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Friday, October 19, 2007

Forward Seattle For Velazquez?

posted by on October 19 at 13:15 PM

Forward Seattle—the pro-business PAC that formed earlier this year and planned to spend more than $100,000 on behalf of city council candidate Venus Velazquez—has already spent just over $56,000 on polling and direct mail. The group’s latest disclosure report at the city, dated October 12, includes an additional $45,000 the group estimates it will spend on direct mail to support Velazquez in the future. Forward Seattle was widely believed to have picked Velazquez in large part because, as a new PAC, they wanted to come out of the gate with a winner. (Velazquez steamrolled opponent Bruce Harrell in the primary.) Will Velazquez’s recent DUI arrest lead them to withdraw their support? I have a call in to Forward Seattle spokesman Joe Quintana to find out.

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Maybe you should have waited to post something until after they called you back. Because you just told us absolutely nothing.

Posted by Joselito | October 19, 2007 1:19 PM

Pretty much.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 19, 2007 1:22 PM

C'mon. ECB was sick yesterday and we had to listen to her accuse us all of driving drunk so she could continue her support of Venus. Maybe (hopefully) ECB woke up feeling better this morning and decided to be a reporter and actually report on this issue vs. vomit back campaign spin.

Posted by I switched my vote | October 19, 2007 1:39 PM

Y'know, I got all my pissed-about-drunky-horseshit rage out on the last post. Will someone volunteer to give me a good list of pragmatic reasons I should vote for Velasquez, even though my respect for her is currently about even with Ken Hutcherson?
I'm open.

Posted by voteswitched christopher | October 19, 2007 1:43 PM

I heard that ECB had malaria and TB.

I'll get back to you in a week when I check to see if it's true ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 19, 2007 1:52 PM

My vote on this Venus is still undecided, but it doesn’t make much difference anyway. One vote doesn’t make much difference in the grand scheme of things. The real power lies in the ability to sway other voters. By this standard, the Stranger wields a considerable amount of power. But, as Lord Acton would agree that responsibility comes as a side dish. Many voters won’t do much more than read your endorsements, complete their ballot and toss it in the mail. It isn’t necessarily because they are sheeple, it probably has more to do with the fact that politics is pretty boring and they trust your judgement.

Venus Vasquez put you into an awful position by getting arrested for driving drunk a matter of hours after you gave her your endorsement. This really sucks and whether or not it is indicative of the kind of person she is or the kind of leader she would be, I am more disappointed in the reaction to it than anything else. In the same week that you admonish one council member for his drinking, you take the position that drinking and driving is OK because, “who hasn’t done it?” Rather than come out and give me reasons to still vote for her, you point to your unchanging endorsement (apparently the other guy says dumb stuff like, “Does someone smell soothing in here” and that is reason enough to vote against him). This seems to indicate a situation where basically Erica, Dave and the rest of the Stranger staff had already just made up their minds about something and refuse to change it, facts be damned.
On a city council race, that’s fine. Who really cares?

Screw up all the city council endorsements you want. But on something as important as improving our infrastructure, please don’t keep fucking the city. Please help people make some progress solving our problems instead of making decisions based on myopic bias in lieu of facts. Fuck the Venus thing up all you want, but PLEASE revisit your endorsement on roads and transit.

Posted by Clint | October 19, 2007 2:04 PM

Here's a quickly compiled list of reasons to support Venus from The Stranger, Times, PI and Venus:

her goals include:
- improving public education
- focusing city investment in working-class neighborhoods like South Park
- She's pro-density in the urban core
- is for housing that's affordable to lower-middle-class people, who are poorly served by existing housing programs.
- she wants to develop a surface/transit viaduct option that includes rapid transit—"not just mass transit"—and doesn't displace the working waterfront
- she is against the Mayor's Nightclub License (Harrell is for it)
- She wants full-time bus lanes on Third Avenue through downtown
- supports funding for 250 new new police officers
- She wants to see the city create a land bank for nonprofit low-income housing developers and tax incentives for middle-income family housing
- she will make sure our firefighters have the tools they need to protect us and additionally is a huge backer of MEDIC ONE, King County's emergency medical response system
- Compared to Harrell Venus will do more to actively support public education, create an inclusive and strong economy and give families compelling reasons to stay in the city.
- Venus will push for a 10-year plan that outlines our citywide priorities and the funding mechanisms required to pay for them.
- She will work with parents and community leaders to ensure that the Families and Education Levy resources help create a quality school in every neighborhood and connect parents with their schools.
- she supports a cap on payday loan interest rates
- she will work to get Ballard long-promised parks and amenities to mitigate the effects of rapid growth

