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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For

posted by on June 7 at 10:40 AM

It’s irritating to listen to Joni Balter this morning griping about the fact that there’s a shortage of candidates running in this year’s city council races.

Nevermind that she’s about a month late on the story, what’s grating about Balter’s column is that a big part of the reason no one is running for city council is this: the Seattle Times invested relentless energy and ink a few years ago branding the council as a “circus animals” council because, in truth, the Seattle Times was scared by the emergence of youthful, progressive, pro-density council members like Heidi Wills and Judy Nicastro. Well, guess what? The anti-council smear campaign worked. Really really well.

Sorry Joni Balter, but by consistently condescending to the youthful, activist council, your paper helped damage its standing. Yes, obviously there were other contributing factors, like strippergate, but the endless “circus animals” drumbeat had a longterm impact. You got what you wanted. No one respects the council.

And so, quality people like Mike McGinn would rather agitate from the outside and Peter Steinbrueck would rather leave.

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If she had run the story TWO WEEKS AGO, people could have decided to run.

One day before filing deadline is not going to happen.

That said, Joni is the person who gave me the idea that started the worldwide demand for recycled paper to make our recycling program not just a success, but profitable, so I always listen to her.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 7, 2007 10:45 AM

don't worry, Josh is just making shit up again, just like the Tommy review. you can't take anything he writes seriously, i guess it is called satire.

Posted by ddv | June 7, 2007 11:01 AM

Aw folks, let's get serious. A good time to make the decision to run for City Council is February or March, not Thursday of filing week.

Posted by J.R. | June 7, 2007 11:13 AM

Joe filed. Joe ran. Joe raised good money on his kickoff. Joe is done.

Too bad, he certainly seemed much smarter than Godden. But he will not recover from Galloway's smear. Good job Jean team!

People and potential candidates who play ultimate Frisbee using their girlfriends' nose as a target just aren't going to get elected. Regardless if it was fifteen years ago. Voters are not the educated lot we wished them to be. This sound bite is going to fry Joe.


Posted by Louie | June 7, 2007 11:15 AM

It's because it now costs a ridiculous amount of money to run an effective campaign. Several candidates already have $100K+ raised and counting. Those who have nothing yet, like Al Runte, are probably DOA anyway. What upstart candidate can possibly raise enough money to compete for a city council seat?

Posted by Gomez | June 7, 2007 11:19 AM

The Strippergate "scandal" in 2003 (and its relentless promotion by the Times and the Weekly) had another, more serious long-term effect - it solidified the notion among younger, skilled, ambitious, politically-involved community leaders that the Seattle City Council is a political dead end, rather than a place to start a career in elected office. Seeing what happened to the energetic and talented Nicastro/Wills duo at the hands of the local media (and self-righteous blowhards like Tim Burgess) had a chilling effect that will take quite some time to dissipate.

Posted by Trey | June 7, 2007 11:37 AM

Yes but the Times is not the only paper in Seattle that regularly belittles progressives...

Posted by wf | June 7, 2007 11:38 AM

Reason #3487 for at least a partially districted council.

The real reason no one is running.


Posted by tiptoe tommy | June 7, 2007 11:51 AM

In a perfect world, Joni Balter would be on TV, so people could see her uptight and terrible 'liberal'-Ann Coulter vibe.

Nobody runs anymore except for noble windmill-tilters like Joe Szwaja because the liars who defeated Heidi Wills and the monorail and put the highways on the ballot with the $23 billion light rail have nothing to fear in a town that is for some bizarre reason convinced that it is progressive, and that the good guys are in charge. I don't really care anymore, but it is a fact that a whole generation of committed and caring activists were just handed their asses when the monorail was smeared and went down, and have given up and moved on. Cary Moon is the only person still running with a dream of Seattle being the great, green city it might have been, and she's way too smart to get involved in all that nonsense. (As someone who's been through a council campaign and nearly won, I'll tell you it is a ridiculous, soul-killing chafe.)

Lovin' Portland, BTW.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | June 7, 2007 12:05 PM

I don't really care anymore...

Which is why you keep posting your diarrhea dripping bullshit here, right?

If you didn't care, you'd go the fuck away forever and save your whining for your fellow Portlanders who probably don't care either.

Never fear, Grant... once the nation figures out that Portland is the new Seattle, they'll move in en masse and turn your new city into an overpriced go-nowhere craphole as well. LOL.

Meanwhile, please stop with the I don't care bullshit, or be true to your word, and stop posting here.

Posted by Gomez | June 7, 2007 12:14 PM

I would not describe Peter Steinbrueck as a "quality person".

Posted by A-Chan | June 7, 2007 1:18 PM

@9 - she used to be on TV, every week.

It was great!

Geesh, I thought you knew that, Grant ... maybe you've been hanging out with film stars too much down in La La Land, now that you're a writer with a picture (Cthulhu) to your name ...

And, sounds like you think Astoria is the new Portland ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 7, 2007 2:26 PM

Josh Feit: a delusion in skin.

When a spitball thrower asks why people aren't running, it's time to let Paris Hilton out of jail.

Oh, that happened already.

Posted by Josh is a very short bald guy | June 7, 2007 3:26 PM

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