Seattle Lobbies in Olympia. Sorta.
Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis and Seattle City Council Members Jan Drago and Tim Burgess testified in Olympia today in front of Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen's (D-10, Camano) transportation committee.
The gang from Seattle came to make the case that Sen. Haugen should add Mercer St. to the list of transportation projects that will get federal stimulus dollars. (Mercer, as has been duly noted everywhere, was left off the list.)
After Ceis finished his prepared remarks (Mercer is a shovel-ready project that would create thousands of jobs), Sen. Haugen asked him what projects he would take off the list to make room for the $50 million Seattle wants for Mercer. Ceis demurred.
I imagine if Richard Pearce, deputy mayor of Moses Lake, were asked a similar question at a hearing in Olympia, he would have no problem saying Seattle should take a hit on behalf of the rest of the state. (Such are the politics of Olympia.)
Seattle has to stop thinking that making nice is doing any good in Olympia. Rep. Frank Chopp (D-43, Wallingford) has been on an Eastern WA charm offensive for years. But no matter how much he tries, there’s no winning over non-Seattle legislators (who have to please the invincible anti-Seattle sentiment of their constituents.)
The theory that Nickels is "mean" is silly. Does anyone really think if Nickels had asked nicely, the Mercer deal would have trumped Olympia's anti-Seattle hangup? Really?
Let's stick with the facts and not be scared to state them. We power the state economy. We generate the wealth. We deserve our fair share of those dollars back (as opposed to getting nothing in transportation stimulus dollars).
What should Sen. Haugen cut? PubliCola was not scared to answer that question this morning.