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The Early Prognosis: "Awful."

By Morning Fizz August 9, 2009


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1. As he heads into next Tuesday's primary, Mayor Greg Nickels got a timely shout-out from Seattle's hip-hop break dance troupe Massive Monkees on MTV's America's Best Dance Crew last night. The group thanked Nickels for supporting them, and played a clip of Nickels giving the group the Mayor's Arts Award in 2007.

2. Could Nickels be getting ready to go negative? His latest ad begins with the message, "Some candidates have promised progressive policies. Only one has delivered." Nickels plans to spend another $47,000 in the week leading up to the election on a late ad buy.

A negative Nickels ad (starring Nickels as the progressive vs. a conservative rival) has one likely target: T-Mobile executive Joe Mallahan, who has surged in recent polls.

3. Port of Seattle candidate Tom Albro—the target of an independent expenditure campaign by unions who are backing his opponent Max Vekich—posted a red "Caution" warning on his latest mailer, complete with a skull and crossbones. The warning? "Beware of special interests masquerading as 'Port Reform' who are being bankrolled by out-of-state organized labor."

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Of the $75,000  in contributions that the union-backed group (King County Citizens for Port Reform) has reported to the Public Disclosure Commission, $25,000 comes from The Drive Committee (a Teamsters group) in Washington, D.C. and $20,000 comes from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in San Francisco.

King County Citizens for Port Reform defends the out-of-state contributions by pointing out that The Drive Committee represents 40,000 dues-paying Teamsters in Washington state and the ILWU has 8,000 dues-paying members in Washington State.

4. The New York Times reports that since the closure of the print edition of the Seattle P-I , the Seattle Times ' circulation has surged more than 30 percent—and Times publisher Frank Blethen now says the struggling paper is "in the black."
How much black ink and by what measure, the privately held company will not say, and amid a sharp advertising downturn, no one denies that its situation remains precarious. But The Times has improved its prospects by picking up most P-I subscribers and managing to keep them so far. It says its daily circulation rose more than 30 percent, to more than 260,000 in June, from about 200,000.

5. WA Sen. Maria Cantwell—whose position on health care reform has been the subject of much speculation —unequivocally confirms that she supports a fully public option on Bill Press' nationally syndicated radio show. Andrew Villeneuve has the wonky details .

6. The city will release its latest revenue forecast—the basis for the mayor's next budget—in a couple of weeks. Although no one knows exactly how big the shortfall will be, the early prognosis, according to city hall sources, is: "Awful."
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