Nov 062013

The race for the Mayor of Seattle was thought to be decided in preliminary polls, but NBA faithful pulled for Mike McGinn as their candidate.  Kris “Sonics Guy” Brannon and Brian Robinson (who both, incidentally, do not live in Seattle and thus can’t vote for Mike) of various Sonics fan organizations endorsed Mike McGinn just before the primary.  Sonics fans were encouraged to phone bank, drag their friends into voting in this off-year race, etc to try to stem the tide of McGinn’s trailing by over 10 points.

It failed.  The first ballot count posted Tuesday night indicated McGinn was trailing 43% to 56% (39,124 votes to 50,938).  That sort of deficit is unlikely to be made up.

The Seattle City Councilmen who voted against the Hansen arena MOU, Conlin and Licata, are both safely re-elected.  Conlin’s challenger Sawant was nipping (and, oddly, endorsed by many NBA fans), but it looks unlikely for Conlin to be unseated.

District elections for Seattle City Council positions finally won, which will be interesting to see how it plays out and who ends up representing the SoDo contingent.

McGinn Defeated By Arena-Opposition

As we’ve heard said about Nickel’s 2009 defeat being a referendum on his handling of the Sonics’ departure, I guess the same can be said about McGinn’s defeat being helped, in no small way, by the nearly 3/4ths of the voters out there who remembered voting for I-91, against building an arena for the NBA without making money on it.

While not at all overturned by a credible challenger, the 22% of the vote going to “not-Dow Constantine” for King County Executive – candidate Alan Lobdell – could also be a good sign of growing foment against those who promulgate another taxpayer-assisted arena.

Election Results Expected ~8:15 PM, Design Review Process Ongoing

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Aug 062013

Keep your eyes open for the election results to be posted here sometime after 8 PM (8:15 and 8:30 are two numbers I’ve heard floated around).  It’s expected that about half the ballots will be counted in this batch, so it would be amazing if any numbers shifted by more than a few %.

Brian Robinson’s crew has been pushing McGinn, O’Brien, and relative nobody Brian Carver (who hasn’t mentioned anything to mainstream media about supporting an arena, but has messaged the Sonics Rising crew privately).

Meanwhile, people from McGinn’s camp are already saying “we may be trailing in 3rd or 4th place tonight, but will gain when more ballots come trickling in” because McGinn voters must be real lazy about mailing things?

 1st Batch of results Tues 8:15 PM, 93,406 votes counted


Murray 28,248 30.24%
McGinn 25,364 27.15%

Steinbrueck 15,189 16.26%
Harrell 14,458 15.48%

City Council Position 2

Conlin 41,477 49.16%
Sawant 27,813 32.97%

Carver 14,632 17.34%

City Council Position 8

O’Brien 48,253 57.37%
Shen 29,689 35.3%

Ishii 5,720 6.8%


UPDATE through Fri 8/9 Count, 140,029 Votes Counted


Murray 41,175 29.92%
McGinn 39,060 28.39%

Steinbrueck 22,348 16.24%
Harrell 20,986 15.25%

City Council Position 2

Conlin 59,015 47.92%
Sawant 42,908 34.84%

Carver 20,554 16.69%

City Council Position 8

O’Brien 72095 58.75%
Shen 42016 34.24%

Ishii 7892 6.43%

Well, congrats to incumbents for pulling through (like they seem to do in Seattle quite easily). Conlin and O’Brien are likely to sail towards re-election. I would expect our next mayor to be Ed Murray, given the “anyone but McGinn” vote. Appealing to NBA fans was insufficient to boost Carver past the primary and Steinbrueck’s seemingly late start in organizing may have cost him many voters. Statements from McGinn’s camp about coming in 3rd or 4th may have been off the cuff, or maybe nobody had any idea which voters would be mailing in ballots vs the old demographics from polling station votes. It will be interesting to see what this primary’s demographic spread comes out to be when all is said and done.

Fellow Steinbrueck supporters, there will be more ballots to count, but it’s a deep hole for Peter right now. The best consolation I can offer is, even Murray’s professionals couldn’t call this one.