Velazquez will be a forceful, independent, effective voice on the council. She is the opinionated hard worker we need on the Council

Bruce Harrell, Velazquez's opponent...mouths platitudes about the issues ("these are all issues we're grappling with") but doesn't offer solutions ("I want to be sort of a thought leader, a bridge builder"). Yes, the city is "too expensive to live in," but what are you going to do about it? When he gets specific, his proposals range from questionable to bizarre. He appears to believe the police have enough accountability (it was really hard to pin him down on the question) and says the council's job isn't to be "a fact finder" on disputed police-misconduct cases. In the bizarre category, Harrell suggested during our interview that people who have committed misdemeanors and first-time felonies serve as security and litter patrol outside bars.He was also vague about affordability, suggesting that people need to make more money and reminiscing about how he saved money by having lots of roommates in college. (The Stranger)

Posted by Meinert | October 19, 2007 2:12 PM

Really, you guys should just stop digging that hole right now. It just gets deeper.

Posted by laterite | October 19, 2007 2:15 PM

- And she can drink Harrell under the table.

Posted by Almost Forgot | October 19, 2007 2:16 PM

Is the Stranger going to get the cop video so we can see the slurred speech and glass eyes?

My bet is she flirted with him as well, as does every woman to beat the rap

Oh, Big Strong Officer, rolling the eyes and throwing her shoulders back ....

What say Erica ... video?

Posted by Freddy | October 19, 2007 2:30 PM

7. Filibustering will get you nowhere.

She drove drunk... badly, and then tried to deny it when caught. I don't care what your stance on nightlife and density is... this is a person that just showed that she can't be trusted to maintain integrity on a basic level.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2007 2:32 PM

Freddy - your meathead mentality and sexist comment goes well with your candidate Harrell. Were you in a Republican fraternity with him at UW? Pig.

Posted by Mandy | October 19, 2007 2:32 PM

Although I must admit I really don't like Harrell, and think his presence on the council will be regrettable, Venus has taken what's already a bad situation and fumbled it even further.

I am enjoying watching the Stranger's glasshouse contortions, tho. Scold McIver on his alcohol use one week, then say it doesn't matter for Velasquez the next.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | October 19, 2007 2:42 PM

At least we know Venus will be supporting better transit while on the council.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 19, 2007 3:23 PM

So Venus is a drunk. Big deal. Isn't drunkeness a prerequisite on the City Council?

A joke:

Q. Why was Venus driving so fast when she was drunk?
A. Because she had to get home and choke McIver's wife.

Posted by Son of Flubber | October 19, 2007 3:29 PM

Question to the issue of Forward Seattle.

How can a PR firm / PAC or whatever you want to call them give that much money to a candidate? Aren't there contribution limits?

So now Joe Quintana can buy Councilmembers?

Posted by Just asking | October 19, 2007 3:32 PM

They run an "indedpendent" campaign without coordination with her campaign. First amendment prevents stopping "speech" and political ads are speech. While campaign contributions have been limited legally to campaigns, this is not the case with Political Action Groups.

Posted by whatever | October 19, 2007 3:50 PM

No we don't, Will. She has no track record because she has no formal lawmaking experience. And we don't know which of her big-interests have her ear the most. So how can we take for granted that she will support transit legislation?

And go figure this happened because she was driving, i.e. not using transit in the first place.

Yet you think she'll stump for transit. Right.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2007 3:53 PM

Ooh. Formal lawmaking experience.

Like that matters.

