Sandeep is the new Christian

The Stranger announced its Political Genius awards today, and apparently, I’m not one. That’s okay. I don’t like cake. Besides, how could I possibly hope to compete with such tough competition? Hell, just look at one of the runners-up:

Political consultant Sandeep Kaushik, 60, displayed his first signs of genius in 2005 when he quit The Stranger, where he’d been a political reporter for three years.

King County Executive Ron Sims recognized Kaushik’s smarts and stole him away from us, hiring the dazzling Jim Beam drinker as an election strategist.

Jim Beam? Hah! Sandeep’s moved on to Makers Mark. Shows you what Josh knows.

Kaushik is poised to cap his rise as a political whiz with two major campaigns: He’s advocating for the biggest tax increase in state history, the $17.8 billion Roads and Transit initiative (hoping to expand light rail with 50 new miles of track) and, in a prime-time spot, he’s heading up spin for Darcy Burner, the Democrat who’s trying to knock off GOP Eastside incumbent Congressman Dave Reichert. Kaushik already chased Burner’s Democratic primary rival out of the race.

In 2000, little-known consultant Christian Sinderman emerged as a star by helping get Maria Cantwell elected. Sinderman is now the hottest political guru in the state. If Kaushik sends Burner to Congress, he’ll be the new Sinderman.

No doubt Sandeep’s political instincts and media connections are fast making him a political powerhouse — as Postman well knows, Josh pretty much writes whatever Sandeep tells him to write. So why did Sandeep have Josh write him a measly runner-up citation instead of the big award?

Well really, who deserves to take home the cake more than Cary Moon, the woman who somehow took the idea of a surface alternative to the Alaska Way Viaduct from lunatic fringe to political consensus?

Moon’s political genius is her ability to see the long-term picture; when others laughed at her for supporting what many called a ridiculous, long-shot option (“But where will all the cars go?”), Moon ignored them. While leaders bickered over whether to replace the viaduct with a larger viaduct or expensive tunnel, Moon quietly bided her time, consciously threading the needle between the two opposing positions. Over time, she gained the confidence of opinion leaders such as Council Member Peter Steinbrueck, an environmental advocate who saw the surface/transit option as a way to save billions and improve the climate in the bargain.

Then came last March’s vote against both waterfront freeway options. That “no/no” vote wasn’t just a defeat for the mayor’s tunnel and the governor’s bigger, uglier new viaduct. It was also a major victory for Moon and others who supported the surface/transit option, which emerged as the most affordable, environmentally sustainable option, and the officially “preferred” option of both the mayor and the city council and all the current council candidates.

Of course, there could be one more reason for Cary’s triumph over Sandeep:



  1. 2

    Sandeep Can't be 60! spews:

    Sandeep doesn’t look anywhere near 60 years old. Could have fooled me! Or did someone make an error here?

  2. 3


    I’ll admit, I did not take Moon seriously when she first came forward. Now I am an enthusiastic fan. Her’s is a great lesson in how to build a successful, persuasive, movement.

  3. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Does this mean that if Moon is unable to serve for any reason, the scepter will pass to the guy with eight chest hairs?

  4. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Public Notice: Roger Rabbit On Vacation

    It’s harvest season and I have a job to do!! Namely, certify the local organic carrots and lettuce are tasty and fit for consumption by rabbits!! I’ll be taking some of my relatives with me to assist in this gargantuan task, which I expect to take a couple of weeks.

    Meanwhile, trollfucks, I’ll see you when I see you — unless they hang you first!! You nazi huggers are gonna miss me, I know you are …

  5. 18

    Joel Von Dyke spews:

    I recall Sandeep’s advice to Gregoire in The Stranger during the ballot recount in her race against Rossi. Sandeep told her to concede! A political genius indeed!

  6. 19

    Dick spews:

    Damn Goldy. I just read #15. If Connelly is over here Slog must be down. Are you seeing this guy? I thought the war monger Dan Savage was your main pal.