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Seattle Port Commission Position No. 3: PubliCola Picks Rob Holland

By PublicolaPicks October 19, 2009

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Rob Holland is an outstanding candidate with a dynamite resume.

His work experience includes management jobs at the Port of Tacoma, Horizon Lines shipping, and Momentum Partners, a trade marketing company. Holland currently works directly with the Port as a biofuels salesman for green innovators Seaport Petroleum and Biofuels.

As former chair of the 37th District Democrats in Southeast Seattle, he's also a longtime community activist. And he's a good government advocate, serving as a commissioner on the state's Campaign Public Financing Advisory Committee in 2008.

Holland’s pitch goes beyond cleaning up the Port’s environmental record. He wants to turn the Port into an engine to create green-collar jobs cleaning up the Duwamish River and improving freight mobility and efficiency. He suggests getting to work retrofitting the million square feet of Port buildings. And he’s not shy about criticizing the Port’s current foray into real estate development, saying he wants to get back to the Port’s primary job—moving goods and supporting industrial jobs.

His donor list isn’t weighted in the direction of business or labor interests. Instead, he's winning support from a range of civic activists—including the Sierra Club, Earth Day founder Denis Hayes, King County Conservation Voters, all the King County Democratic organizations, and the Municipal League of King County.

Holland’s opponent, David Doud, is an Eastside real estate broker whose only organizational endorsements are the political arm of the homebuilders' association; the Kemper Freeman-dominated Eastside Business Alliance; the Hong Kong Association of Washington; the Seattle-King County Association of Realtors; and Port client SSA Marine.

Holland’s pitch goes beyond cleaning up the Port’s environmental record. He wants to use the Port proactively, as an engine to create green-collar jobs. He suggests getting to work retrofitting the million square feet of Port buildings.

Additionally, he’s not shy about criticizing the Port’s current foray into real estate development, saying he wants to get back to the Port’s primary job—moving goods and supporting industrial jobs.

His donor list isn’t weighted with business or labor interests. Rather, he’s netting contributions from a range of civic activists—including an impressive $800 contribution from the environmentalists at the Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund.

Holland’s opponent, David Doud, is an Eastside real estate broker who has just five organizational endorsements (he's added two since the primary). In addition to the  the Kemper Freeman-dominated Eastside Business Alliance, the Seattle-King County Association of Realtors, and the Port’s big corporate client SSA Marine, Doud now has the support of the Hong Kong Association of Washington and BUILD PAC, the political arm of the homebuilders' association.

Doud also has a penchant for dirty tricks. He has consistently trashed Holland for appearing at an ACORN-sponsored campaign forum (all but two port commission candidates attended); for alleging, falsely, that Holland (a gay black man) opposed affirmative action; and for claiming, in a mailer that included Holland's full home address, that Holland had been "subject to a tax warrant" for overcollecting unemployment insurance (Holland says he paid as soon as his unemployment dispute was resolved).

That isn't the kind of leadership we need on a commission that has been plagued by infighting and scandal.

PubliCola picks Rob Holland for Seattle Port Commission.
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