In accordance with our obsession over this year's mayor's, here are the winners and losers based on today's King County Superior Court ruling tossing a lawsuit against the proposed arena in SoDo.
Winner: Mayor Mike McGinn, who's now (barring an unlikely successful appeal) free to say that he's the guy who brought the Sonics back to Seattle. People may not like the mayor's position on bikes, but they like the Sonics, and McGinn would be smart to wear green and gold from now until Election Day.
McGinn rushed out a statement moments after the ruling, calling it "a big win in our work to bring the Sonics home to Seattle."
Winner, sorta/Loser, sorta: City Council member Tim Burgess, who issued a statement moments after McGinn's praising the judge's decision. Burgess (who's running against McGinn) has worked hard to position himself as a pro-arena voice of reason, the cooler head on the city council who wants the arena but also wants to protect the city. Burgess is only "sorta" a winner because McGinn's victory clearly overshadows Burgess' play off the bench.
Loser: Former council member Peter Steinbrueck. Steinbrueck, who stood in the back of the courtroom during today's proceedings and left immediately after Judge Douglass North's ruling, has hitched his wagon to the anti-arena forces (until recently, he was consulting for the Port of Seattle, which opposes the arena); an ascendant arena doesn't win him any points with a pro-Sonics public.
As for the other two major candidates, City Council member Bruce Harrell and state Senator Ed Murray, they lean loser: Harrell was one of the biggest initial boosters for the arena, but he has largely disappeareed from the pro-arena pack while his rival McGinn has emerged as Mr. Sonics, while his rival on the council, Burgess, has been getting some minor mileage from the arena issue.
Meanwhile, Murray told us that the arena "would not have been an issue that I would have pushed if I had been mayor." Two readings on that, and both put him in the loser column: 1) He's an agnostic who simply doesn't get how important it is to people to have the Sonics back; or 2) He's still stuck in the mindset of a legislature that balked at any public financing for a sports team—again, a bit of a misread on the public's excitement.
Of course, all of this will change if the arena deal falls apart in the next few months, although that outcome is looking less and less likely.