As promised, here’s a thread about the Seattle Mayor’s race. For the first time that I can remember, I’m undecided on who to vote for in a big race like this. I got my ballot and filled most of it out, but still haven’t filled either mayoral bubble. I’m definitely leaning toward McGinn, but I like both of them quite a bit. Four years ago, when Ed Murray was considering a write in campaign, I wrote that I would support him if he ran because I liked him the best, but that I hoped he didn’t because he would probably take more votes away from McGinn than Mallahan and that I was worried that a self-funded person who was the more conservative would be able to win when he really shouldn’t. He didn’t run, and I eventually volunteered for McGinn’s election.
I really wasn’t particularly impressed with McGinn, but figured at least he wasn’t running a self-funded campaign on “TAXEZ BAD ME SMASH” and (after the post went up) unsure about abortion rights like Mallahan. I mean McGinn was saying the right things about transit and bikes, but everybody says the right things about them around election time, but usually they don’t do anything. He was also talking mostly about things that aren’t really the Mayor’s prerogative: education, broadband, and transit, and usually when people talk about those sorts of things and then get elected, they then ignore them.
Since then, they’ve both done things that I give high marks to. I’ve been surprised that I liked most of McGinn’s tenure as mayor (there are exceptions, like foot dragging on police reform and the Chihuly garden). He pushed a mostly reluctant City Council to put a doubling of the Families and Education Levy on the ballot, and it passed handily. There’s high speed Internet coming to much of the city.* He has also kept social services funded despite the recession and a tax cut from the council right before he took office.
Meanwhile, Ed Murray has cemented his already impressive legacy, passing marriage equality and shepherding it to a vote with a positive result. While he did preside over the loss of the Democrats’ caucus, I don’t really blame him for it. Rodney Tom hates Seattle and Tim Sheldon hates Seattle and gay people (to the extent he knows there’s a difference). So if the problem with him is that he’s from Seattle and gay, well that would be a dumb reason to be upset with him. Given the restraints, he has mostly kept the rest of the caucus from caving to the worst aspects of the GOP.
Finally, there are social issues. There’s some discussion that they’re off the table. And I agree neither of them is going to try zone abortion clinics out of the city or deny gay employees benefits, for example. They’re certainly closer on most of the defining social issues of the day than they are apart. But I have to say it’s been nice that Seattle has had four years where strippers and all ages music weren’t regularly being attacked from the mayor’s office. I hope that will be true of the next four years with Murray, but it’ll almost definitely be true with another four years of McGinn.
So that leaves two candidates I like quite a bit, and a campaign I’m the opposite of happy with, especially on Murray’s side. I don’t like all the third party money and I think it has been unnecessarily negative, and often not factual. Murray has courted the anti-transit and anti-bike people despite his record in the legislature being pretty good on those issues. Part of the reason I’ve been reluctant to decide is that it seems like everyone who has taken a side thinks that their flawed but pretty good lefty candidate is awesome and the other, flawed but pretty good lefty candidate is shit, and I’d rather not take that up. But I can’t really put off the decision any longer, and I’m going to have to fill in a bubble.
*Although my apartment is like 3 blocks outside of the range. Damn you geography.
This pretty much sums up my feelings as well. Both candidates have much better progressive records than previous mayors – but both also have serious flaws. In the end, I wound up voting for Murray. Both have well-earned reputations for being arrogant and hard to work with; both have ranged from disingenuous to dishonest at various points in the campaign. (McGinn taking credit for police reform is the worst, but Murray’s DV bullshit is close).
McGinn is stronger on the things he’s been good at (prioritizing climate change in decision-making, proposing solid budgets in a tough time) – but Murray’s strengths are close. OTOH, Murray’s got nothing remotely as terrible in his resume as McGinn’s four years of apologetics and stonewalling for SPD, or how historically bad McGinn has been on affordable housing and giving away tax dollars to big developers in the name of promoting a particular type of density – i.e., one in which poorer and working class people are welcome to move to South County.
Lastly, the things McGinn is good at environmentally have a strong local constituency that’s likely to influence any future mayor. Both are very good on social justice issues, but Murray seems far more open to working with neighborhood groups and social service providers – with luck we’ll wind up with the best of both worlds under Murray. Based on the last four years, I can’t even remotely see a path to that happening with McGinn, and in the end that’s what swayed me.
Either way you lose.
Roger Rabbit spews:
Forgive me for not being hip — I’m only a grass-eating rabbit — but what is “all ages music” a euphemism for?
I don’t get a say in this one, but I also feel like this is a choice between a Gala and a Cameo apple.
So I’d probably go with McGinn to keep the Times irrelevant streak going and to give that afternoon radio guy fits.
Concerts at places not at bars so people of all ages can attend. Since I’m well past 21 and don’t drink much anyway, it doesn’t hit me personally. But it was super annoying when I was that age, and when roadblocks come from the city, it feels like they’re disrespecting the music/arts industry that’s so important to the city.
Specifically, the city for a long time required all ages shows to purchase prohibitively expensive insurance, effectively banning them. Dancing was also a bad thing. A fair number of ’80s and ’90s city council members, and at least one mayor who immediately preceded McGinn, seemed to think Seattle was a small town in Utah.
I really thought this post would spark a lot of feedback. Guess not!