Earlier today, Goldy discussed the race for Seattle City Attorney and incumbent Tom Carr’s attempts to misrepresent his opponent’s qualifications for the office. Pete Holmes initially became Carr’s opponent in this race after he became so infuriated by his attempts to deal with him from his position as the attorney on the citizen’s police oversight board that he decided to challenge him. Here’s the latest polling on the race:
The results show a nearly 3:1 lead for Tom Carr, but 70% of the electorate remains undecided. Women and voters 35-49 both have an undecided count over 70%. It’s over 80% for Republicans. Of decided voters, Carr still maintains a margin of nearly 4:1 amongst respondents 50-64 and over 4:1 with those 65 and older.
The vast majority of voters just aren’t paying attention to this race. But they should be. Tom Carr has been the City Attorney for Seattle for the past eight years and has repeatedly shown himself to be overzealous in pursuit of nanny state crusades and completely out of touch with the voters of the city. Dominic Holden recently provided a recap of his horrendous track record:
– Tom Carr fought against I-75, the initiative to make marijuana law enforcement the lowest priority of Seattle Police.
– Since the passage of I-75, Carr has actually prosecuted a higher percentage of the pot cases referred to his office.
– After a citywide sweep called Operation Sobering Thought, Carr tried to send 27 bar employees to jail for up to a year for various offenses such as serving minors (none of them were successfully prosecuted).
– Carr used city resources to unsuccessfully appeal – all the way up to federal court – a free speech case against a balloon artist who claimed he didn’t need a permit to do his thing at Seattle Center, and has threatened to waste even more money appealing it to the Supreme Court.
– He aggressively impounded the cars of people with unpaid parking tickets until the state Supreme Court ruled that he was breaking the law. The fiasco later cost the city $1.3 million in a class-action lawsuit.
– He once briefly attempted to threaten several Seattle Times reporters with jail time if they didn’t reveal their confidential sources.
As Dominic mentioned, the office of City Attorney in most other places is not an elected official. While it feels nice to have direct influence over the person who does this job, what tends to happen instead is that political creatures like Carr can hold onto an office because voters tend to have too little bandwidth to follow these smaller races. But this one’s too important for that now, and Seattle really can’t afford another four years of this.