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We Don’t, But if We Did…

July 13, 2009

We’ve been going back and forth with whether or not to endorse any of the candidates running for Seattle City Council.  We’ve previously conducted our first ever online candidates forum, and we’re pretty satisfied with the answers we got from those candidates who took the time to respond.

The problem with endorsements, is, well, to cut to the chase- elected officials screw up all the time.  Yes, we understand that they are people too, and yes, we understand that people make mistakes, but it certainly is much more glaring when that mistake is make by someone in the public eye, and someone trusted by the people to make decisions in their best interest.

So yes, mistakes happen.

Aside from mistakes are scandals.  These events embarrass the elected official, embarrass the City of Seattle, and infuriate the voters.  During the last election, one such candidate was accused of driving under the influence (while quite literally on the campaign trail).  It’s widely accepted that this snafu cost her the election and handed the win to her opponent on a silver platter.

There was also the embarrassing arrest of a city council member, accused of attacking his wife in a drunken stupor.  These events are nothing more than distractions from the important business of running a city.  These incidents speak to more than just the character of a person- but to that person’s judgment all around.

We are almost certain that if we endorsed any of the candidates, we’d wind up eating our words before their 4 years is up.  Additionally, you don’t need us to tell you who to vote for.  If you’re paying attention to the candidates, you should be able to figure all of that out for yourselves, right?

So, we don’t endorse candidates here on the SV.  But if we did…

Position 2

In the running are current council-member Richard Conlin and his opponent, a newbie, David Ginsberg.

Richard replied to our forum, David did not.  We only note this because the fact that David didn’t respond gives us less info to go on.  At the same time, we’ve heard enough about Ginsberg from trusted folk that we think he might very well do the Council some good.

That said, Richard Conlin has been a pretty good council-member as well.

For Position 2, we’re undecided.  You can take that as either an “undecided” or a dual endorsement for both candidates, it’s up to you.

Position 4

The race is a bit more crowded for position 4.  Sally Bagshaw, David Bloom, Brian Carver, Dorsol Pants and Thomas Tobin are all vying to come out on top.  Sally and Dorsol participated in the forum on the SV, the rest did not.  We know the opinions and positions of Bloom very well, the other candidates we can’t really speak to.  We lean towards David Bloom for this seat, but still have reservations.

Position 6

Jessie Israel, Marty Caplain and Nick Lacata.  Jessie participated in the forum, the other candidates did not.  We think we like Jessie for this slot. We think.  From what we have read and heard from those who know her, Jessie is a “go getter”, and we like that.

Position 8

Bobby Forch, David Miller, Mike O’Brien, Robert Rosencrantz, Jordan Royer and Rusty Williams.

David Miller and Bobby Forch participated in the forum.  I have to say, this is a really tough call.

We like Forch just as much as Miller (we’re pretty much counting out the other candidates altogether).

That said, Miller has the edge.  This is the kind of person who routinely seeks perspectives and opinions and advice of those well outside of his circle, all in the name of making the right decision for the city.  He is humble, smart, forthcoming- you get the idea.  He is the only candidate (far as we can tell) that doesn’t play that out of sight out of mind crap when it comes to the challenges our city faces.  He understands that he is impacted by what happens across town.  More important, he understand that he impacts what happens across town.  He understands that while bashing his opponents is the easy route, what the voters really want is to understand what he would do with his position and how he would do it.  It’s easy to blast the work of others, but doing so doesn’t actually get the work done.  As a candidate, it’s easy to say what the people want to hear.  We like David because he says what NEEDS to be said, whether it’s popular or not.  That’s a key quality for leadership.  Check our forum to see what we mean.

We had a conversation with him this evening about the Youth Violence Initiative, mostly so that we could be reassured that, if elected to the council, he would act responsibly to determine what is working and what needs to be refined, and that the work being done on the ground is almost completely unrelated to the political drama around the current Mayor’s efforts to stop youth gun and gang violence.  With that reassurance, if we were to endorse a candidate for this position, it would most def be David Miller.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2009 7:05 am

    Thanks for the props, SV! On the Youth Violence Initiative front, I couldn’t agree more about wanting to make sure that we are learning from folks who are doing this work in the community. I am on the board of City Year and know folks at Casey well – I see first hand what works and what does not work. Making the process overly political is worrisome on several fronts. That being said, getting communities involved WORKS. Getting parents involved WORKS. Leveraging the assets we have in local service organizations WORKS. Using data to drive our decisions and focusing on healthy safe kids as the outcome most def WORKS.

  2. July 13, 2009 8:16 am

    The Licata campaign received no notice to compete for this endorsement in the position 6 race. If you send an email to we will give it our full attention. Thanks!

    Campaign Manager, Licata 2009

  3. Sable permalink
    July 13, 2009 9:14 am

    I still have the original email that was sent to Licata’s team, so yes, his camp was given an opportunity to respond, as was ever other candidate.

  4. Tiffany permalink
    July 13, 2009 9:32 am

    Sable-I don’t mean to be rude but I also just have to say that your blog title really just irritated me. Yes-politicans are human and they make mistakes — big embarrasing ones. ALL the time. And yes, they don’t follow through on their promises sometimes and they don’t vote the way you want them too quite often. And yes, you get dissapointed as a voter and a member of the “media”. BUT, that is no excuse for walking the middle line and not taking a stand. Some of these politicians took the time to respond to your questions and you owe them the courtesy to make a decision and not pussy foot around by hugging the non committal line. I don’t need you to tell me who to vote for, but I would like you to tell me your reasons why you would vote one way or the other and then I’ll do with that information as I please. After all, that’s why I read your blog.

  5. Sable permalink
    July 13, 2009 9:36 am

    You have a right to be irritated. We got that loud and clear on fb. We gave Jessie, what, 3 sentences? That’s not an endorsement.

  6. Tiffany permalink
    July 13, 2009 9:50 am

    Sable-my comments didn’t have anything to do with Jessie (even though to be honest, I think she’d be a fabulous Seattle City Councilwoman). My comments have to do with you being so non committal regarding your endorsements. It really dissapoints me. I expect non committal from most elected officials, but from those who have blogs (which is essentially your own opinion) I expect you to take a stand.

  7. Sable permalink
    July 13, 2009 9:56 am

    We made our position extremely clear on WHY we are not endorsing candidates. That said, we are constantly asked by members of our community “who do you like” for this, that, or the other. The post was intended to put some of that to rest, and also to encourage our readers to take a look at some of the candidates they may not have. Voting for name recognition is something that happens far too often in Seattle, in politics period.

    Additionally, we didn’t hold the forum for the purpose of endorsing, we held the forum to educate our readers, AND to see which candidates put their money where their mouth is when it comes to reaching ALL voters in Seattle, not just the status quo. The fact that Jessie took the time to reach out to our readers speaks volumes, and the readers will get that.

    You are right, the blog is based on personal opinion, so, it’s our personal opinion that we don’t need to endorse anyone. That you have an opinion on our personal opinion is just fine, but that really doesn’t mean we need to change our opinion, and if you think it does, well, that’s another post altogether. You said on fb that we endorsed Bloom- hell no we did not. You said we endorsed Miller- nope, not the case their either. The only reason Miller got so many words dedicated to his campaign is because he makes it his business to get out and talk to people in the city that no one else does, namely minorities in the south and south east, thus we are more familiar with him and had more info to go on.

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