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Friday, March 30, 2007

Stranger Election Control Board’s 2003 Manning Endorsement

posted by on March 30 at 17:33 PM

This week’s Slog posts about this year’s (strangely uncrowded) City Council elections drew a lot of comments, including comments chiding us and/or asking for an explanation of our 2003 John Manning endorsement.

Back in 2003, the Stranger Election Control Board was called the Stranger Election Bowling League (we took the candidates bowling to watch their form) and it included: Me, ECB, Amy Jenniges, Dan Savage, Tim Keck, and Sandeep Kaushik.

Anyway, if memory serves correctly, Jenniges and I were the Manning fans. (ECB wants it known that she strongly opposed endorsing Manning because of the DV issue.)

However, we simply weren’t going to endorse Jim Compton, who ended up resigning in ‘05 anyway. He resigned in part because he was hobbled by his ethical lapses with Paul Allen’s Vulcan —which forced him to recuse himself from some of the biggest land use decisions that came before the council.

This is ironic given that he was one incumbent who wasn’t tossed in the 2003 election even though—like big time losers Heidi Wills and Judy Nicastro—he was also implicated in the Stripper Gate ethics scandal. (The always-popular Peter Steinbrueck also won in 2003.)

Jenniges and I bought Manning’s redemption rap on his domestic violence record and believed he deserved a second chance—especially given his earnest and enthusiastic commitment to civic issues. He also had kick ass bowling form.

Anyway, here’s our 2003 endorsement.

Seattle City Council Position 9

Vote for John Manning

We sorta endorsed John Manning in the primary: “Vote for [Jim] Compton’s opponent, John Manning.” That was all the enthusiasm we could muster then. But this is now—and we’re endorsing Manning for real.

First, a recap on conservative incumbent Compton: He’s timid on cop reform, a red light on renters’ rights, a brainless cheerleader for Paul Allen, ethically challenged, and God, are we tired of Compton’s cloying mea culpas about needing to be more sensitive about this and more aware of that. You’ve had four years to “get it,” Jim; learning-curve time is up.

Meanwhile, Manning is intent on restoring trust between neighborhoods and police. We like the idea of having this former cop with a neighborhood sensibility heading up the council’s police committee. (He gets that neighbors feel excluded from the accountability process.) It helps that he’s still got some cop in him too. “Black teenagers are smoking crack not pot,” he scolded the Election Bowling League after we tried lecturing this black man with our white liberal analysis about black kids getting unfairly busted for weed.

But Manning’s not a simplistic tough-on-crime guy. He told us he’d vote to repeal Mark Sidran’s impound ordinance because it unfairly hits the poor. In fact, Manning’s got a flair for common sense: Running the monorail through Seattle Center is “a natural,” he said emphatically, while Nickels’ plan to fix Mercer is a waste of money.

Manning did resign from the council in 1996 after two domestic violence arrests, but we’re confident he’s come out on the other side of counseling and reflection a changed man. Manning: highly recommended.

RSS icon Comments


Yeah, I'm not feminist by any means, but wifebeating is a dealbreaker for me too.

Posted by Gomez | March 30, 2007 5:39 PM

It was wifeshoving, if I recall correctly. Not to minimize it or anything. It was a serious deal, and we certainly didn't try and stop him from resigning over it. But he had his second chance at a council seat, and lost. DV is a deal breaker, it seems, for an overwhelming majority of Seattle voters. Manning is wasting his time.

Posted by Dan Savage | March 30, 2007 5:47 PM

"Yeah, I'm not feminist by any means, but wifebeating is a dealbreaker for me too."

Yes, but is it a dealbreaker in perpetuity? Is there any possibility of a wifebeater ever convincing all of you that he is reformed? What would it take?

I'm not sure of my answer to that, actually, BTW. I'm just curious.

Posted by tsm | March 30, 2007 7:29 PM

The Stranger's contribution to city politics is a disaster. Monorail, city council, etc.

Posted by Thor | March 31, 2007 11:11 AM


Absolutely, 100% correct.

The Strangers view on politics really is like 5 monkey's trying to fuck a football.

Then again, if you are stupid enough to follow their recommendations, what does that say about you?

Posted by Let's get Real... | March 31, 2007 12:55 PM

Let's not forget that Manning used to be a Seattle Cop. As such he probably routinely handled domestic violence issues and was trained to do so. I believe officers take an oath to uphold the law when they start. So do City Council Members.
We are talking about someone who very much knew he was breaking the law with his actions and someone who expected everyone else to obey the laws he put on the books.

Posted by Zander | March 31, 2007 1:21 PM

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