by Goldy, 12/31/2009, 12:53 PM

Now that the race for King County Executive is long over, it’s interesting to compare this:

[Susan] Hutchison said she solved a significant budget shortfall as chairwoman of the Seattle Symphony board of directors. “I solve problems and I fix things,” she said, “and King County needs a fix.”

With this:

The Seattle Symphony, already beset by immense challenges, including a $4 million debt and vacancies in its two top positions, still has not reached a new contract agreement with its musicians union and could potentially face a musicians strike.

No  doubt the Symphony was already in a heap of hurt when Hutchison took over as board chair, but let’s be clear, she didn’t fix crap. Indeed, the Symphony’s fortunes only deteriorated further during her tumultuous tenure. So tumultuous, that when Leslie Jackson Chihuly took over the reins from Hutchison earlier this year, normally stoic board members erupted in a loud celebratory cheer at the transfer.

The Symphony ended its recent fiscal year running a $1.2 million deficit on a budget that Hutchison approved as chairwoman. In fact, they’ve only managed to keep the lights on by dipping into their endowment, already one of the smallest in the nation for a big city symphony. That’s what’s known as eating your seed corn.

Yet, “I solve problems and fix things,” Hutchison repeated throughout the campaign, pointing to her tenure at the Symphony, a claim that largely went unchallenged in the media. Indeed, the Seattle Times editorial board even lauded Hutchison’s budgetary prowess in attempting to explain its ridiculous endorsement of her in the executive’s race.

But now that the shit has finally hit the fan, I wonder if Hutchison will continue to run on her leadership of the Symphony should she choose to challenge Sen. Patty Murray in November? And if so, I wonder if our media will continue to quietly hum along?

20 Responses to “Now that the executive race is over, will the media sing a different tune about Hutchison’s leadership of the Symphony?”

1. Roger Rabbit spews:

It’s okay by me if the goopers want to run Suzie Cute against Mom In Tennis Shoes(TM).

2. ArtFart spews:

No doubt the trolls will.jump in here and flabber about how it’s all the eeeevil work of the dastardly musicians’ union.

3. Roger Rabbit spews:

The fishwrapper’s editorial page stinks. But what can you expect of a product most people use only for wrapping fish?

4. doggril spews:

Well, Art, it only stands to reason, because we all know that regular people shouldn’t expect to make a living at their work. That right is reserved for the elites. The rest of us have the right to eat stale bread, set our own arms when they break and gather our furniture from trash piles.

5. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 In which case they would completely miss Goldy’s point, which isn’t about the Symphony at all, but rather about a dishonest, two-faced, and incompetent editorial board.

6. Michael spews:

Now that the election’s over let’s hope that Susie gets put where she belongs: in the dustbin of history, never to be heard from or about again.

7. Undercover Brother spews:

oh no….will she really run for senate??

i doubt even she could make me vote for a donkey but maybe i will think about it if that comes to be.

8. Mr. Baker spews:

Now that the executive race is over, will the media sing a different tune about Hutchison’s leadership of the Symphony?

only when it is pointed out that they are wrong, like you are doing with this story.
Still, Republicans never admit doing anything wrong, shaming them has no effect. So, I expect Hutchison to keep singing that tune, the question is if the reporters will allow it to go unchallenged.
Frankly, I did not see much challenging reporting going on this past campaign cycle from the Seattle Times.

Having a one daily metro newspaper in Seattle sucks.
The liberal media, like their favored political party, is too fragmented to print with a unified voice. Not yet, anyway.

9. J. Whorfin spews:

I think the results of the election speak way more about Hutchinson than anything The Times could print.

10. YellowPup spews:

I understand that many consider Gerard Schwarz an inferior conductor. I’m a philistine in musical matters, but perhaps there would be a bigger audience here if there were different musical leadership in the SS organization as well.

In any case, relish the thought of Murray cooking up a fine political dish of Hamburger Hutchison in the debates in 2010!

11. headless lucy spews:

The symphony should team up with Heart like SF Symphony teamed up with Metallica.

It would be interesting to see what they could come up with.

12. MikeBoyScout spews:

As a Seattle Symphony subscriber I can tell you that Chihuly has set about fixing and improving the mess left by Suzie Q. Hutchison.

The benefit of Suzie Q’s tenure was to supposed to be improved funding and management of those funds. We did not get it. Of course her departure was applauded. Of course.

The only reason I can think that Suzie Q’s poor management and leadership was not investigated and brought up during the race for King Co Exec, is that Symphony supporters were just grateful that she had moved on. No Symphony needs bad press.

If you live in this area and have not found the opportunity to enjoy an evening with our symphony, you are missing a lot. And you would be missing a gem of an opportunity at excellent entertainment at an outstanding facility at a very fair price.

ps. @10. YellowPup – Music Director Gerard Schwarz is a huge asset to our Symphony and deserves the credit this year’s celebration of his 25 years with the Seattle Symphony is designed to bring.

13. headless lucy spews:

I’ll bet Chihuly’s husband could make a glass-eye for himself that would look like an orange plasticene squid coming out of his socket.

You could auction that baby off for a pretty penny.

