Not Even Close

By Josh Feit June 1, 2009


1. One of the ugliest behind-the-scenes squabbles in local politics—one that strained the propinquity of Seattle's political class—has come to an end.  Political fundraiser Colby Underwood, who was suing his former employee McKenna Hartman for $1 million after she set out to start her own political fundraising business, has agreed to settle for a substantially lower (like, not even close) figure. 

2. Planned Parenthood is holding a vigil at 6 tonight for Dr. George Tiller, the abortion doctor who was murdered in the lobby of his church in Kansas yesterday. Details here

3. All five mainland Seattle legislative districts (so every district except the 34th, West Seattle) are joining forces for a one-off Mayoral, King County Executive, and Port Commissioner candidate forum tomorrow night. 

The Mega-Forum begins at 6:30 at the Seattle Labor Temple, 2800 1st Ave. 

4. Towards the end of the KUOW news roundtable last Friday, when we were talking about Seattle schools, host Steve Scher read a couple of listener emails. 

I guess I should stop assuming that KUOW listeners are Free-to-Be-You-and-Me liberals. Someone named Beverly wrote in: "[School superintendent] Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson is extremely disrespectful  of North End families, [and] focuses all her energy on South End schools. Apparently middle class families are not worthy of her attention." 

I called b.s. on Beverly's racist weirdness on the air on Friday, and I feel like doing it again today as well: Hey Beverly, are you saying there are no "middle class" families in South Seattle? Nice.

5. Well, when you look at it that way: 


Seattle's budget ($43 million in the red) is in good shape when you compare it—as the Pew Charitable Trust did—to budget deficits in other major U.S. cities. Seattle's deficit is only 5 percent of its revenues. By comparison, New York City's is over 10 and Detroit, topping the list, is at 20.

6. Bill Marler, the powerhouse Seattle attorney who makes his living fighting for food safety and taking on agribusiness (the same Bill Marler whose ad we run and whose muckraking blog is one of the 10 blogs on PubliCola's exclusive Blog-Rola list) was featured in the NYT last week, this time as a crusader for academic freedom. 

Or, to be more specific: The academic freedom to take on agribusiness.

When Marler heard that big ag might have something to do with WSU's decision to cancel a program requiring students to read Michael Pollan's The Ominvore's Dilemma, he stepped in and made sure the program continued.
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