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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Seattle Times Endorses McGavick

posted by on October 22 at 10:03 AM

McGavick is:
For teaching intelligent design in science class in the public schools; against the assault weapons ban; for an amendment to the constitution banning gay marriage; for drilling in ANWR; thinks NARAL is extremist; against allowing legalized immigrants to get back the money they paid into the social security system; against a Cantwell bill outlawing the establishment of permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq; for President Bush’s miltiary comissions bill (the one that iced habeas corpus and gave the President the leeway to shimmy out of the Geneva Conventions); McGavick ran a $50,000 ad blitz (which the Seattle Times demanded he take down) where he said Cantwell was against allowing Washington sate taxpayers to deduct the sales tax on federal 1040s (Cantwell was the Senator who pushed the deduction through Congress in 2003); McGavick is for market-based social security accounts; was fined as CEO at SAFECO for using “credit scoring” to discriminate against minority and low-income policy holders; against net neutrality (net neutrality mandates that the big Internet providers like AT&T cannot prioritize certain content providers over others); Oh, and he’s for the estate tax repeal.

Here’s the Seattle Times’s endorsement.

And here’s the flip-flopping Seattle Times against McGavick before they were for him, editorializing in the past against most of the McGavick positions I’ve noted above:

Seattle Times says it supports gay marriage.

Seattle Times says it’s for the assault weapons ban.

Seattle Times says it’s for Net Neutrality.

Seattle Times says it’s against drilling in ANWR.

Seattle Times says it’s against teaching Intelligent Design in public schools.

But alas: Here’s the Seattle Times for owner Blethen’s pet issue, the Estate Tax Repeal. And there, Slog readers, you have it.

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Jesus, I looked at my absentee ballot last night. The five choices for Senate are fucking brutal!!! The worst I've seen.

Posted by dzienkowski | October 22, 2006 10:24 AM

Put down the crack pipe, Blethen. Fuck the Seattle Times. I think I'm going to send them a turd.

Posted by otla | October 22, 2006 10:25 AM

This is unclear - at first sounds like you're talking about Cantwell entirely after the ellipsis (I'd put the Cantwell part in parens): "1040s…Cantwell was the Senator who pushed the extention through Congress; for market-based social security accounts; was fined as CEO at SAFECO for using “credit scoring” to discrimin"

Posted by Noink | October 22, 2006 10:35 AM

Done. Thanks for the fix Noink. I want to be perfectly clear about this.

Posted by Josh Feit | October 22, 2006 10:41 AM

This sort of crap should be a loud rally cry to progressives ..... whatever imperfections Maria Cantwell has shown, this guy is Dino Rossi in Clone Mode .... and must be defeated.

There is much at stake, perhaps the future of what remains of democracy in America.

Vote, and tell all the peole you know to vote. Still time to help turn out folks.

Mc Gavick's future is in our hands, let's give him the finger in a very uncomfortable way.

He is a remake of his political mentor, Slade Gordon. Yuk.

As for the Times, it must be some form of bribery. Don't try to make it logical.

Tell the Times it isn't Kansas and we do not vote against our self interest and our politics, still progressive and smartly leftist.

Go Seattle, go, go go ....

Posted by Jack | October 22, 2006 10:42 AM

That endorsement, by a Seattle newspaper, really puts a different spin on "family-0wned," doesn't it?

Posted by MvB | October 22, 2006 10:55 AM


Yes, wealthy "family-owned" businesses and politicians help each other out in small but important ways. Call it a higher "sense of social purpose." I'm going to go vomit now.

Posted by otla | October 22, 2006 11:05 AM

I still like the feel of newsprint, so I've had a sub. to the PI (and Sunday Times) since moving here about a year ago. Today was the last day for my Sunday Times. I just can't stomach it anymore. The woman on the phone didn't bat an eye (can one bat any eye on the phone?) when I rattled off the estate tax, Reichert, and McGavick as my reasons for cancelling.

I still haven't recovered from their endorsing Bush in 2000, and this latest round of self-interested crap from Blethen et al was the final straw.

Posted by John | October 22, 2006 11:05 AM

Do the Seattle Times staff live in Seattle? Because they're so incredibly out of touch with their readership (and in touch with their own pocketbooks) that I'm starting to think it might be written & edited in Houston, Texas. Are they a Gannett paper? I mean, seriously, this is Seattle - what the fuck?

Posted by david | October 22, 2006 11:12 AM

The Blethen family are one step above mongoloid. Left to their own devices, having to earn a living, would land them in Rainier Vista or Yesler Terrace in about a year. The best we could hope for them would be a rental house along the railroad tracks in Kelso.


Posted by I cry for the Blethens | October 22, 2006 11:12 AM

Does the Times endorsement mean this race is still in play for Republicans?

Cantwell has proven to be much weaker than expected in this race, and has lost my support for hiding in the shadows the last couple of weeks.

She should have agreed to debate Mike! all over the state. Instead she hid behind a blitz of focus-group tested political ads.

Is this the type of courage we are to expect from "progressives"? Or is that label even relevant to Cantwell?

Posted by 98102 | October 22, 2006 11:15 AM

Josh, I hope you will call the Times to call bullshit on them.

Posted by olta | October 22, 2006 11:20 AM

It's all about the estate tax repeal for the Blethens. They can well afford the tax (or well afford to find a way out of paying it). Shameful. This is what we have to look forward to if the Times is the sole daily in town.

