Topic: mike mcginn
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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.
March 12, 2013 at 2:38 PM
Corrected version: A previous version of this story misstated the amount supported by Burgess and McGinn to study light rail to Ballard.
Like many a mayoral candidate (and mayor) before him, Seattle Councilmember Tim Burgess today said he’d do a better job at fixing potholes and addressing the road-maintenance backlog in the city if he’s elected mayor.
Standing near an intersection on Capitol Hill, Burgess pointed to a patched stretch of pavement on East Pike Street and then to an unpatched crater on Boylston Avenue, about 10 yards away, and questioned why city repair crews hadn’t gotten to both.
Burgess said he’d change the strategy for fixing streets from what he called a “worst first” approach to one that would divide the city into grids and direct the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to repair streets in a more systematic and proactive way.
“Our city transportation system is falling apart. That’s unacceptable,” Burgess said.
February 18, 2013 at 10:23 AM
Legislative items to watch this week: unmanned drones, marijuana convictions and unemployed veterans
This week the state Legislature will once again consider a diverse assortment of topics. Various committees will hold hearings on bills covering unmanned drones, marijuana convictions and unemployed veterans.
Two weeks after Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn grounded the Seattle Police Department’s unmanned drown program, the House and Senate will hold hearings on legislation to outline regulations on the aircraft. Senate Bill 5782 will be heard by the Law & Justice Committee on Wednesday. House Bill 1771 will be heard by the Public Safety Committee on Thursday.
The House Public Safety Committee will further explore the implications of Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana use, in a Wednesday meeting. Representatives will consider House Bill 1661 removing misdemeanor marijuana convictions from people’s criminal records. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien.
Legislators in the House will hear a bill aimed at bolstering the state’s economy and putting veterans to work with bills that provide tax cuts for businesses hiring unemployed workers. House Bill 1615, proposed by Port Orchard Republican Jan Angel, will go before the Finance Committee on Friday.
February 13, 2013 at 3:55 PM
The Associated Press
The mayors of more than 40 cities across Washington have sent a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative leaders, urging them to consider an 8-cent per gallon increase in the gas tax to help pay for transportation needs.
The letter from the Mayors’ Transportation Forum was sent Wednesday. Among the signees were Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, as well as the mayors of Bellingham, Federal Way, Tacoma, Olympia, Vancouver and Walla Walla. In addition to the gas-tax increase, the letter suggests a motor-vehicle excise tax increase of up to 1.5 percent that counties could enact by public vote or by a vote by county councils, and the expansion of the vehicle license fee from $20 to $40. The license fee could also be increased either by public vote or by a vote of local councils.
The mayors say more than $3 billion is needed to maintain roadways and bridges in the state over the next 10 years. Democrats in the state House are expected to introduce their transportation proposals next week.
January 8, 2013 at 1:50 PM
Mayor Mike McGinn plans to make an announcement tomorrow about his “political plans” — presumably political plans to run for re-election, though his campaign consultant, John Wyble, wouldn’t say what he’ll announce.
McGinn has hired a campaign staff, filed to run, and he’s been raising money, but has not yet officially kicked off a campaign. Already, several big-name politicians have announced plans to challenge him, including City Council member Tim Burgess, state Sen. Ed Murray, and former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck. A neighborhood activist, Kate Martin, and commercial real estate broker, Charlie Staadecker, also have filed to run.
McGinn has been scrambling to re-unite supporters after a tough first term, but a crowded field of challengers probably would make it easier for him to get through the primary.
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 28, 2012 at 3:26 PM
Newly announced Seattle mayoral candidate Tim Burgess tried to get off on the right foot yesterday with The Stranger, offering them an exclusive story about his decision to get into the race.
In a flattering piece about Burgess, a city councilmember with whom The Stranger has often disagreed, Dominic Holden wrote: “Giving an advance interview to The Stranger is classic Burgess; it’s his cunning genius to neutralize critics by talking to them.”
