Morning Fizz

Morning Fizz: A Lot of Fun

Caffeinated News & Gossip

By Morning Fizz August 9, 2013

1. Yesterday, we asked Seattle Displacement Coalition founder John Fox, who had endorsed former city council member Peter Steinbrueck for mayor, who—if anyone—he'd be supporting now that Steinbrueck is out of the race. Fox is a development watchdog and a low-income housing advocate, and he represents a passionate bloc of traditional leftist voters who are suspect of the current urbanist agenda (espoused by Mayor Mike McGinn and seconded by Ed Murray) which they view as favoring downtown and corporate interests.

During the primary, Fox had written on his blog that Mayor Mike McGinn had "failed to address the accelerating loss of affordable housing and the displacement of thousands of low-income, minority and working people due to increased rents, demolition and speculative sale—all effects of the runaway growth he shamelessly promotes." He had scarcely kinder words for McGinn's opponent, state Sen. Ed Murray, who he said was "embraced by corporate and downtown elites, including key insiders from past administrations."

While Fox said he hasn't made up his mind yet (he was a definite 'No' on Mcginn and a skeptical 'maybe' on Murray) another Steinbrueck endorser, city council member Nick Licata (also a traditional lefty), told us he's staying out of the race.

"Either way we'll end up with an Irish guy as our mayor," Licata said. "Having grown up in an Irish neighborhood, I've always found them a lot of fun." Murray and McGinn are Irish American; Licata has an Italian background.

2. Licata's council colleague Bruce Harrell, who came in fourth in the mayor's race, hasn't decided yet whether or who he'll endorse, and Steinbrueck, who finished third, has not yet returned a call from Fizz.

3. Speaking of vote count, McGinn won the latest batch of votes yesterday, getting 29 percent of the vote to Murray's 28 percent, nuding him up to 28.34 vs. Murray's 30 percent of the total and putting McGinn 2,238 votes behind Murray. On election night,  McGinn had been at 27.15 vs. Murray's 30.24, originally putting McGinn 2,884 votes behind Murray.

While coming in second overall is not a great spot for an incumbent, McGinn's uptick is a good sign for his campaign: later voters are typically younger voters and the latest count shows that he may have a better chance with the broader electorate that votes in a general.

While coming in second overall is not a great spot for an incumbent, McGinn's uptick is a good sign for his campaign. 4. Erica will be on KUOW's "Weekday" this morning, talking about the mayor's race, the fast-food strikes, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' purchase of the Washington Post. Tune in starting at 10am.

5. Fizz ran into former Monorail leader Peter Sherwin at Murray's campaing victory party in Belltown on Tuesday night and asked him why he was for Murray; we have to admit, Sherwin, a populist lefty (the monorail effort was a populist effort for inner city transit originally drawn up on the back of a napkin by cabbie Dick Falkenbury) struck us as more of a Steinbrueck or even McGinn voter.

However, Sherwin reminded us that Murray, as house transportation chair, successfully fought to pass the local taxing authority legislation in Olympia in 2002 that helped create the monorail agency.

6. Earlier this week, the city's Department of Planning and Development changed the status of the land use application for the arena, which includes the vacation of Occidental Street in Pioneer Square, from active to "on hold," suggesting that the arena application is now on ice.

(Hopeful arena developer Chris Hansen, of course, has failed so far to convince the NBA to sell him a pro-basketball team—Sacramento managed to hold on to the Kings earlier this year.)

We have a call out to the city's Department of Planning and Development seeking more information on the implication of the arena's "on hold" status.

7. A new report from the city auditor's office concludes that the city's retirement system is rife with errors. But most of the errors in the sample benefits the auditor looked at are minor. Of 30 retirement calculations the auditor examined, 22 included errors or inconsistencies, indicating "the need for improved controls, support, and oversight," according to the auditor. In the most extreme case, the retirement system understated CORRECTED TO ADD: The nontaxable portion of a retiree's benefit by about $73 a month. 


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