Neumos and Spitfire co-owner Jerry Everard, who has frequently endorsed the same candidates as Lost Lake and Five Point owner Dave Meinert, struck out at his usual political comrade in an open letter today, saying Meinert—who loudly endorsed state Sen. Ed Murray in the mayor's race on Wednesday—"does not speak for the music community" in Seattle. (Oddly, Everard has contributed to Murray, and not to McGinn; he has not officially endorsed either candidate).
"As someone who has had to work in the trenches of the music business at the club/venue level for 20 years I need to remind everyone (and Dave in particular, as someone who has only owned nightlife businesses under this Mayor) that under McGinn’s administration, for the first time we are able to operate music venues with respect and without the constant threat and fear of being shut down by what has historically been an antagonistic and hostile city government."
Everard continued: "Is the music community better off now than it was before McGinn took office? The answer is a resounding Hell Yes!! Dave is simply choosing to ignore the facts when he says that McGinn has not been a leader and a damn effective leader in supporting and promoting the music community. Different people in the community will support different candidates since they both support music and arts but it is wrong to bash Mayor McGinn after he has been our friend and advocate; I don’t believe the music community would do that or that it supports those attacks."
While Everard may be right that Meinert doesn't represent the entire "music community", his endorsement was hardly an isolated one. Although, as we noted in Fizz yesterday, this week's big announcement at Belltown's Crocodile Club did not include another nightlife-industry heavyweight, Linda's and Oddfellows owner Linda Derschang, it did include a number of other big names, including Crocodile Cafe owner and Local 360 owner Marcus Charles; Neumos owners Mike Meckling and Steven Severin; Wild Rose owner Shelley Brothers; and Tractor Tavern owner Dan Cowan.
In our comments thread yesterday, Meinert addressed the improved environment for nightclubs during McGinn's first term, saying that "McGinn, the Office of Music, the current council, and especially the City Attorney, have made this city better for music than it was under a Mayor and City Attorney hostile to nightlife" prior to McGinn but largely crediting City Attorney Pete Holmes with the more pro-nightlife attitude at the city. Holmes, Meinert noted, has endorsed Murray.