Campaign Fizz: Eyman, Mallahan, and Herbert Hoover

By Erica C. Barnett August 5, 2011

Your one-stop shop for today's local campaign news, gossip, and analysis.

• Echoing his repeated references to the "boondoggle" tunnel project at last night's CityClub/PubliCola tunnel debate, initiative hawker Tim Eyman sent out a press blast this afternoon comparing the $6 billion (with interest; $4.2 billion without) tunnel to "15 sports stadiums." The analogy: In the mid-1990s, voters rejected a $400 million stadium proposal, but lawmakers in Olympia built it anyway and now we have Safeco field.

Similarly, voters may reject the tunnel referendum, but the city council and state have made it clear they plan to build it anyway. "The politicians' stadium vote betrayal is a gaping wound that to this day has not healed.  But rather than learn from it, the politicians seem intent on replicating it," Eyman said. Then he asked for money.

Liberal Seattle tunnel opponents, for obvious reasons, want to distance themselves from anti-tax, anti-Seattle, conservative initiative proponent Eyman. Unfortunately for them, it seems Eyman, who also showed up at King County Superior Court during the battle over whether Ref. 1 would go on the ballot, wants to be as closely associated with them as possible.

• Following up on a gossipy item in Fizz this morning, we called 2009 mayoral candidate Joe Mallahan to find out if he has indeed left T-Mobile and whether he plans to run for mayor against McGinn in 2013. Mallahan was home when we called, but the woman who answered the phone said he was "working on a big project" and not available.

For what it's worth, though, the receptionist at T-Mobile said he was no longer listed in the T-Mobile directory, and his Wikipedia page says he "left T-Mobile in 2011 to pursue other opportunities."  So, inconclusive.

• This morning, we called state Sen. budget chair Ed Murray to fact-check a statement by city council member Mike O'Brien at last night's CityClub tunnel debate that the state's revenue forecast, due in September, will be $1 billion less than expected. (Murray said $1 billion is the high end, and that the shortfall could be "only" a few hundred million.)

Riffing, unprompted, off O'Brien's assertion that building the tunnel will take billions away from programs like education and health care, Murray scoffed: "So he's a Herbert Hoover Republican. We know certain jobs, like highway construction jobs, create jobs. His idea is classic Herbert Hoover."

Hoover infamously oversaw the worst period of job creation in US history (and, of course, the Great Depression).
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