1. With $126,000 in the bank (the most of any mayoral candidate), incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn has booked a month's run of cable TV ads worth $24,300 starting on July 5—a month before ballots are due in the August primary.
So far, he's the only mayoral candidate to start booking time on TV.
Bruce Harrell, with the next most cash on hand—$106,000— and probably the most in need of increasing his name ID, and Ed Murray, with $85,000 cash on hand plus an independent expenditure committee getting his back, are both likely to follow suit ASAP.
Peter Steinbrueck only has $48,000 cash on hand. He starts out with much better name ID than either Harrell or Murray, though.
2. Erica moderated a mayoral forum in front of a union hall packed with low-wage workers and union reps on Saturday afternoon at the Service Employees International Union's new downtown headquarters.
Erica reports that Harrell and McGinn were the standouts, while long-shot candidate Kate Martin busted out some of the most specific proposals to help low-wage workers (such as imposing a sales tax on services to subsidize wages and yanking business licenses from companies that steal workers' wages by failing to pay overtime), and real estate broker Charlie Staadecker was the only candidate who got hissed, twice—including once for opposing a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, which he said would have "unintended consequences."
McGinn got big applause at the beginning of the event after going through his stump speech checklist of accomplishments: "We increased the families and education levy, paid sick leave, rental housing inspections" and said "we stood with fast food workers" when they went on strike to protest their poverty-level wages.
At the end of the event, when all the candidates were asked to write up a budget based on Seattle's $9.19 minimum wage, McGinn also highlighted his emphasis on new transit options as a must-have for low-income families, saying "affordable transit" was why he was running for mayor. "You cannot survive on this budget in the long term. We all know this," he concluded.
"I don't have to look at this chart to tell you what it means," he began, as he strolled out to the front of the stage Bill Clinton style. "What it means is people can't live Seattle."—Bruce HarrelBut this was the question where Harrell's social justice rap won the most applause.
"I don't have to look at this chart to tell you what it means," he began, as he strolled out to the front of the stage, Bill Clinton style. "What it means is people can't afford to live in Seattle. This is exactly why I'm running for mayor. ... What this means is that there's a cycle of poverty in our city. There's nothing funny about this cycle."
Then he touted his recent ex-felon legislation which would prevent employers from discriminating against ex-felons who are looking for jobs. "Not one person up here other than Kate supported that legislation. I will tell you that we will not be able to do it alone."
Harrell concluded, citing one of his wealthy donors as evidence that the one percent has a moral obligation to support the 99 percent, and speaking Alfonso Arellano, a Taco del Mar employee who was part of a worker panel earlier in the forum: "[They] have a moral obligation to invest in you, Alfonso. I was you. I flipped burgers. I didn't have any lawyers in my family. [Harrell later became a very successful attorney]. I want to get you there. I want you to get out of that and be able to climb that cycle of prosperity. I grew up in a very rough neighborhood my brother, and I want to get you there."
Footnote re: Harrell's charge that no one on stage, including the mayor, supported his ex-felon legislation, McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus says: "During council deliberations the mayor took no position, in support or opposition, and instead made his staff from the Office of Civil Rights available to work with Councilmember Harrell. We also urged all stakeholders to provide input to Council. The mayor supports the final legislation."
Pickus also noted the mayor's own ex-felon job placement program, which Pickus says has a 68 percent success rate—with 17 people already placed in jobs, training or educational programs.
3. In some good publicity for McGinn, he's slated to testify in D.C. tomorrow morning in front of a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee against the coal train proposal.
4. And finally in mayor's race news, in case you missed our coverage late on Friday afternoon: The Downtown Seattle Association likes Murray and McGinn the best; meanwhile, McGinn's campaign consultant goes after Murray's campaign consultant.