14. Jason Osgood spews:

Mike @ 12

Thanks for promoting the Symphony.

No Symphony needs bad press.

I understand. But it’s still too bad.

I had a coworker that (allegedly) expensed family vacations and arranged kickbacks from vendors. His punishment? A glowing review and a quiet exit. He then landed a better job.

Staying quiet about the bad apples enables this kind of failing upwards.

15. All Facts Support My Positions spews:

And the Seattle Times calls me and wants my business to advertise on their fish wrap. I told them to give one nickel to their right wing propaganda machine would be a crime, and Blethen could kiss my ass.

That’s right Blethen. Ask Goldy where I can be found he will tell you.

How the “editors” trashed Darcy, and endorsed Reichert. Like his saying “no” is helping us fix 30 years of Reaganomics gutting of our nation. Endorsing Sheriff Green River enabler is ok, but trashing Darcy in the process? Sickening.

They are lucky I didn’t march down there and throw their right wing stupid asses out their respective windows.

By the way the Rob Johnson interview on Huff Po on crony capitalism was awesome. Maybe Blethen should watch the interview. He might learn something besides running a paper into the ground I mean.

16. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

Running a non-profit institution “like a business” is a recepie for failure.

Running any institution like a personal satrapy generally does not work either.

Combining both is the conservative political prescription for any polity, and generates the Worst Possible Outcome just about always.

17. SJ spews:

The irony of symphonies is that they are so like pro football teams … but ..

1. perfto performances are expensive because you need to pay a lot of team members salaries … BUT we pay football players LOTS

2. becoming a team member is very hard, many try, few succeed …. BUT we play footballers hugely more.

3. training in football is state subsidized .. often to the hilt, I think that is calloeed “socialism” … BUT musician students are true capitalists!

4. we use tax $$tosubsidize teh Seahawksand the SSO … BUT LOTS more tax $$ go to the socialist footballers.

Just another example of liberalextremisim.

18. SJ spews:

Ya might notice that the Times never mentions Hutch in discussing the Symphony’s issues.

This is pretty typical of the Blethens.

When did you last see anything there about the mamangement issues at Boeing?

When did the ST tellus bupkis about thewierdnjess that is Paul Allen’s lifestyle?

Or how about an article on th3e social isolation of the Heights? or schools at Hunts Point?

Anyone remember there coverage of the costs to Seattle tax payers of subsidizing {aul Allen’s SLU project?

…. The Times is a parody of the newsppaper Orwell left out of Animal Farm.

19. rhp6033 spews:

It’s pretty enlightening when you realize that the Times NEVER looks askense whenever a Republican candidate proclaims their prior business accomplishments as a recipie for government problems. It’s as if they say: “Well, the businessman says he is successful, who are we to question othwerwise?”

So when George W. Bush proclaimed himself a successful businessman, you never heard a peep from the Times about he how he had to be rescued THREE TIMES from failure by his father’s buddies, who bought him out of two failing oil-lease ventures at inflated prices (to make it look like a buisiness success), and then set him up as the figurehead of a pro baseball team receiving lots of incentive money from the city and state to keep it from relocating elsewhere.

Then you have the former Safeco exedutive, Mike McGavick, who loudly proclaimed his business expertise in stearing Safeco through some difficult times. Of course, McGavick’s prior expertise was serving in a Congressman’s office and then using that previous position to become a lobbyist for insurance companies. At Safeco he didn’t perform any miracles. An insurance companies’ well-being depends upon how well it’s investment portfolio is doing. McGavick took over while the stock market was way down (after 9/11), laid off a bunch of people, and then waited for the stock market to recover. Big deal, anybody could do that.

And now we have Hutchinson, with the stories about her less-than-stellar reign of the Seattle Symphany Board. Typical, not a peep from the Times, not even an obligatory quote from a dissenting opinion, until well after the race is over.

But I guess if you are the owner of a newspaper which had made some extraordinarily bad business decisions over the past decade, all the while trying to blame your predictable difficulties on the internet and Google, then I guess you wouldn’t want to be throwing too many stones at others. You know, glass houses, and all that.

20. SamIAm spews:

@16 “Running a non-profit institution “like a business” is a recipe for failure.” Exactly. So why is it OK for politicians and business execs (and the Times) to go after public schools and proclaim that their business experience qualifies them to “fix” public schools? (And I’d recommend Larry Cuban’s book “The Blackboard and the Bottom Line” as well as David Berliner’s “The Manufactured Crisis” for anyone who’s truly interested in the complexity of education reform topics.)

Personally, I would love to see Hutchison challenge Patty Murray. It would be fun to see how just how far the Times could spin her “experience” and “qualifications” for the job (although the fake fix/running the symphony into the ground probably does qualify her to be a GOP member of Congress). It would be even more fun to see a debate and really watch the sweat roll down Hutchison’s overly made-up face as she avoids answering questions and spouts GOP talking points with no substance or truth, even though she’s NOT a Republican. (Wonder what country SHE can see from her house?) Maybe she’ll even wear her hideous banana-yellow suit again and the Freudians can have some fun with that. Lord knows we could all use a bit more humor in these bad budget times.