Hansen Still Pushing Design Review Board

I’m also hearing that Hansen’s arena designs are still being reviewed.  The DPD site has info on the 1700 1st ave S project and new renderings here.  The video/eyeraising billboard “fin” wall is now gone and the loading dock functions have been moved to the east edge of the building, where that “access road” to the mariners garage was would now get occasionally blocked entirely by loading dock use.  I’m also seeing a parking garage for the players…  which is interesting.  I recall there being some requirements for providing parking outside of the Stadium Transition Overlay District and some restrictions on the parking provided inside the Overlay District.  Fun stuff to review.

Peter Steinbrueck vs McGinn Predicted By Seattle Weekly

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Aug 012013

The Seattle Weekly took a sampling of one of the most consistently indicative precincts in Seattle and concluded that the Candidates to advance to the General Election would include Peter Steinbrueck.  There’s still a lot of undecideds in there, but please remember to vote because election polling is a very inexact science.

SHOCKER: Seattle Weekly Poll Finds McGinn-Steinbrueck Showdown Looms!

McGinn: 16 (26.2%)
Steinbrueck: 16 (26.2%)
Murray: 7 (11.5%)
Harrell: 4 (7%)
Joey Gray: 1 (2%)
Undecided : 17 (27.8%)

A sampling of some of the commentary that ensued:

“I think a lot of the negative hullabaloo about him has been overstated. He may not be the world’s greatest mayor, but he’s learned the job and he’s getting better,” says Alexis Kaushanski.

“We need someone who can do something about transportation. I don’t want someone who wants to run a bus service,” says Steinbrueck supporter Bob Manders.

“I liked his dad and I liked him when he was the council,” says Mark Johnson, another Steinbrueck supporter.

“I I could vote The Seattle Times into the Puget Sound, I would. They’ve trashed him all the way,” says McGinn supporter Cal Folsom.

“My son works in Olympia, and he’s very impressed with him, and I think he’ll do a good job,” says Dave, a Murray supporter who asked that only his first name be used.

2013 Mayoral Election in Seattle, Being Trolled by NBA Fans

 Lawsuit, MOU, PR Campaign, Uncategorized  Comments Off on 2013 Mayoral Election in Seattle, Being Trolled by NBA Fans
Jul 192013

Things have been relatively quiet on the SoDo arena front.  It sounds like the street vacation is on hold, as is the MUP for the project.  A draft EIS is due in a month or so.  The appeal by the ILWU related to SEPA considerations was recently started, but no decision is expected for several weeks.  I’ve been working hard and occasionally stop by to clear out comment spam related to chanel bags and cheap prescription meds that were seized by customs.

But, there is still stirring related to the arena (even with the NHL Coyotes staying put, just like the Kings are staying).  Now it’s the Seattle Mayoral Election and, more immediately, the top two primary system we use.  Certain Sonics fans (including well known characters from Tacoma or louder, but lesser known ones from further outside Seattle (like half-way-to-Canada Burlington) seem to think their lusts for an arena are sufficient reason to interject into Seattle’s mayoral race, even endorsing candidates they cannot vote for.  Next time someone proposes to build an arena in a suburb like Everett remind me to start endorsing that town’s political candidates whom I don’t even know about.  As much as they like to paint me as a “troll,” constantly ranting about candidates in the elections they rightfully cannot participate in directly seems to fit the “troll” moniker better.

All that ass-hattery aside, the Seattle mayoral race is fairly tight between McGinn, Murray, Steinbrueck, and Undecided.  Undecided wins with 25% of the vote, but the 50% disapproving of McGinn as Mayor indicate that those undecideds will divide between Murray and Steinbrueck rather than go to McGinn (unless they’re really undecided because they don’t want to try anyone to see if they’re better).  The Seattle mayoral primary is a top-two system, meaning only two will advance to the general election vote.  Voting for somebody destined not to make it forward is more ideological than practical.  It would be more influential to vote for the “still has a shot” candidate that best aligns with your views than to vote for Joey Gray.

