sandeep Kaushik said McGinn “made a terrible decision to eliminate the Office of Domestic Violence and [Sexual Assault] Prevention and eliminate the director position. It was widely criticized at the time and rightfully so.”
The ad shows Terri Kimball, the former director of the Division of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention, saying McGinn didn’t make domestic violence a priority. The ad says “Mayor Mike McGinn eliminated the city’s Office of Domestic Violence. Now domestic-violence aggravated assaults are up 60 percent.”
Dr. Supata Basu, a domestic violence and human trafficking policy expert, said that what the data show are that more people are reporting the crime. “We don’t have the data to say domestic violence has increased in Seattle.” She added that she wouldn’t be standing with McGinn at the news conference if he didn’t support domestic violence services for women “from all races and classes.”
Some of the advocates appeared to be reading from scripts. One stumbled over the wording and at one point mispronounced the mayor’s name.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office said the state changed the definition of domestic-violence Assault 2 degree in 2007 to include strangulation. Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the office, said the number of domestic-violence aggravated assaults started to climb the following year and has continued to increase.
In addition to eliminating the stand-alone domestic-violence office in 2011, McGinn also proposed eliminating two of seven domestic-violence advocates in the police department. The Seattle City Council restored those positions.
October 14, 2013 at 3:53 PM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has taped a phone message that is going to the city’s voters.
A very recognizable voice says, “Hi, this is Mayor Mike McGinn. I’m running for reelection for mayor because I want to keep working on the issues you care about.”
The robo call goes on to list his priorities — education, transit, jobs and investing in neighborhoods.
He puts in a plug for his efforts to widen the circle of influence in Seattle politics — “I’ve worked to bring as many new voices into City Hall as possible.”
The call ends with, “You know what I stand for. I’m Mike McGinn and I’d love to have your vote in this election.”
McGinn campaign manager John Wyble said volunteers are making live calls to the city’s likely voters. If no one answers, the household gets the recorded message from the mayor. Wyble said the campaign made 150,000 calls before the primary and is trying to better that mark for the general election Nov. 5.
He also said it’s clear that urban polling needs to adapt to new realities. Recent polls have shown McGinn down 30 to 52 percent for challenger Ed Murray, but critics have noted that polling undercounts cellphone users, which may be as high as 40 percent. Wyble said polling also undercounts young people who move more frequently and may not have an up-to-date listing. It also undercounts people who live with several roommates, also likely younger voters.
“We think it’s a lot closer than the polls have shown,” Wyble said.
October 9, 2013 at 4:41 PM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and state Sen. Ed Murray went after each others’ records and effectiveness in their first televised debate before a studio audience this afternoon. The debate will air tonight on KING-TV at 7 p.m. and The Seattle Times will host a live chat with readers during the airing.
Murray criticized McGinn’s leadership of the police department and his opposition to the deep-bore tunnel, after an 11th hour announcement in 2009 that he wouldn’t oppose the tunnel to replace the viaduct. Murray also attacked McGinn for holding a news conference to say guns collected in a gun buyback would be melted down into peace bricks, even though at the time of the announcement, McGinn knew the guns already had been destroyed by the police department.
“How can we as a city trust you?” Murray asked the mayor.
McGinn repeatedly questioned Murray’s effectiveness in the state legislature, noting that the state is 43rd in education funding and last in mental-health beds. McGinn said that he consistently opposed leaving the city on the hook for cost overruns on the tunnel. A clause in the tunnel funding legislation says Seattle property owners who benefit from the tunnel will pay for cost overruns.
“I raised an important question … Neither (Gov. Chris) Gregoire or Murray, despite his vaunted power, could get it changed,” McGinn said.
KING-TV anchorman Dennis Bounds moderated the debate. Questions were posed by a panel of journalists including Jim Brunner, political reporter for The Seattle Times, Dave Ross, a host on radio 97.3 FM, and Linda Brill, political reporter for KING-TV News.
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.
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