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Friday, June 30, 2006

Nickels Campaigns on Your Dime

Posted by on June 30 at 17:30 PM

He’s at it again. The city’s department of transportation has produced a 4-page, full-color flier promoting Mayor Nickels’s $1.8 billion transportation levy. The flier is blatant campaigning (complete with before and after photos). Ethics rules (are supposed to) prevent campaigning from City Hall—that is, using public offices and public money to promote issues that are going before the voters.

Nickels already pushed the envelope with fliers and videos!!! to hype his $4 billion plus waterfront tunnel—which may go before the voters this fall.

And in fact, Nickels got dinged for electioneering out of his office during his 2005 reelection campaign. (He had to reimburse the city over $2,000.)

I talked to Seattle’s ethics director, Wayne Barnett, about the fancy new transportation levy promo fliers—the mayor’s money quote: “Every neighborhood in the city will see improvements. People will have a better experience getting around whether by bike, bus, car, or foot”— and Barnett says he knew nothing about them. That means, nobody ran this by the ethics office. (Typically, when Team Nickels gets called on this sort of chicanery, they do a whole song and dance about how they ran it by ethics first.)

I guess they’ve been getting away with so much campaigning out of Nickels’s office lately, that they didn’t feel like they needed to check anymore. Well, they should have. Look at this thing yourself:

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Anyway, the city says they’ll get back to me on how much they spent on the brochure.

Team Nickels will argue that the four-page color brochure is “informational” not “promotional.”
But that doesn’t make any sense. How can they be giving info on something that won’t happen unless voters vote for it? In other words, Team Nickels is telling you what you’ll get… if you vote for it. And so, by definition: They are promoting an initiative.

CommentsRSS icon

Jesus Josh, it's time to go out and get a drink. It's beautiful outside. I'm sure this mayor thing is really important but...get the fuck out of your office and get a fucking drink. Check out the lovely ladies of our fair city.

The tunnel won't happen even if people *do* vote for it, because, repeat after me, now (you can even move your lips because no one is watching you:


Nickels is trying to create some buzz here. It's all he can do at this point. By November, reality will set in, and the Viaduct rebuild will commence. So this whole article is pointless, and nothing more than filler. Maybe tomorrow we'll get some substance. One can always hope.

Good points, Ivan and Zip.

Yes, Josh needs to go and play and enjoy Canada Day! He doesn't have to be working right now.

And there still isn't enough money to build that underwater tunnel - especially since every penny beyond the cost of a Viaduct replacement is coming STRAIGHT out of SEATTLE taxpayers pockets - and NOONE else.

Besides, faced with the choice of:
a. Viaduct with no tolls paid for by state; or
b. Underwater tunnel of insanity with fewer downtown exits with no view with TOLLS with TAXES with GUESSES OF FUTURE FUNDS ...

You get the drift. Noone's voting for Greg's turkey. He can't even get the enviro or transit groups to back him on this one, cause we all know it will take money out of other transit projects for THE NEXT 30 YEARS!!!!!

oh, and Josh, anyone can file a claim with Seattle Ethics and Elections. I don't think you need to be a PCO like I am.

The new Nickels campaign piece isn't about the tunnel. It's about his $1.8 billion transportation levy.

And yes, anyone can file an ethics claim with SEEC. (I filed one against Pageler years ago.)

Yes, I should be leaning out into the fine weather, but sigh, early deadlines for July 4...I'm stuck at the office editing two awesome features...1 by Erica C. Barnett & another by Annie Wagner...two of Seattle's loveliest ladies. So there.

You know what on that flier is false advertising? That picture of the Five Cent Piece, about 70 pounds and 10,000 gray hairs ago. How about an accurate, current pic of Fat, Old Mayor Nickels, plz.

Vote early, vote often, vote no.

How can it be campainging if there is nothing on the ballot?

How can it be "informational" if there's nothing on the ballot?

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