The Key to the Election

By Josh Feit May 4, 2009


1. Immediately after T-Mobile executive Joe Mallahan announced he was running for mayor last week, several tipsters suggested I look into Mallahan's track record of voting in elections—apparently it was spotty. So, I checked it out. Mallahan has not voted in a third of  the elections he's been eligible to vote in since moving back here in 2000.

The point these tipsters/detractors were making: If this Mallahan guy is so passionate about Seattle, why hasn't he been voting consistently?

Mallahan, for example, skipped the 2007 general election, which included Seattle City Council races and the contentious transit/roads initiative. Not good for someone who wants to be mayor. 

However, I'll give Mallahan points for skipping the sham 2008 Presidential Primary  (it was all about the caucuses), and he did vote in the important March 2007 Special Viaduct Election. (The file doesn't say how he voted, though)

Mallahan had this to say about the attack on his civic cred:
"Currently, Seattle has 377,535 registered voters and only 1.5% of them have voted in every election since 2000. As I am talking with citizens around town, I can tell you the main issues on their minds aren't previous elections or voting frequency—it's jobs, affordability, transportation and public safety, and the failure of the current mayor to address these issues in a meaningful way. If our opponents want to trot out tired, old political attacks, we will welcome that discussion. Our opponents can continue ignoring the needs of Seattle; however, we intend to stay focused on the issues that matter most to them."

Having checked out Mallahan's voter file, I've now got a request in to King County to see (listed in order of money raised) Greg Nickels', Mike McGinn's, James Donaldson's, and Norman Sigler's record. 

2. Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner filed a report on his Facebooks page this weekend about the's underwhelming record of diversity. (And Former-Seattle PI reporter Angela Galloway weighed in with some complementary and sarcastic commentary): 


3. The four Democrats who are running for King County Executive—Seattle-area King County Council Members Dow Constantine and Larry Phillips and Eastside suburban state legislators Rep. Ross Hunter and Sen. Fred Jarrett—will square off in a debate in Renton tomorrow night.

The location is perfect. All four of these arugula-style Democrats—a cosmopolitan hipster (Constantine); a legislator who represents Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, and Belltown  (Phillips); a Microsoftie who's big with PTA moms on the Eastside (Hunter); and a Mercer Island conservative (Jarrett)—are going to have trouble with South King County's working class turf, the key to the election for each. 

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