Posted by Prospero | October 22, 2006 11:26 AM

Cantwell is no progressive. But she's better than Mike! He's just a corporate doofus who is controlled by others.

Never trust anyone from the insurance industry. My dad - who was an attorney for Mutual of Omaha - always told me that.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 22, 2006 11:29 AM

It's a vote between someone who will probably vote with Karl Rove nearly 100% of the time, and someone who will vote with Karl Rove only sometimes, but usually on the important things.


Posted by pox | October 22, 2006 11:44 AM

Monday (I think) on KUOW Bill Gates Sr. and Frank Blethen will be doing a call in with Steve Scher about the Estate Tax. Talk about two families that have radically different understandings of the responsibility of wealth . . . I hope senior tears him up.

A progressive boycott of the Times in the works?

Posted by breech-a | October 22, 2006 12:00 PM

"The Blethen family are one step above mongoloid. Left to their own devices, having to earn a living, would land them in Rainier Vista or Yesler Terrace in about a year. The best we could hope for them would be a rental house along the railroad tracks in Kelso."

@#10: As someone who spent part of his childhood growing up in a (purchased) house along the railroad tracks in Kelso, I say you insult all lower-middle class, hardworking people of a similar standing by comparing us to the scurrilous Mr. Blethen. For shame, sir/madame, for shame I say!

And Geez, does anybody remember when "The Times" used to be considered Seattle's LIBERAL newspaper? I always thought W.R. Hearst, Jr. was a complete nutcase, what with his weekly babbling rants in the PI, but Blethen seems to be proof that there's some genetic predisposition to complete self-interested idiocy that becomes more pronounced in newspaper-owning families as it gets passed down from generation to generation.

Posted by COMTE | October 22, 2006 12:50 PM

Actually, there is no separation between liberals and big money. Look at the top of the Democratic party. Money, and lots of it. Don't think they're noble when it comes to protecting their assets.

Basically, the Times may still be technically liberal... but being liberal doesn't necessarily mean opposing financial elites on things like the estate tax... because the top of the Democrat chain is run by Money, just like the GOP is... except Democrat Money shares general platform stances with common liberals.

Posted by Gomez | October 22, 2006 4:33 PM

To answer someone's question, most of the editorial staff live in the suburbs. I believe only Joni Balter (Seward Park) and Bruce Ramsey (Phinney Ridge) live in Seattle.

It doesn't mean they're progressive (Bruce just did a whole pro-933 piece a couple weeks ago), but they live in Seattle.

I'm also wondering how their circulation pans out. Do most of theire readers live outside the city?

Posted by facts | October 22, 2006 4:54 PM

Comte, if you really want a giggle, check out the front page of some of the P-I's back in '50's. Red Hysteria at it's best.

Of course, the not-so-funny legacy of the old P-I (and the Times, for that matter) is the hatchet job they did on people singled out by the Canwell commission, and the sad story of Burton and Florence James. People who work in the arts in Seattle should keep that particular injustice alive.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 22, 2006 6:04 PM

If anyone is interested, you can read about the Burtons here:

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 22, 2006 6:09 PM

Yes, I'm aware of the James, although I must say I do think their reputation has been fairly rehabilitated over the past couple of decades. Mark Jenkins wrote a play about them, I think back around 1998 or 1999 that was actually performed at the UofWA. Sadly, none of this was of any help to the James themselves.

But, definitely a story to keep in mind in these dark, hysterical days.

Posted by COMTE | October 22, 2006 8:23 PM

Sorry, long post. Please feel free to correct any arithmetic or conceptual mistakes I may have made...

The ST editorial on the "death" tax is ridiculous. First off, they talk about "Howie's Power Vac" as being a mom and pop corner store type of a business. Still, they say that the building alone is worth around $2 million, and they have 28 trucks at $75K a piece, so let's round that to $2.25 million. The business is worth (just the building and trucks mind you--I'm sure they have a house and some other assets)over $4 million.

I'm not a tax lawyer, and I haven't found a good explanation as to how the calculation works, but as I understand it, you can deduct debts. I would guess that they haven't paid off all 28 trucks and the building (if they have, they have a pretty good cash cow on their hands). For the sake of argument, let's assume that they have no debt, and therefore no further deductions. $4MM less the $2MM deduction leaves you with a $2MM taxable estate. I believe that they would be expected to pay around $240K. Now, since the assets used in the calculation are business-related, they can get on a 15 year installment plan. Of course, the Times neglected to mention the installment plan for businesses, which was put in specifically to keep businesses from having to liquidate. They can pay interest-only for 5 years (at around 4% per year) then principal plus interest for the remaining 10.

Long story short, they're implying that the kids would have to sell the business because, even though they have a business valued at over $4MM (and debt-free in this example), they can't find the cash to pay $20K per year? Gee, maybe they could sell 3 of the 28 trucks.

Posted by sleestak | October 22, 2006 9:37 PM

Sorry about messing up the Jame's name there. I hate it when people's names are backward from what I think they should be ;-)

I remember the play about them, but I actually meant they should be a couple that liberals should remember, both as inspiration and as a warning. Seattle is much more enlightened and intelligent than it was at that time, but thugs are still thugs.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | October 23, 2006 7:16 AM

Big surprise. The Times endorsed Bush in 2000, remember?

Posted by Black Sheep | October 23, 2006 11:59 AM

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