Anybody Who Was Anybody is Now Nobody

By Josh Feit November 10, 2009


1) Last Tuesday—election night—Morning Fizz started out the evening at the Pioneer Square 5th floor  office suites of consultant Cocker Fennessy. It was a fancy affair, and anybody who's anybody in the local political scene was there: Expensive consultants, fancy pollsters, high dollar fundraisers, city council members, the mayor's staff, the deputy mayor.

I report this not to boast about how hep Morning Fizz is, but rather to report what a difference a week makes. Anybody who was anybody is now nobody.

Take note: Late yesterday afternoon—at Mike McGinn's crowded Southeast Seattle campaign headquarters where McGinn declared victory to raucous cheers—I didn't see a single one of the insiders who'd also been at the Cocker Fennessy shindig. Not a soul from the chamber or the Downtown Seattle Association; no council members, no fancy pollsters, or high dollar fund raisers. The people who've been running this town for years—who lined up this time behind McGinn's opponent, Joe Mallahan—were not to be seen.

Yes, some powerful unions were there—the hotel workers, the grocery workers—but otherwise, McGinn's strip mall headquarters (just a block north of the Othello light rail station on MLK) was jammed with giddy neighborhood activists who've likely never set foot in Cocker Fennessy's suites.

United Food and Commercial Workers union community affairs director Steve Williamson—probably the highest profile dude there—led the cheers.

ufcwUnited Food and Commercial Union members rally round Mayor-elect McGinn

2) McGinn used to be sort of a nobody himself. During the victory party a couple of fitting text messages from my old colleague Amy Jenniges popped up on my phone. (Amy had been my neighborhood reporter when I was news editor at the Stranger. Now she works for the mayor of Portland, Sam Adams).

When Amy started the neighborhood beat (this is back in 2002 or so), I was always pestering her to put together a confab with all the neighborhood activists.

Here are two texts that came in from Jenniges at 5:01.
Remember when McGinn was just a guy in my "neighborhood party" invite list (between Aurora Ave. activist Faye Garneau and capitol hill lady Ann Donovan) ?

And a few minutes later:
Sorry to interrupt the hot local action ... if you have a second, could you toss me Mike McGinn's cell? I have a mayor who wants to congratulate him.


3. With all the election news, I missed this: PubliCola star intern/reporter Jake Blumgart had a piece published online at the Stranger last week about Boeing. Nice job Jake.

4. Back to Mayor elect McGinn news. During his Q&A with the press yesterday, I pointed out that on the major issue of public safety, the city council is lining up to pass a no panhandling ordinance that McGinn has said he does not support (which was one of the two main reasons The Seattle Times gave for endorsing Mallahan).

I asked McGinn  how he intended to deal with an adversarial council, which also disagrees with McGinn on another major issue, the $4.2 billion tunnel.

McGinn blew off the question and said it wasn't appropriate to get into policy now.

5. And a footnote on the first item about who was and who wasn't at McGinn's celebration last night.

There was one establishment insisder on hand. Although, he told me he wasn't there on behalf of his employer, Vulcan, he was there "on behalf of myself"—former Seattle Times reporter and current Vulcan communications director, David Postman.

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


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