Most of what city council does is do 9-0 votes anyway.

As we all know.

And most of their work is zoning regulations.

But, hey, pretend all those council resolutions on Peace matter - cause they don't.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 19, 2007 4:16 PM

Venus is pro-transit in general and pro-surface transit option on the waterfront. She's been clear on this. If you want transit in Seattle, vote for her.

She's also pro same sex marriage. Anyone ever ask Harrell where he is on that issue?

Posted by Meinert | October 19, 2007 4:19 PM

@7, instead of pushing for full-time bus lanes down 3rd, she should push for full-time bumper lanes down Market.


Seriously, though, stop digging. I'm sure she intends to do all these fantastic things once she's elected (if she's elected), but how will she accomplish them all if she's drunk? After all, she can't even seem to drive a car after a few drinks, something that -- according to Ms. Barnett -- most people have done in their lifetimes.

Posted by joykiller | October 19, 2007 4:38 PM

@18, agree. It's not like she was drinking in the Issaquah Highlands or Magnolia. She was in Ballard, which happens to be one of the better-served areas in terms of transit.

(Notwithstanding the whiny Stranger article last week featuring Capitol Hill expats who moved to the "wilds" of Ballard. The horror!)

Posted by joykiller | October 19, 2007 4:40 PM

19. Your attempt at a parallel crackback failed, but thanks for trying.

I probably don't agree with Bruce Harrell on a lot of issues. I also know that he probably wouldn't get liquored up, speed down Ballard while swerving across lanes, lie to the cop about it etc.... shit, I need to make up an acronym for the whole spiel, since I keep having to bring it up, since everyone keeps conveniently forgetting all this.

Before this happened, I did not like this race because I didn't like either candidate. And now at this point, it's about whether or not the public and the pundits are going to overlook a grievous act of social irresponsibility... by a person who is running for a position of social responsibility.

Again, I've learned a lot about several of you in discussing this the last couple of days, and what I learned isn't good.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2007 4:44 PM

Gomez, I think you are a bit on the crazy side often times, so your thoughts on me matter not. However, if you are going to support Harrell, do you care about issues around marriage equality? What if you found out Harrell was part of an organization that actively campaigns against same-sex marriage, would that influence your vote?

Posted by Meinert | October 19, 2007 4:51 PM

Hey, everyone needs to calm down here. Relax. Have a drink. Venus, what are you having?

Posted by Mr. Bones | October 19, 2007 4:52 PM

Meinert, if calling out people for being hypocrites is crazy, then I'm crazy like a fox. As far as I'm concerned, this race has always been a choice between two finely polished pieces of shit.

After this, I'm led to side with the piece of shit that doesn't make stupid legal decisions in front of a police officer. I don't like Harrell, but I didn't like either candidate in the first place and don't feel either is a good choice, but these are the choices we're stuck with. I'm not voting for someone who clearly exercises poor judgment on a basic level, because how can I trust that person to exercise good judgment on a larger level?

And to humor your red herring for a moment: at what point is Harrell's stance on same sex marriage even going to affect how the city coouncil does business in the first place? Even if we find out he's a hardcore bigot (which is far from likely), he's outnumbered on the council and there isn't any point where his POV would come into play anyway.

You're pounding the crap out of straw men to pump up your pet candidate. You need to seriously think about what you're saying.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2007 4:58 PM

Hey Meinert, what if I told you that the Stranger has already endorsed candidates in this election that were part of an organization that actively campagns against same-sex marriage, would you believe me?

Posted by Clint | October 19, 2007 4:58 PM

Clint - no, because you'd be wrong.

Posted by Meinert | October 19, 2007 5:08 PM

Hmmm. Somehow I missed the pro-same-sex marriage position on Venus.

Cool, that makes it more fun to vote for her.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 19, 2007 5:27 PM

I wish I could edit these posts. Could you please ask them to change "candidates" to "candidate" and "were part of" to "made shitloads of money furthering the causes of". I'd hate to lose an argument over semantics.

Posted by Clint | October 19, 2007 5:58 PM

@29, everything's more fun when you're drunk. Even driving.

