Not Gonna Tell You Now

By Erica C. Barnett July 27, 2009

fizz471. Last night's candidate forum at Mount Zion Church drew only the hardest of the hard-core political junkies. In one of the hottest rooms we've ever been in, a small crowd of dedicated Capitol Hill Central District residents tried to cool off  with improvised fans (Jessie Israel, candidate for Position 6, of her mailers: "We specifically chose this card stock for its fannability") as the candidates went through their usual paces on stage.

Among the more unusual/interesting moments:

• Asked whether she supported the Capitol Hill Alcohol Impact Area, which restricts sales on certain types of cheap booze favored by street alcoholics, Position 4 candidate Sally Bagshaw said she did, adding that before the AIA went into effect, "You could find alcohol that's just not good for the people who are drinking it—it's fortified, it's making people sick." Bagshaw's opponents David Bloom and Dorsol Plants both said they did not support the AIA.

• Several lightning rounds of geography questions revealed that pretty much no one knows much about Capitol Hill or the C.D.—in Position 4, none of the candidates could name a single urban village in either neighborhood, and in Position 8, no one—not even C.D. resident Bobby Forch—knew the boundaries of the Central District.

• Position 8 candidate Robert Rosencrantz continued to be a little overenthusiastic, talking energetically about the "new industrial revolution" and offering "my neck to the city of Seattle" if he proved a disappointment on the council.

2. Josh got back to town yesterday after I'd already dealt with Joel Connelly's column in Morning Fizz. (Connelly encouraged people to ignore our endorsements because Sandeep Kaushik, a PubliCola advisor, and Cynara Lilly, our ad salesperson, work for campaigns. Neither Cynara nor Sandeep have anything to do with PubliCola's editorial content.)

However, Josh sent off this email to Connelly:

While you're busy knocking  PubliCola's endorsements and explaining how traditional journalism is supposed to work, you should at least take the time to practice the basics yourself: Give us a call next time you write about us. I would have been happy to explain how we do it, and why we think it makes sense.

And had you called, you also would have gotten the hot scoop: Sandeep Kaushik, Cynara Lilly, and former PI editor Mark Matassa (who you left out, but Erica noted), aren't the only PubliCola folks who are working on campaigns. There's a fourth person involved with PubliCola who's also in deep in local politics.

Sorry, you missed your chance. Not gonna tell you who now.


Connelly's response was pretty underwhelming:

Expected at least 1,400 words of bile out of Erica, but happy to get prototypical putdown from you. It just goes to underscore the column's basic point:  With all those folks working on campaigns, setting a new standard of participatory journalism, how can any declaraction of support or preference by Publicola have any credibility?

As well, how does it constitute a "hot scoop" that somebody is working in a campaign?


3. If you like beer, and you like sitting outside, and you want to meet one of the leading candidates for City Council position 8, stop by Linda's on Capitol Hill (707 East Pine St.) tomorrow evening between 5:30 and 7:30 to hang out with Mike O'Brien, former head of the local Sierra Club and the only guy in his race to oppose the mayor's $4 billion deep-bore waterfront tunnel. Event details available here.

4. Candidates for mayor and city council will release detailed fundraising and expenditure totals today. What we'll learn: Who can afford to send mail to voters, who'll be doing commercials (Mayor Greg Nickels, duh), and what the candidates are spending all that money on. This morning, Nickels reported taking in a whopping $24,000 from a fundraiser on June 22, including contributions from Posiion 4 candidate Bagshaw, former mayoral spokeswoman Marianne Bichsel, fire chief Gregory Dean, former mayoral spokesman Casey Corr, anti-bag-fee lobbyist George Griffin, current mayoral spokesmen Alex Fryer and Robert Mak, and dozens more. Full details on campaign reports later today.

This morning's Morning Fizz is brought to you by Candidate Survivor.

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