Back in 2009, given the choice between environmental advocate and Greenwood neighborhood activist Mike McGinn and T-Mobile executive and political neophyte Joe Mallahan, the King County Labor Council, the umbrella group for all of King County's unions, endorsed Mallahan—not much of a surprise, given McGinn's opposition to the downtown tunnel, which unions argue will create living-wage jobs.
So when a photo featuring KCLC executive secretary David Freiboth standing behind McGinn at an event surfaced on McGinn's campaign Facebook page—complete with a list of actions the city has taken to "strengthen our workforce" (jobs created, businesses financed)—it had the other campaigns scratching their heads about how it got there. Did Freiboth sign off on this heavy-handed implied endorsement?
Freiboth says he didn't.
"My image was not authorized for use by any candidate in this election cycle. The Labor Council has not endorsed any candidate at this time and I am not authorizing an implied endorsement of any sort. ... I contacted Mayor McGinn’s campaign as soon as I learned about the campaign piece bearing my likeness and demanded it be removed from circulation. I was assured that the issue would be resolved to my satisfaction and that the campaign was sorry for any confusion."
McGinn campaign consultant John Wyble (who jokes, "He's not high-fiving McGinn or anything") attributes the post to an overzealous volunteer and says the campaign has taken the image down; as of this posting, however, it was still at the top of McGinn's Facebook page.
Freiboth says the Labor Council plans to take up the primary endorsement at its delegates meeting on June 20.