Not only was Venus dumb enough to drive drunk, she was dumb enough to get caught. I only vote for candidates with an IQ greater than 80.

Posted by joykiller | October 19, 2007 6:31 PM

Meinert - whatever you are trying- don't think it will work. Here is the hot scoop/poop on Harrell and gay marriage.

I caught him on the phone, half hour ago, he was very adamant about his support for gay issues. Pointed out both Ed Murray and Joe McDermott have endorsed.

" I want the be the most pro gay straight guy the council has ever had."

He mentioned how happy he was when the Anderson-Murray bill passed in Olympia.

Repeated over and over he supports gay marriage 100 per cent.

He and Venus got the same rating from SEAMEC - and they are a tough group of raters. I saw him at two events recently in the gay community, looked like he was flourishing, totally at ease.

So, Meinert - what is the whisper all about?

Posted by Kip | October 19, 2007 6:33 PM

@7-A lot of that seemed unrealistic and/or unspecific, but it is pretty convincing. Maybe I will vote for her. Even less enthusiastically than when I voted Kerry, but oh well.
@freddy- what mandy said, you fucko.
@15- Hahahaha! I really actually LOLed!
gomez@19-pretty convincing yourself. reminds me of why I decided to not vote for her before. Now I'm confused again.
@Everybody: Fuck it. I'm still not going to vote for either of them. Good luck Meinert- Your girl will need it like a muthafucka.

Posted by christopher | October 19, 2007 9:18 PM

Meinert - Sadly, I don't even know where to start with you. I certainly hope you are not a representative from the Velazquez campaign, but given the tone of your rhetoric my guess is that you are somehow connected. So let me disclose my bias, Bruce Harrell is my uncle.

I have let pass a number of vicious remarks about Bruce because I know it is par for the course when people are in the public eye. However, you have crossed the line on trying to even insinuate that Bruce might be anti-gay. This sort of outright lie makes me angry because of how supportive he has been of me (out and proud for over 12 years), and of the gay community in general.

What is your point? What were you hoping to accomplish by trying to start these rumors? This city doesn't need more division. Your tactic reminds me of middle school. The idea that putting someone else down will make you feel better. Starting that bad rumor around the high school will make the other person less popular.

Congratulations. If you are representative of the candidate you support, Seattle should have a clear view of their choices for this election.

Posted by Monisha Harrell | October 19, 2007 10:26 PM

Kip - Good to hear about Bruce. He has a good chance of winning, and while I don't agree with him on some issues I have no intention of bad mouthing him. However, like Burgess needed to answer on the CWA, someone should, will, ask Bruce about his association with the First AME Church as their general counsel, which has done some great work (understatement) in the community (very much unlike the CWA) but is also mired in a controversy of anti-same sex marriage activism (at least nationally if not locally). The former pastor of the church in Seattle was involved in some sort of embezzlement scandal, though I don't know what role he played, but he also pissed off a bunch of members at the church in LA he moved to with some homophobic remarks. - just something to look into. May be nothing. [tried to post this earlier but it didn't go up due to the spam filer - too many links. sorry to leave my whisper hanging, not fair to Bruce for sure. And no, I'm not part of Venus' campaign]

some interesting links:

The Rev. J. Edgar Boyd of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in San Francisco said he was disappointed to see black ministers support Bush exclusively on the same-sex marriage issue. "I don't think his stance on same-sex marriage makes him a hero," he said. "It just happens to be in accord with my stand and where the A.M.E. church stands."

The Alliance for Marriage, the multifaith, multiethnic coalition that oversaw the drafting of the text for the constitutional amendment now before Congress, includes among its founders bishops from the African Methodist Episcopal Church .

More on the Church's position on same sex marriage -

Maybe Bruce will disassociate himself from the church like Burgess did from CWA. That would be good and then this is a non-issue. Or maybe the Seattle branch of this church is totally pro-gay marriage. No whisper campaign, just a question about his position on something. I was going to wait for others to do the research, but since you asked...

