1. If he decides to jump in , one thing that could help a state Sen. Ed Murray write-in-for-Mayor campaign is R-71, the anti-gay rights initiative. If R-71 is on the ballot in November, the anti-R-71 backlash in Seattle could energize Murray supporters.
Murray is the leading gay rights advocate in Olympia—he ushered through the domestic partners legislation that R-71 is looking to overturn.
So, irony: Murray fans better hope R-71—where the signature-check rate is lacking —makes it onto the ballot. Bigger irony: Anti-gay rights activists could help elect Seattle's first gay mayor.
2. Chris Grygiel has a piece over at the PI.com pointing out that T-Mobile—where mayoral candidate Joe Mallahan is a VP—battled against neighbors and the Nickels administration in 2003 to put cell phone towers in Seattle neighborhoods. It got ugly:
"Some people felt there were predatory practices, in terms of trying to convince property owners that they should have (cell towers) on site and get a monthly payment," Diane Sugimura [head of the City's planning department] said. "There were some people that were saying it appeared they might be targeting low-income people, or people that maybe (had) English was a second language. Those are the kinds of stories we heard."
Sugimura didn't name specific companies, but in media reports from the time residents complained that T-Mobile was moving ahead to strike deals with neighbors, despite the fact that the agreed-upon public comment period to voice concerns about such projects had yet to expire.
Mallahan's campaign spokeswoman Charla Neuman tells Grygiel that Mallahan didn't have anything to do with the cell phone tower debate.
She doesn't however say what Mallahan's position is on putting cell phone towers in residential areas. Nickels proposed legislation in 2003 banning cell phone towers from residential areas. However, loopholes allowed a batch of cell phone towers to go up.
PubliCola has a call in to Mallahan's campaign.
3. PubliCola advisory board member and former Seattle PI edtior Mark Matassa has taken a paying job as a part-time editor and writer with Crosscut .
Anytime someone can get a paying job in journalism these days is cause for celebration. So, congrats to Mark.
Matassa will be stepping down from our advisory board—which in addition to lending a hand on our endorsements and providing a sounding board on business issues included, in his words, "always advis[ing] the Bombay Sapphire for those Publicolists contemplating gin."