File today's Afternoon Jolt under yesterday-evening surrealism.
At last night's 36th Legislative District endorsement meeting, there was a motion for a dual endorsement of city council incumbent (and council president) Tim Burgess along with one of his opponents, tenants' rights activist Jon Grant. Burgess failed to get the sole endorsement and was going for at least some sort of nod from the group.
A third candidate in the race, local rock musician John Roderick, got a chance to speak against the motion, and in the surreal language of rock music poetry (?) the Long Winters' songwriter launched into a confounding and impromptu analogy about a piranha, a cupcake, and a juicy hamburger. Burgess jumped into the fun, shouting out that he (Burgess) had delicious frosting.
"You," Roderick clarified, "are the piranha is this analogy, sir!"
The analogy—Roderick tells me he was getting "all Magritte"—was intended to highlight how absurd it would be for the Democrats to endorse opposites—particularly a mean ravenous one with a docile edible one.
As for the hamburger? "I, of course, am a delicious hamburger by comparison," Roderick said, sticking with food analogies—though this one wasn't connected to the piranha food chain. Roderick was simply trying to tell the voters in the room, who by his own admission were staring at him like "What the fuck?", that he was the best choice on the menu.
Roderick, who believed the motion for the dual endorsement came from a Grant supporter, said it "suggests...that Grant's anti-Burgess rhetoric is not as important as trying to ace me out." He says it's hypocritical for Grant to want to be coendorsed along with Burgess. (Despite buying up a foreclosed home, populist Grant is running on a Kshama Sawant redux platform to protect low-income people, and Grant accuses Burgess of prioritizing big business. For the record, Burgess supports the current banner lefty cause, a linkage fee tax on developers to build affordable housing. Burgess also introduced legislation this week that would ask property owners to alert the city with advance notice when putting multifamily housing on the market to give the city the opportunity to buy it first—and preserve affordable housing rather than watch more fancy condos go up. Burgess simultaneously introduced legislation to help protect renters against evictions.)
Grant's campaign says it didn't back a dual endorsement, and Grant in fact spoke against the dual Burgess endorsement.
There is disagreement between the campaigns about the process, but ultimately chair of the 36th Democrats, Jeff Manson, told me the idea for the dual Burgess/Grant endorsement came from Burgess's camp, specifically Tom Rasmussen staffer Evan Clifthorne, who had spoken at the meeting in favor of Burgess and was, according to Manson, organizing at the meeting "heavily"for Burgess. The motion failed.
In the end, no endorsement carried the day.