Posted by Meinert | October 19, 2007 10:50 PM

To go back to the original post - talk about throwing good money after bad. I can't say I'm weeping that Seattle's big bad new developer PAC is likely to wind up with a serious case of buyer's remorse...

Posted by Mr. X | October 19, 2007 11:07 PM

Welcome to the Stranger's Election Control Board... where they tell you to vote wrong on every candidate and issue, save maybe I-67.

They defend drunk drivers, ridicule real progressives, and defend big business candidates across the board.

I've been to a few Stranger parties, and the reality is that they are defending Velazquez's DUI, because they are a bunch of drunks. Seriously, the Seattle police would do well to set up a roadblock outside next year's Genius Awards. Not many geniuses in the room, but plenty of drunks going out on the road after that one.

I didn't think the Stranger could discredit itself any more than it had in the past, but this year takes the cake.

You guys should run Venus as "Drunk of the week" next with her police mug shot. But of course you won't, because you have as much integrity as.... wait you have no integrity what am I saying.

Let's all remember how Mr. Savage supported the war, and also licked doorknobs that last major election cycle. Ha, you guys are less worthy of my time than the Seattle Sinner.

Posted by Mike N | October 20, 2007 4:13 AM

Check this out, it kinda sucks if you're a tiny/thin woman. Two drinks could send your ass over the limit if they're a generous pour And what do most people admit to when they're pulled over? Two drinks

Posted by Taffy Davenport | October 20, 2007 9:28 AM

I called Harrell's campaign line and asked him his stance on Gay marriage and he said: Of course I support gay marriage..."

Dave Meinert you are a liar. You're mean and manipulative too. Plus I heard you've had a couple of DUIs yourself.

ECB--you and the Stranger staff are hyppocrites. You've slammed McIver who pleaded not guilty but are giving Venus a buy because you're her friend.

Now I see why your paper has so little credibilty--because you're not objective and don't take seriously your responsibility to provide correct information.

Top this off with Tim Burgess who was right there drinking with her and the Fire Fighter chief who has endorsed them both. Makes me wonder about them all.

Go Bruce--I hope you savor this victory despite the assholes at the Stranger and mean-spirited despots like Dave Meinert.

Posted by Bootsy | October 20, 2007 10:20 AM

Venus has lots of skeletons in her closet. I actually tried to tell ECB but she was too biased--or lazy to follow up on my tips.

FORWARD SEATTLE is not a business PAC. It is a group of fat-cats who have gotten together to manipulate the system. Joe Quintana (Latino) started the PAC and has partnered with Don Stark to raise money to buy a seat.

Venus was bankrupt and they bought her--plain and simple. Now they're getting what they deserve--losing the value of their investment.

Posted by Anna Pearl Lee | October 20, 2007 10:36 AM

Bootsy, you are obviously a friend of Bruce's and that's cool. Like all the candidates he seems like a fine person. I am not taking a position about his association with a church that helped draft the constitutional amendment to band same sex marriage, I am just asking him to explain. It's great if he supports same sex marriage. Very likely he has an explanation why he is the attorney for an organization which actively opposes it. But let's hear it. Other candidates have had to do so, this isn't an issue anyone should get a pass on.

For you to come in and call names and accuse me of having 2 dui's is silly. Wrong for sure as I have never had one, and makes you just look defensive, which is a bad look. If you don't think the stranger has no credibility then you wouldn't be here defending your candidate. No one has accused Bruce of anything, just asked a question that seems to have gone unanswered so far and instead has been met with name calling by his associates. Not a great campaign tactic.

Posted by Meinert | October 20, 2007 10:38 AM

dave meinert: i've been watching you on other posts and know you'll do everything you can to discredity harrell. this includes lying and throwing red herrings. you deserve no credibility because you're not trustworty.

you seem like a mean-spirited and nasty man. remind me never to do work with your film company.

monisha--you're right, if meinert is reflective of VV's campaign it's another reason not to vote for her.

now i hear you have had DUIs yourself so that helps to understand your lack of objectivity on this.