It was a clever piece of strategy by Burgess, known for media savvy honed as a former journalist and advertising executive and in two terms on the City Council. The Stranger tends to go overboard for its favorite candidates. In 2009, the paper published a cover with McGinn’s face on it at a crucial point in the race, and wrote long articles in his favor, including one that called his opponent an “idiot” in the headline. In other words, it’s not a bad thing to have The Stranger on your side, and Burgess may have seen an opportunity, since The Stranger has been less than supportive of the mayor recently.
The only problem was that The Stranger’s scoop was not really a scoop. The Seattle Times, PubliCola, and The Seattle P-I had stories and interviews prepped for publication at 5 p.m. Tuesday, the same time Burgess told Holden he could put up his story. Holden noticed, and today posted a long Facebook status taking the councilmember to task. He wrote:
“Tim Burgess promised to give The Stranger a scoop on his run for mayor, even approaching me with the idea, but he was not true to his word. In our hour-long interview last week, he agreed that we could publish the story last night at 5:00 p.m., before any other news outlet. Burgess unequivocally guaranteed that he would not confirm his candidacy to any other news outlet until after The Stranger published its story.”
In the comments, Burgess apologized: “Dom is right. Dom was the first journalist I entrusted with my plans to announce. I sat down with him a week ago for my most extensive interview. As word of my announcement spread yesterday afternoon I granted other interviews.”
Still, it looks like his early effort to co-opt The Stranger’s support fell flat.
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.
October 8, 2012 at 6:00 AM
UPDATED TO INCLUDE LINK ON A.G. AD
The New Yorker cover speaks loudly. The latest New Yorker cover sums up the first presidential debate in biting fashion.
No hiding places: It’s that time of the year, October, the month of ghosts and goblins and political ads scarier than the most spider-covered, creaky-floored haunted house.
Check out some of the newer ads on TV. Watch and write a comment or two.
Friday, a new ad by the Republican State Leadership Committee, was released, in support of the Republican candidate for attorney general, Reagan Dunn. It features a vigorous attack on the Democratic candidate for Attorney General, Bob Ferguson.
Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, many points ahead in the polls of her Republican challenger, state Sen. Mike Baumgartner, has a lot of money in her till. She, too, released an ad. It was one of the more gentle ones.
The folks advocating that voters approve Referendum 74, the gay marriage measure, have a relatively new ad out that features religious people — heterosexual religious people — advocating for gay marriage.
Street disorder redux: Remember when Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn really didn’t want anyone to get too exercised about street disorder or aggressive panhandling. He fought his soon-to-be nemesis Councilmember Tim Burgess on his proposal to limit aggressive panhandling in Seattle. Publicola has an interesting tidbit on that subject, — a few years after the fact.
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September 12, 2012 at 6:10 AM
If you like your politics hot and feisty, this is a big week for that sort of thing in Seattle and Washington state. First, we have a basketball arena deal, which certainly will be a big topic in the 2013 Seattle mayor’s race. And why wait? Let the post-agreement analysis begin.
Who is/are the winner/winners in all of this? Mayor Mike McGinn, who first touted the original deal? City Councilmember Tim Burgess, a likely mayoral candidate who helped craft a revised arena deal, with more money for transportation? The fans? The port?
Please answer below.
If you want to know more about the deal, join us at noon Wednesday for a live chat with Burgess, Times reporter Lynn Thompson, editor Matt Kreamer and myself. Here is the link to join the discussion. Feel free to submit questions in advance.
Like I said, this is a busy week in politics. The Seattle Times and the Washington Coalition for Open Government are hosting an attorney general’s debate tonight at 6:30 p.m. at The Seattle Times with Reagan Dunn and Bob Ferguson. The event will be live-streamed on seattletimes.com and on the TVW website Other debates are scheduled in several statewide races are planned Wednesday as well. The attorney general debate will be broadcast at a later time on TVW and KUOW-FM.
Sen. Maria Cantwell: Remember her? Anyone recall that the Democratic incumbent is running for re-election? Cantwell is running against Republican state Sen. Mike Baumgartner. The latest KING TV SurveyUSA shows why the race is getting so little attention. Cantwell is – has been — way out in front. The most recent poll was conducted among 524 likely voters Sept. 7-9 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.
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