Speculate all you want about Seattle developer Martin Selig’s $10,000 contribution to the
No Tunnel Pro-Rebuild Alliance, but from what I hear, political payback is likely a factor. Selig is still pissed off at Mayor Greg Nickels for forcing him to pay his electric bill, and nothing would please him more than to fuck with the Mayor’s Viaduct plans in return.
Notorious for his ethical ambivalence, Selig’s standard business practice seems to be predicated on the assumption that fighting long past-due bills costs far less than the profit to be earned from investing the money elsewhere. Back in 2004 it took a strongly worded shut-off notice sent to Selig’s tenants to force him to pay a $950,000 Seattle City Light bill, but unsuspecting vendors, contractors and partners who lack such leverage are apparently forced to accept pennies on the dollar, or pursue their accounts receivable in court.
And yet Selig, routinely unable to to pay his own bills, somehow managed to scrape up $927,000 in spare change to spend on an initiative to repeal the estate tax, and hundreds of thousands of dollars more killing the Monorail.
Already the Pro-Rebuild Alliance’s largest donor, you can be certain Selig is willing to spend plenty more to assure that a massive, double-decker freeway continues to run through Seattle’s waterfront. And to finance his civic participation, you can be sure that some contractor or vendor somewhere is going to be stiffed this month by Martin Selig.