Following up on the interesting names that popped up on Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess' early endorsement list (Burgess is officially running for mayor now), we asked Andrew Lewis why his name showed up there. 

Lewis, the former lobbyist for the Associated Students of UW, got into local politics by running all-star liberal City Council member Nick Licata's campaign in 2009. We see Burgess as Licata's opposite number on the council (though certainly, Mayor Mike McGinn seems to have a unifying effect on rival council members).

That's what the McGinn administration was reduced to during that mess, apparently: Boasting about its consent decree with the feds.

Here's what Lewis told us:

"I don't completely agree with Licata and Burgess as opposites.

"He was the fifth vote for Nick's paid sick leave against the will of downtown interests, he has pushed for much more thorough police oversight in the wake of the DOJ inquiries, and he fully supports marijuana legalization. What's not to like? He could be a first-class progressive mayor."

I'd note that he was the fifth vote on Licata's legislation—so, not neccessarily a leader.

Lewis' rejoinder:

"Paid sick leave was a contentious issue. There was grid lock, there was opposition from labor and business, and skeptical members of the council. It needed a 5th vote, and a strong 5th vote capable of bringing more people with him. Without Burgess, that issue wouldn't have been 8-1; he brought people together. Also, I would love to support Nick if he ran for Mayor, sadly, he isn't. Burgess can get things done as Mayor even if he doesn't originate the ideas."

As for the DOJ inquiries, I'd have to agree with Lewis.

It didn't hurt that McGinn was slavishly supporting the union on that. The McGinn administration went off the deep end on that one. A belligerent McGinn staffer actually bragged to me last August that "the mayor's office reached its agreement with the DOJ faster than any other city has been able to."

That's what the McGinn administration was reduced to during that mess, apparently: Boasting about its consent decree with the feds.