Today's Loser: Mayor Mike McGinn
The NBA relocation committee's 12-0 vote today against moving the Sacramento Kings to Seattle is awful news for local basketball fans.
But it's also a big bummer for Mayor Mike McGinn, who, coming off a rocky first two years in office, had been framing his efforts to help San Francisco hedge fund manager Chris Hansen bring the Sonics back to Seattle (what had looked increasingly like a good bet) as proof of his political ability to usher through a major civic deal.
On top of that: McGinn, who's up for reelection this year. was framing a glitzy new stadium as a bold checkmark on his urbanist to-do list.
Adding to today's blow, the bad news comes just a few hours before the first high-profile mayoral campaign debate, which is being hosted in Southwest Seattle tonight by Q13 TV's C.R. Douglas.
It seems ominous for McGinn that the quasi-official kickoff of the season coincided with the crummy news.
McGinn issued a taciturn statment:
“I’m proud of how Sonics fans have rallied together to help Seattle get a team. We’re going to stay focused on our job: making sure Seattle remains in a position to get a team when the opportunity presents itself.”
Today's Winner: Peter Steinbrueck
Although there is one footnote for Steinbrueck. Like McGinn, did he just lose a campaign issue too?
Compare McGinn's statement to this one from former City Council member Steinbrueck, who's been running (in an eerily similiar way to McGinn's '09 populist anti-tunnel campaign) on an anti-SoDo arena jag in his own bid for mayor.
A positively energized Steinbrueck issued this statement:
I am relieved by the NBA’s Relocation/Finance Committee decision today. Building an arena in the SODO Industrial district was not the right decision. It put too many good family wage jobs, port shipping operations, and maritime businesses at risk. The impacts would have been just too great.
I will work to bring professional basketball to Seattle in the future, should the NBA consider an expansion team.
Now we have the opportunity to work together to make independent and informed decisions that put public interest first, over wealthy special interests.
Although there is one footnote for Steinbrueck.
Like McGinn, did he just lose a campaign issue too?