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Extra Campaign Fizz: Meacham Releases Questionnaires

By Erica C. Barnett August 24, 2011

City council challenger Brad Meacham, who's in an uphill battle against well-funded incumbent Bruce Harrell, continued to press Harrell today to release campaign questionnaires he submitted to various organizations, including the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce. Meacham has been putting the screws on Harrell to release his chamber questionnaire, which Meacham says will show that Harrell is not in favor of mandatory paid sick leave legislation that's currently in front of the city council. Meacham released his own questionnaires from 12 groups, including the chamber, the Downtown Seattle Association, the Sierra Club, and the Seattle Police Officers Guild (the police union).

The council's health and human services committee passed the legislation earlier this month, but agreed to hold on the legislation until mid-September to address some council members' concerns about the proposal's impact on employers.

In response to the chamber's sick leave question, Meacham said, "I support requiring sick leave for employees because a healthy workforce is the basis of a healthy city. This will contribute to the economic vitality of Seattle and benefit businesses by making them more attractive to top-tier employees. On this and other issues, elected officials must lead by developing proposals, working with stakeholders and implementing sound policy that benefits all residents of the city. I support working collaboratively to strengthen sound policy, not adding excessive study." Meacham's answer to a similar question from the DSA was nearly identical.

Before the primary election, Harrell told the 36th District Democrats that while he supports paid sick leave in theory, "I have an obligation to listen to small business owners. There is a stakeholder process that first has to take place. … People should be entitled to the same sick leave policies irrespective of where they work, but let’s get there in a smart way.”

Harrell's campaign spokeswoman Monisha Harrell had not seen the press release, but said in an email that Meacham "is just on a fishing expedition looking for any reason to stay relevant in this race."
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