Last April, after Mayor Mike McGinn vetoed the aggressive panhandling ordinance, we wrote that McGinn had just solidified a formidable political coalition—urban greens plus social justice lefties. (While they oughta be allies on the left, the two sides are usually at odds, with social justice activists often accusing the composting/biking/P-Patch types as elitists who don't get kitchen table issues.)
You don't win elections without coalitions. (In November 2009, McGinn added the Lesser Seattle crowd to his PCC Natural Markets base by stumping against taxes re: the tunnel.)
And now, we will glimpse the power of McGinn's new coalition. You couldn't have a more symbolic duo to dramatize how well he's threaded the needle politically: The Sierra Club (Chardonnay) plus Real Change (Coors).
The two groups are teaming up (we're guessing at McGinn's behest; he used to be the local chapter chair of the Sierra Club, and damned if Real Change doesn't owe him for vetoing that panhandling ordinance) to represent McGinn at the polls in 2010 when, as is likely, they jointly run a local ballot measure protecting Seattle from cost overruns on the tunnel.
It's pretty brilliant. These groups should be allies generally, but they can never seem to overcome their sibling rivalry. Watch out tunnel fans. It's like you're America and the Sunnis and Shia just figured something out.