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Thursday, September 8, 2005

Endorsement Issues

Posted by on September 8 at 16:20 PM

The Seattle Weekly endorsed Prof. Al Runte for mayor. They reason that, even though Runte isn’t up on the issues, it’s a protest vote against Nickels.

But if the Weekly is serious about protesting the mayor, why did they endorse Casey Corr? Corr’s entire campaign is being run by Nickels’s staff, including Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis and Nickels’s primo fund raiser Colby Underwood. Corr also openly boasts about how he helped shape the Nickels agenda, including Nickels’s South Lake Union biotech development strategy and Nickels’s development-driven downtown heights and density plans. The Weekly has loudly editorialized against both of these Nickels policies.

When Corr realized he had a Nickels problem, he made some perfunctory noise against a small piece of the South Lake Union trolley plannot against the South Lake Union trolley idea, but against one aspect of the funding plan that would steal bus hours from Metro to support the trolley. (As the mayor’s boy, Corr’s objection isn’t politically risky or brave, though, because the council already passed the trolley plan. So, Corr will never actually have to vote against the mayor on it.)

Oh, and while the Weekly uses Corr’s “anti-trolley position” as a justification for endorsing him, guess who else they endorsed. Richard Conlin. Guess who pushed the trolley plan through council? Richard Conlin.

In addition to all these sloppy contradictions with the Weekly’s endorsements, there’s no way Prof. Al Runte (who’s woefully uninformed on the issues) is going to beat Nickels. So, rather than recommending a real and effective anti-Nickels vote (shooting down Nickels’s proxy candidate, Casey Corr), they recommend a meaningless vote for a political non-entity.

After interviewing Runte a couple of weeks ago, I was so unimpressed that I filed this post about him. Oh, and the same day the Weekly’s endorsement hit, The Seattle Times published this bit of news about the Prof.

Al Runte, 58, a former UW history professor, has had a long-running battle with the university since he was denied tenure in 1985, effectively ending his teaching career.

Runte sued the UW twice, claiming he’d been treated unfairly, but both lawsuits were dismissed.