McGinn Administration Rumors

By Erica C. Barnett November 10, 2009

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Rumors about the top members of a possible Mike McGinn administration are starting to fly. Along with the usual (potential) suspects—realtor and Southeast Seattle community activist Darryl Smith as deputy mayor or some other high-ranking position, Cascade Bicycle Club advocacy director and lobbyist David Hiller as head of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations, which promotes the city's political interests with other governments—are a couple of names that may come as a surprise to McGinn supporters.

Those names: Dan McGrady and Phil Fujii, government affairs manager and community relations manager, respectively, at Vulcan. Vulcan, a development company founded by billionaire Paul Allen, has long been associated with Mayor Greg Nickels. The city has a longstanding (some would say codependent) relationship with Vulcan, approving height increases and other perks that have allowed the company to expand its empire in South Lake Union. Vulcan, in other words, is about as insider as companies get—in sharp contrast to McGinn's all-volunteer, outsider campaign image.

Of course, as PubliCola has reported, McGinn's ties to Vulcan actually run deep, too. Vulcan (along with many other big local developers) was a major funder of the Seattle Great City Initiative, which McGinn founded.

Smith said, "I don't know anything at this point," but added that if McGinn "would like my help in some regard, I'd love to help him." Hiller said he has "offered my full support and service to the mayor-elect and I'm sure he will make the best decisions for our city." Neither McGrady nor Fujii has returned a call for comment; nor has McGinn's campaign spokesman, Aaron Pickus.

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