Opinion

Selective Times

By Josh Feit July 6, 2010

The Seattle Times slams Mayor Mike McGinn for being an obstructionist on the tunnel today.

In an editorial titled, "It's time to end the ping pong match over the viaduct tunnel project," they demand that McGinn live up to his campaign promise not to battle the tunnel, admit defeat, and move on.

They begin the editorial by throwing McGinn's own words back him. Quoting an October 20, 2009 Seattle Times article from last Fall's campaign trail, they lead the editorial with this epigram:
"If I'm elected mayor, though I disagree with this (tunnel) decision, it will be my job to uphold and execute this agreement. ... It is not the mayor's job to withhold the cooperation of the city government in executing this agreement."

— Mike McGinn, Oct. 20 2009, a few weeks before Seattle's mayoral election

Their point? Now that he's demanding the state excise language from the tunnel agreement that puts Seattle property owners on the hook for cost overruns—it's clear McGinn deceived voters last year.

You have got to be kidding. Here's what else that very same article said about McGinn on October 20, 2009:
McGinn said he still believes the tunnel is too expensive, but Monday shifted the focus of his opposition to cost overruns. In the current state law, Seattle-area property owners who benefit from the tunnel are responsible for cost overruns.

McGinn cast himself Monday as the candidate who would fight those overruns.

"There is a clear choice in this election," he said. "My opponent has refused to ask or answer any hard questions about the tunnel."

So, the fact is—even according to the same Times' own October 20, 2009 article—McGinn is doing exactly what he promised voters he would do. (And. He won the election.)

I'll be the first one to agree that McGinn is starting to sound like Richard "Kurt Cobain was Murdered" Lee with this tunnel obsession, and I wish he'd get passionate about other issues, but if the Times is going to chastise McGinn about it, they should do so on the merits, not on a selective reading of his campaign statements.
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