Extra Fizz: Stranger Stands by Their Man and Other News

The Stranger endorses McGinn, former Vulcan ally doesn't, Murray talks schools, and the Washington Post talks Jenny Durkan.

By Josh Feit July 17, 2013

My Candidate Survivor report took up most of Fizz.

Here's some other Fizzworthy items:

1) Not a big surprise given their regular pro-McGinn coverage, but the Stranger endorsed McGinn for mayor today.

The Stranger often gets credit for pushing McGinn over the top in 2009, and I think it's classy for the paper to stand by the man they put on their cover in that close '09 race, despite the fact that he's disappointed a lot of his supporters since. And also despite the fact that state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill), a champion for one of the paper's longstanding banner issues, gay marriage, is running.

The primary is up in the air—new polling is coming out tomorrow—and while conventional wisdom says McGinn will still be in the lead, the numbers are sure to be close and will likey show Murray gaining on the mayor and, the other frontrunner, Peter Steinbreuck.

The Stranger's endorsement, while properly (and most interestingly) crediting McGinn for key aspects of the DOJ SPD consent decree agreement, such as the community oversight piece, is still a little shy on actual McGinn accomplishments: They generously credit him for the families and ed levy, a gimme which the council deserves much of the credit for anyway; idealistically credit him for the economic recovery; and only talk about "hopes" and "pledges" when it comes to transit and bikes.

However, the thumbs up from the Stranger, which to be fair, does note his broadband deal and his social services budget save, could surely help McGinn in such a tight race.

They write:

McGinn has accelerated transit planning for light rail to reach Ballard, so that when voters consider another light-rail measure, hopefully in 2016, Seattle will likely have a nearly shovel-ready project. And finally, McGinn has also pledged to fully fund the city's bicycle plan and has begun building protected bicycle lanes along key routes. No other candidate is as ambitious or specific in transit planning.

McGinn's accomplishments demonstrate collaboration with lawmakers, regional agencies, business, and activists, belying the claims that he can't get anything done.

I am surprised the Stranger's case for McGinn doesn't focus on McGinn's real strong suit, though. His zeitgeist urbanist agenda. (Could be, as they acknowledge, McGinn flopped on extending bar hours ... thanks to his crummy relationships in Olympia, we'd add).

McGinn's larger focus on rezoning,  is necessary to make the urban transit equation meaningful.

While they do cite his important pro-transit and bike message, they seem to miss McGinn's larger focus on rezoning (which is necessary to make the urban transit equation meaningful)—tweaking guidelines to upgrade Seattle into a David Owen-style Green Metropolis by: promoting mixed-use density; eliminating parking minimums; adding more food trucks and sidewalk cafes; getting a deal for mixed-use planning at the Capitol Hill light rail station; finally delivering the 12th Ave. mixed-use arts center; and though he lost on it, nudging the needle on SLU development away from the incentive model (which, backfires by discouraging development and simultaneoulsy subtracting money from the housing fund).

McGinn's passion and creativity to promote urbanism is what defines his tenure and differentiates him from the other candidates, who, while they largely agree with him, don't wake up thinking about it the way McGinn obviously does.

Under the McGinn administration, City Hall has become a place where these kinds of big picture ideas, typically germinating in isolation at the U.W. school of urban planning, are now being proposed.

2) Yesterday, we reported that top Vulcan employees and initial McGinn supporters—such as former McGinn deputy mayor Phil Fujii and VP Ada Healey—showed up on Murray's latest contributor list.

We also noted that former Vulcan lobbyist Dan McGrady, a McGinn fan who's credited with bringing McGinn and Vulcan together politically, also showed up on Murray's latest donor list (and unlike the other's, he's not on McGinn's.)

Follow up: You know who is on McGinn's donor list, though: McGrady's wife, Jeanne. She contributed $100 to McGinn last month. Dan contributed $150 to Murray this week.

3) Speaking of Murray: His opponents were chattering after a recent debate the he'd pledged to take over the schools. We asked Murray about his position and he clarified, saying he thinks the city should be directly involved in siting schools. "They [the District] obviously got that wrong," he said referring the SPS' dysfunctional record of opening and closing schools.

4) Her name is last on the Washington Post's long list of potential replacements for outgoing Obama Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, but local U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan made the cut, and would be, they note, Obama's first gay cabinet member.

Washington Post

They write:

Jenny Durkan, who serves as the U.S. attorney in Seattle and is openly lesbian, is also being looked at to replace Napolitano. She advises Holder on cyber crime issues and has some experience border issues given the fact that Washington state borders Canada. Members of the LGBT community are lobbying for her appointment, noting that Obama has yet to appoint a gay or lesbian Cabinet member.

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