Posted by okayokay | October 20, 2007 10:48 AM

@42 - film company? DUI? Work for Venus? Wrong on all accounts. The more you Harrell folks avoid the question the more it looks like a question worth asking. I'll leave it at that. Other folks are looking into it already.

Posted by Meinert | October 20, 2007 10:52 AM


I don't know Harrell but am gay and needed to know the truth so I called his campaign line. He sounded like a good guy and is easy to talk to.

Asking Harrell to explain the stance of his church because he is the attorney for it is just another one of your red-herrings. VV is Catholic--are you going to ask her to explain the stance of her church?

See, this is why you're an ass-hole--because you'll look for anything to throw us off the track. As a gay all I care to know is where he stands--not his whole damn national church.

Word is that you've had 2 DUIs. Since you're lying on so many other things--let's see if you're as good a VV on lying your way out of this story.

Posted by Bootsy | October 20, 2007 10:59 AM

The central question is the Forward Seattle PAC...

The issue is VV's DUI.

Please leave Meinert alone since he sounds like he's going to blow.

Worse--sounds like he's digging up dirt on Harrell's church...someone warn Bruce.

Thank heaven we only have 2 weeks left.

Posted by Anna Pearl Lee | October 20, 2007 11:06 AM

@43--sounds like you're part of a VV conspiracy group. who are the other people?

Posted by Russ | October 20, 2007 11:10 AM

LOL. The last few posts are funny.

the news will be VV and her DUI for some time.

next will be her racism (listen to KIRO). Followed by Forward Seattle and their bad bet on her.

Other stories will be how she has gotten 11 tickets dismissed.

I got her mailer yesterday and couldn't even process her message because of the DUI. I think most voters are like me.

FORWARD SEATTLE should cut their losses while they're ahead.

Posted by Pingslee | October 20, 2007 11:36 AM

Care to explain your "problem" at Seattle Center?

Now what did happen?

Posted by Meet Meinert at Seattle Center? | October 21, 2007 8:42 AM

Jesus people get back on track. She blew .115, she should get out if the race!

Posted by dotherightthing | October 21, 2007 11:14 AM

Personally I am much more concerned that she will owe her political career to Joe Quintana and a hand full of others at Forward Seattle. Accepting that large of a contribution says 'you own my vote'. We just don't see that kind of blatant bankrolling at this level of campaigns. If you vote for Venus you might as well be giving Joe Quintana a seat on the council.

I don't disagree with everything Forward Seattle stands for but there main goal is to maximize profits for developers. I don't have a problem with developers making money (I think they should make nice profits) but I do believe that when the rules are changed and it makes them a lot of money b/c of those changes (developers make a ton of money on land use changes) they should have an obligation to return some of the profits for public reinvestments.

I worry about Venus owing Forward Seattle her seat.

Posted by Venus = Joe Quintana | October 21, 2007 2:26 PM

How very bizarre this thread has become - thanks to Meinert.

Three (3) GLBT folks on this post, Kip-Bootsy-Monisha have all asserted from first hand knowledge that Bruce Harrell is cool on gay marriage, INCLUDING Monisha his out front lesbian niece. She is THE expert for me because that is sure fire truth, queer family members.

Yet Dave Meinert acting as hack for Venus has claimed he knows more about the issue than they do. How very queer, a straight guy who depends on liquor sponsors for his music events, smears OK gay friendly uncle, he who is very out front OK about and supportive of gay issues.

The Capitol Hill Block party is fine with me, but it is a giant cash cow gated beer blast.
Dave, your lenient stance on drunks and driving is fueled by your bank account.

It is not OK, she made a big mistake and that linked with the secret big money PAC stuff has destroyed her as a candidate.

But then, straight white men have always been more of an expert on homophobia than out lesbians and gay men in direct communication with the candidate, which candidate says "he wants to be the most gay friendly guy the council has ever had."

Sure Dave, sure. Give it up, quit the whisper smears and take your cues about homophobia from out fags and dykes, your lady friend is lost in a swamp of her own making. As they have said here, BURNT TOAST.

Posted by Adam Kelper | October 22, 2007 2:33 AM

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