1. The weekly fundraising numbers are in and State Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) topped incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn, $17,417 to $585.
A gigantic advantage for Murray, obviously, but great fodder for McGinn, who's trying to position Murray as the establishment candidate: On Murray's list of donors? $700 from longtime Eastside Republican party contributor John Stanton (whose most recent previous political contributions were two $900 max-outs to state senate Republican budget chair Sen. Andy Hill, R-45, Redmond); Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess staffer Alex Pedersen; and Chris Gregorich—a longtime Democratic staffer who's worked for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, the state senate Democrats, and most recently on the election team of new Democratic U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA, 6). So, what's the establishment gotcha with liberal Democrat Gregorich? He currently works for Nyhus Communications, a consulting firm that's working on the coal train proposal.
Murray also got donations from a batch of city firefighters, including Local 27 firefighters union head Kenny Stuart (the union has endorsed Murray).
Overall, according to the most recent totals, Murray has raised $389,000 to McGinn's $285,000, but Murray is $22,000 in the red while McGinn has $10,000 on hand.
McGinn and his staff didn't testify or participate in any of the several public meetings between May and November 2011 that created the law. 2. On the campaign trail, McGinn, who's been positioning himself this election season as more of working class hero than a green, often takes credit for "fighting for paid sick leave"—a reference to city council member Nick Licata's law requiring large employers to let their employees stay home sick without losing pay. According to McGinn's campaign web site, the mayor "supported and implemented [the] paid sick leave ordinance."
However, file this under evidence of the grumblings we've heard at city hall that McGinn didn't have much to do with enacting the law: McGinn and his staff didn't testify or participate in any of the several public meetings between May and November 2011 that created the law.
3. In a suburban echo of Seattle's "aPodment" debate, the Bellevue City Council was poised last night to adopt emergency legislation that would bar large groups of unrelated people from living together in single-family houses—a response to several rooming houses that have sprung up in a Bellevue neighborhood called Spiritwood. The houses are supposedly serving as makeshift dorms for students at Bellevue College.
Bellevue council member Claudia Balducci was one of the few voices of dissent at last week's meeting. Although she agreed that the boarding houses were out of scale with their sleepy single-family neighborhood—"What we're seeing here is the transformation of a small single-family neighborhood into a small multi-family neighborhood," she said—she also argued that to make rooming houses illegal could have unintended consequences and force people out of their homes overnight.
"There are people out there tonight—tonight!—who are in living arrangements that are perfectly legal and we’re going to make them illegal without any notice, no notice whatsoever," Balducci said. "I think that we can send a message to the people who are damaging this neighborhood … but we don’t know what we're doing to people; we don’t know who will be affected by this. ... This approach is a sledgehammer."
4. And while we're in Bellevue, it's worth mentioning that Balducci—a stalwart light rail supporter who clobbered her anti-rail opponent in 2011—has endorsed both Bellevue parks commissioner Lynne Robinson and Amgen exec Vandana Slatter for the council position that will be vacated by Don Davidson next year. (Davidson lost in the August primary).
Balducci says Robinson "could walk in on the first day and be ready to do the job." However, she adds, Slatter—who's Indian American—would "represent a part of our community that has not been represented really at all" in local politics.