One Question

 City council member Tim Burgess has had a sloppy first few days in his run against Mayor Mike McGinn, which he announced on Tuesday.

First, he apparently promised an exclusive announcement interview to the Stranger, but then he did interviews with several media outlets (including the Seattle Times and PubliCola), allowing everyone to hit with the story at the same time.

While trying to win favor with the alt-weekly (Burgess has a reputation for being a conservative), he actually ended up pissing off the liberal paper  (not to mention irking all the other reporters in town for apparently playing favorites.) In one fell swoop he managed to irritate all the media in town.

Next: He goofed things up with his potential political consultant.

As we reported on Wednesday, Burgess filed campaign documents indicating a debt of $1,000 for consulting services from Christian Sinderman, his longtime consultant. Sinderman, who has also worked frequently for another potential mayoral candidate, Ed Murray, did not know about the reported debt when PubliCola contacted him.

Sinderman did not know about the reported debt when PubliCola contacted him.Subsequently, Sinderman told PubliCola the report was the result of a misunderstanding based on his previous work for Burgess; Sinderman said he won’t make a firm commitment to any mayoral candidate until he wraps up his work for Jay Inslee’s transition team in January.

The story tweaked Sinderman and stoked the already politically awkward relationships between candidates and consultants (and consultants and consultants) in this small town.

Our PubliCola One Question for Tim Burgess today: Is Christian Sinderman your consultant or not, and if not, why is he listed as one on your campaign finance reports?

Burgess’ response:

“We have not retained Christian. He’s been very clear that he would not have those discussions until his work on the [Inslee] transition was completed. His office did refer us to Capital City Press in Olympia for some printing needs, and I think what happened was that when [Burgess treasurer] Phil Lloyd’s office was told about the Capital City Press bill, which we also paid, they thought that Christian’s office, because they have been our consultant in the past, was doing that coordination [with the campaign], so they put in a placeholder amount.

“It’s really not a big deal at all that the $1,000 was listed by mistake,” Burgess concludes.

Both Sinderman and Burgess have said the campaign will ask the elections office to remove the debt from its campaign-finance documents.

As of this afternoon, however, the debt remains on the books; it’s unclear what the process would be to remove a debt that has already been reported for November.

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