Caffeinated News & Gossip

1. Perhaps it's because Mayor Mike McGinn—as opposed to the council—has been trying to raise heights in South Lake Union, but here's a bit of a surprise: Fizz hears from a key player in Seattle's business community that rather than queuing up to contribute to the supposed business candidate in the race, Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess, developers are planning on writing checks to McGinn.

The latest campaign finance reports are due soon, and we'll see what shows up on McGinn's ledger, but for a mayor who spent his first two years in office alienating many downtown boosters with his jihad against the tunnel, the word that developer interests could now be ponying up to McGinn disrupts conventional wisdom about this race.

The word that developer interests could now be ponying up to McGinn disrupts conventional wisdom about this race.

Another surprise: Fizz reported earlier this week that one downtown developer, Nitze-Stagen's Kevin Daniels, had recently contributed to supposed anti-development ringleader Peter Steinbrueck.

2. Speaking of Vulcan's frustrated attempts to build high in South Lake Union: While Vulcan and other business types are complaining that the anti-business city council deserves the blame for capping heights at 160 feet instead of the 240 that developers wanted, perhaps the blame really lies with Vulcan itself.

Vulcan's former four-person lobbying team lost rock star lobbyist staffers Dan McGrady and Lyn Tangen in the run-up to the SLU fight—and never bothered to replace them.

Vulcan's former four-person lobbying team lost rock star lobbyist staffers Dan McGrady and Lyn Tangen in the runup to the SLU fight—and never bothered to replace them.

"This is not a reflection of the council," quipped one high-level city bureaucrat, "as much as it is Vulcan flushing a few hundred million down the toilet to save two salaries."

3. After we ran an "Isn't it Weird" item yesterday, noting that two super rivals in the state budget battle—Democratic Rep. Ross Hunter and renegade Democratic state Sen. Rodney Tom—represent the exact same district, we were informed of something even weirder: Supply-sider Tom and demand-sider Hunter are literal roommates during the session in Olympia.

Sources assure us the two rarely see one another during session, but there's going to be some loaded subtext when the roomies are arguing about whose job it is to take out the trash during the next few weeks.

4. The Seattle Times conjured up some drama in the Sonics story with yesterday's "Not So Fast" headline about the NBA's pending decision on whether to approve Chris Hansen's bid to bring the Sacramento Kings here, but let's get real: You've got a bunch of team owners voting on whether another owner, George Maloof, Jr., can sell to his buyer of choice. (Maloof has signed a deal with Hansen).

Why would owners vote against the Hansen deal and risk setting a precedent that works against their own longterm interests to sell to the highest bidder themselves one day? 

5. Here's a sentence you wouldn't read in most cities: The socialists are making an unusually concerted push in this year's city elections, putting forward at least three candidates (so far) for mayor and city council: Mary Martin (who previously ran as a write-in candidate for governor) is running for mayor; Kshama Sawant (who previously ran against state house speaker Frank Chopp, D-43), is running against Richard Conlin; and Edwin Fruit, who previously ran for Port Commission, is running against Nick Licata.

(Fruit and Martin are officially affiliated with the Socialist Workers' Party; Sawant is running as a Socialist Alternative candidate.)

We've contacted Fruit and Martin, the two latest to file, and will have more on why they're running (particularly against Licata—what, exactly, is the socialist alternative to Nick Licata?) later.

But, according to a story in The Militant, Martin said she's running because "the propertied rulers and their capitalist politicians have no solution to the crisis of capitalism. Their answers, like the so-called sequester, make its effects on working people worse,” and Fruit said he's less concerned about issues like the proposed coal port in Bellingham, which he said can be addressed by covering coal cars or spraying them down, than by "the interests of workers worldwide."

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