My Mayoral Endorsement – Steinbrueck

Personally, I’ll be voting for Peter Steinbrueck.  If nothing else, he’s open to continuing to evaluate the SoDo arena location and if that’s really the best spot.  Despite what Sonics fans suggest, Peter has not laid out a campaign policy of stopping the arena, like McGinn did with the tunnel (and then flip-flopped on when it came time to win the general election).  I wish he would, but Peter only proposes to follow through on examining if an arena would hurt SoDo economic activity.  EDIT:  Actually, looking into some recent media appearances I heard on KUOW he said he was ready to renegotiate or rescind the MOU and remove the 5 year window (10 minutes into this mp3 interview).

From the 7/17 Candidate Survivor event... McGinn in full NBA-whore mode.

From the 7/17 Candidate Survivor event… McGinn in full NBA-whore mode.  I guess he didn’t want to go the bike-into-events route this time around.

Other arena-ish people on my Seattle ballot

Seattle City Council pos 2 – Conlin voted against the SoDo arena.  Brian Carver has been trying to sweep up Sonics fans despite not making any wide-audience statements regarding the arena.

Seattle City Council pos 8 – O’Brien is McGinn’s lackey and supported building the arena without renegotiation.  Almost as enthusiastically as Harrell.  Shen is the more credible alternative.

King County Executive – Dow was a big key in selling the arena proposal.  He put the County in an interesting position of pretending to lead in accepting the deal (and asking the Seattle City Council to jump off the cliff after them) while not fully emphasizing the incredibly small roll the County had in financing the project if no NHL team was secured by the time the arena was completed.   On top of that, the MOU has the County being paid off at an accelerated rate relative to the City in the event of disaster.  I’m confident Dow will win, and applaud his shrewd tactics in the matter, even though I’d love to kick him to the curb for not telling Ballmer to fund his building on his own dime.  If anyone else seems credible, please pipe up soon.

Steinbrueck Announces for Mayor – Prefers Alternate Arena Site

 Finance, PR Campaign  Comments Off on Steinbrueck Announces for Mayor – Prefers Alternate Arena Site
Dec 192012

Rumors rang true.  While Ed Murray has voiced his concern about the security offered in a public-private partnership in the arena, we now have Peter Steinbrueck saying he’ll “honor the process”, but opposes locating the arena in the SoDo area.  Peter, that’s certainly an issue that will curry favor with many, but the real craw to the majority of Seattle is public risk of taxpayer dollars.

Steinbrueck said Rainier Valley and the east side of Lake Washington would be better arena locations. “There is support in the Rainier Valley community where there might be less impact and more space for the kinds of complementary activity that would surround an arena,” he said. As for the Eastside, “they don’t have a stadium on the Eastside. And in fact most of the fans that go on to see the games come from the Eastside.”

From publicola’s article (btw, team rent is all of $1M per year towards about $17M a year in bond payments):

Steinbrueck’s first digression from his prepared remarks came when he was asked about the NBA arena deal in SoDo.

And what better symbol to take on as a “behind-closed-doors” (as he called it) yuppie development deal than the SoDo arena, which Steinbrueck says threatens the working-class industrial district.  (San Francisco hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen has bought up the land and pledged $290 million, but only if the arena goes where he wants it. The public is on the hook for $200 million, which will be paid back through taxes and team rent).

Steinbrueck, who was paid by the Port of Seattle to oppose the deal—which has now been endorsed by both the City Council and the King County Council—said he would “honor the process,” but indicated that he would use the process to explore better locations. 

After noting that his older son, who was standing next to him, plays high-school basketball and that his family loved the Sonics, Steinbrueck (who voted consistently on the council to keep the city’s industrial areas industrial) went off: “I personally feel the industrial area is the absolute worst place to be locating an arena” because it is currently home to some of the highest-paying manufacturing and industrial jobs in the city, because of the traffic congestion the arena would produce, and because the industrial businesses in the area are already on “a growth trajectory.”

And he continued: “Why would we do that when there are other places that would be much better—the Rainier Valley, for example … or the Eastside… My hope is that we will explore fully all the options.”