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Politics Northwest

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

Topic: state sen. ed murray

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October 28, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Ed Murray’s UW parking-ticket spat

Nobody likes to pay parking tickets. State senator and mayoral candidate Ed Murray is no exception.

Murray got irritated in October 2010 when confronted with an old parking ticket at the University of Washington, recently released records show.

The ticket amounted to $60 with late fees, but Murray refused to pay it, according to records released by the UW after a public-disclosure request. He’d stopped by the UW parking office to pick up new parking passes he needed as a UW employee but was told he first needed to resolve the old violation.

In an email to parking officials, Murray complained he’d been unaware of the ticket, which hadn’t come up the last time he picked up parking passes. He wrote that he only would have been on campus in 2008 “in my capacity as Washington State Senator.”

“Since I have no intention of paying for a violation I have no knowledge of and since you are unwilling to sale [sic] me parking passes, please cancel my UPASS. I will buy parking in the area and drive to work every day,” Murray wrote in the Oct. 7, 2010, email. (The U-PASS is a discounted bus and transit pass for UW staff and students.)

UW parking employees appeared nervous at the blast from a powerful state politician. In an email, one wrote there was proof that notice of the ticket had been mailed to Murray’s home in addition to being placed on his vehicle. “I can certainly waive the late fee, but I can’t erase the ticket,” the employee wrote to a coworker, adding “this one may be sensitive.”

Murray never had to pay. The next day, the UW’s lobbying department intervened and said it would cover the cost, saying “the citation appears to be from an official visit.”

In an interview, Murray said he had a fairly limited budget as a legislator and was constantly picking up the tab for parking and other official expenses.

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Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: state sen. ed murray, university of washington

October 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM

King County Sheriff endorses Ed Murray

King County Sheriff John Urquhart today endorsed State Sen. Ed Murray for Seattle Mayor, saying Murray will address Seattle’s public safety issues. “We need an effective mayor who will act to address the very real public safety challenges Seattle faces, and I believe Ed Murray will be that mayor,” Urquhart said in a statement released by…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: King County Sheriff John Urquhart, seattle mayor mike mcginn, state sen. ed murray

October 14, 2013 at 7:00 AM

McGinn and Murray tangle over gender pay gap, education funding

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and state Sen. Ed Murray trod well worn ground for much of the second televised mayoral debate Saturday night on KOMO 4. But there were fireworks when the rivals got to directly interrogate one another on perceived leadership flaws.

For much of the hourlong debate, McGinn smiled at the camera and made a case that — despite what his critics would have you believe — he’s been a good listener in his first term. And he said he has racked up accomplishments, such as an overall low crime rate and a growing local economy, that merit another four years.

Murray, who spoke in calm, flat tones even when delivering his most aggressive attacks, said Seattle is ready for a politically experienced mayor who will work with the City Council instead of fighting it. His answers throughout the night showed, Murray clearly came to the event with a strategy to appeal to female voters and neighborhoods worried about growth.

Once again, actual policy distinctions were hard to come by. McGinn and Murray clashed the hardest in the middle of the debate when each was allowed to ask the other a question. Both punched at sore spots, revealing what they believed to be leadership flaws they believe might sway voters in the few weeks remaining in the 2013 mayoral race.

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Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: 2013 Seattle mayor's race, seattle mayor mike mcginn, state sen. ed murray

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

September 30, 2013 at 5:42 PM

McGinn backers lob race-tinged allegations at Murray

A group of two-dozen Seattle civil rights and minority community leaders appeared today at a Central Area senior center to plug Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s reelection campaign. The pastors, activists and politicians praised McGinn for directing more money to minority contractors, preserving human services programs during hard times and generally being responsive to their concerns. “He’s been…

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Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: affirmative action, former state Representative Velma Veloria, seattle mayor mike mcginn

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

September 26, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn floats soda tax to fund parks

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is floating the idea of a 1-cent-an-ounce tax on sugary beverages, including canned soda and fountain drinks, as a way to raise money for Seattle parks. McGinn announced his proposal at a mayoral forum Thursday night sponsored by the Seattle Parks Foundation. While details were sketchy, McGinn said his plan would raise the…

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Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: 2013 Seattle mayoral race, seattle mayor mike mcginn, soda tax

September 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM

McGinn blasts Murray’s finger pointing in embezzlement scandal

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn pounced today on state Sen. Ed Murray’s attempts to avoid blame for the alleged embezzlement of $250,000 by the director of a Democratic campaign committee Murray co-chaired.

Speaking at a news conference at his campaign headquarters, McGinn called Murray’s response to the thefts of funds from the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee “very, very troubling and a real insight into his character as an executive and a leader.”

The SDCC’s former executive director Michael King was charged this week with eight counts of theft for allegedly writing himself checks from the SDCC coffers and covering his tracks by inventing poll results he said the money had paid for.

While Murray yesterday took some responsibility for failing to notice the thefts, he and his fellow co-chairs also pointed blame at the SDCC’s former treasurer, Jason Bennett, who’d alerted them to the thefts in February.

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Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: 2013 Seattle mayoral race, seattle mayor mike mcginn, state sen. ed murray

September 18, 2013 at 4:57 PM

With Godden nod, Murray’s mayoral campaign now backed by majority of City Council

Updated at 6:05 p.m. with comment from McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus Jean Godden today became the fifth Seattle city councilmember to endorse state Sen. Ed Murray for mayor, giving Murray the support of a majority of the nine-member council. During a news conference at Murray’s Capitol Hill campaign office, Godden said Murray would “restore trust and cooperation…

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Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: 2013 Seattle mayoral race, City Councilmember Jean Godden, seattle mayor mike mcginn

September 16, 2013 at 10:01 AM

KING 5 poll: Murray with big lead on McGinn in mayoral race

Updated at 1:25 p.m. with comment from Mayor McGinn via Times reporter Lynn Thompson.

A new KING 5 poll shows Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn badly trailing challenger Ed Murray in the mayor’s race.

Murray leads with 52 percent support, compared with 30 percent for McGinn, according to the poll of 503 likely voters conducted by SurveyUSA.

John Wyble, a consultant for the McGinn campaign, took issue with the poll, suggesting the mayor was in better shape than it showed. For example, Wyble noted only 10 percent of the poll sample was cell phones versus 90 percent land lines. I think we are behind but it’s much closer than this poll suggests,” Wyble said in an email.

Asked about the poll at a news conference Monday morning, McGinn downplayed the numbers, saying they don’t reflect his support among communities of color and low-wage workers. “This is why you run races,” McGinn said. “At the end of the day, it will be the voters who make the decision.”

A 22-point lead in the poll is obviously good news for Murray, but his campaign also was quick to express caution.

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: 2013 Seattle mayor's race, poll, seattle mayor mike mcginn

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