Morning Fizz

The Oscars of Political Campaigning

By Morning Fizz March 14, 2011

1. The American Association of Political Consultants held its annual Pollie Awards banquet (the Oscars for political campaigning) in Washington, D.C. this weekend, where they gave out awards for mailers, TV spots, campaign plans, fundraising, "Best Use of Humor," "Best Use of New Technology," "Best Facebook Application," and "Best Use of Negative/Contrast," among all sorts of categories.



Among Seattle's gang of political hacks, local consultant Jason Bennett and his firm Argo Strategies racked up the most awards, taking home five Pollies, including three awards for candidate direct mail pieces, one get out the vote door hanger for the Democratic party (beating out a Rand Paul slate piece), and one for finance compliance.

2. As we've reported, political consultant Bill Broadhead—the campaign consultant for the city's leading tunnel opponents, Mayor Mike McGinn and city council member Mike O'Brien—has donated $5,000 to the anti-tunnel signature gathering campaign.

That could end up being a wise investment. Although campaign manager Ainsley Close said she couldn't speculate about the campaign's plans after it gathers the required 16,000 valid signatures, Fizz predicts that once it does, the campaign will hire Broadhead to do its paid media—making Broadhead's $5,000 contribution a smart down payment on future work.

3. Viaduct replacement project manager Ron Paananen tells Fizz the state department of transportation is making progress resolving security issues with the federal government related to running the deep bore tunnel under the Federal Building in downtown Seattle.

As we first reported, the feds expressed security concerns about running the tunnel under federal property. Paananen says now that the state has chosen a firm to build the tunnel, "we're having very productive conversations. The tunnel machine doesn't go under that building until early 2014, so we have some time to get an agreement in place. We'd like to do that sooner than later, of course."

4. The C is for Crank is feeling a little less cranky this morning. Last week, you'll remember, she was furious about a New York Times article that took a "blame-the-victim" angle in a story about a gang rape of an 11-year-old girl. (She wore makeup and hung out with older boys at the playground!)

The NYT's public editor column followed up saying the Times story "lacked balance" and reactions of "outrage" against its oblivious point of view were "understandable."

Saying the AP did a better job reporting the story, NYT Public Editor Arthur Brisbane concluded:
My assessment is that the outrage is understandable. The story dealt with a hideous crime but addressed concerns about the ruined lives of the perpetrators without acknowledging the obvious: concern for the victim.

While the story appeared to focus on the community’s reaction to the crime, it was not enough to simply report that the community is principally concerned about the boys and men involved – as this story seems to do. If indeed that is the only sentiment to be found in this community – and I find that very hard to believe – it becomes important to report on that as well by seeking out voices of professional authorities or dissenting community members who will at least address, and not ignore, the plight of the young girl involved.

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