Morning Fizz: A Major Staffing Announcement
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring a new city department head, a costly trip, and a tacky fundraiser.
1. After the departure of the city’s former chief technology officer, Mike McGinn appointee Erin Devoto, in late March, Mayor Ed Murray just announced her replacement: PricewaterhouseCoopers and Microsoft consultant Michael Mattmiller.
Devoto left for Kirkland after the failure of McGinn’s choice to provide high-speed Internet service to some Seattle neighborhoods, an untested startup called Gigabit Squared, not only failed to win financial backing for its project but left the city with tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills. The CTO job pays $140,000.
2. Murray plans another “major staffing announcement” this morning; his office wouldn’t say which department the staffing announcement involved, although Fizz hears they're going to lock down the deputy mayor postion that's currently filled by former Bellevue city manager Andrea Riniker, who came out of retirement to take the position on an interim basis.
3. In addition to spending $1,850 from his (privately-funded) office fund to fly his husband, city parks department manager Michael Shiosaki, to the Super Bowl in New Jersey earlier this year, Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission records reveal that Murray also spent $1,850 for his own plane ticket; $3,100 for two Super Bowl tickets; $1,400 at the Hilton Times Square during the Super Bowl; and $372 at Taboon, a high-end Mediterranean restaurant in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.
Legally, there are no restrictions on how mayors may spend their office funds, which are paid for by private donations from supporters.
4. Erica will be on KUOW’s The Record (94.9 FM, or online) at noon today, talking about a potential ballot measure for public financing of City Council campaigns.
5. Two Puget Sound area state house Democrats—Rep. Chris Hurst (D-31, rural Pierce County) and Steve Kirby (D-29, Tacoma)—are pushing the envelope when it comes to crass fundraising tactics this week.
Hurst, a conservative Democrat who chairs the government accountability and oversight committee, is hosting a liquor lobbyist fundraiser this evening at Woodinville Whiskey. The invite from his campaign reads:
"Representative Hurst asked that I invite you to attend a fundraiser he is having on June 11 at Woodinville Whiskey from 6:00 – 7:30PM. This is a spirits/wine/beer industry specific event. He is hopeful that you and your clients will be able to attend. Invitation is attached. Please let me know if you have any questions."
The iffy part is that Rep. Hurst is also chairing a committee meeting in Woodinville this afternoon at Woodinville City Hall, right before the fundraiser, on liquor industry regulations—where, presumably, the same lobbyists who are going to the whiskey fundraiser will be speaking.
Woodinville Whiskey is a six minute drive away.
Not tacky enough for you? Check out the "Lobbyist Acuity Examination" fundraising email Rep. Kirby, another conservative Democrat, sent out to lobbyists last night:
It’s time to take the biannual Lobbyist Acuity Examination. Successful completion of this exam entitles the participant be elevated to “Highly Enlightened Lobbyist” status, which will likely result in your clients giving you a raise. (Hint: Don’t just pick C)
1. Steve Kirby hasn’t had an opponent for re-election seven out of the last ten times he’s run for office because
A. He campaigns hard every time his name is on the ballot
B. He is the most powerful person in the legislature, and no one would dare oppose him
C. Dumb luck
2. Steve Kirby’s campaign for re-election is
A. Necessary to maintain his familiarity to his constituents, enhancing the likelihood that he won’t draw opponents in the future
B. The best way to increase the odds of your clients supporting a winner
C. Free – so he doesn’t need our help raising money
3. If we don’t help Steve Kirby on his campaign
A. He will think that we don’t understand how this business works
B. He will be disappointed
C. He won’t even notice
NOTE: You can bypass this examination and receive “Highly Enlightened Lobbyist” status simply by having your clients send a campaign contribution to:
The Steve Kirby Campaign