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RSS icon Comments on NPR Listeners on Venus Velazquez


too bad she missed her chance to try that spin!

Posted by infrequent | October 19, 2007 12:38 PM

Eli, people are always going to be driving until we are 90 years old.

Sure, more people will opt for public transit. But there will always be people who will drive no matter what. Whether Venus is one of those or not, whatever. But trying to spin THIS incident as a support for public transit, as much as I want more public transit, sounds really fucking desperate.

Venus is screwed.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | October 19, 2007 12:40 PM

What a great spin: "I did it to raise the issue of mass transit!"

Posted by DMS | October 19, 2007 12:41 PM

If the "i just vomited a little in my mouth" joke is retired, the "Cum Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc" logical fallacy should be retired, too.

In other news, 2+2=5. Vote No on prop 1 and for Venus because transit is good and drunks are bad.

Does anyone else have a headache?

Posted by Cum Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc | October 19, 2007 12:45 PM

Eli, do you support Prop 1?

And would ECB support Prop 1 if she suddenly had to move away from Capitol Hill and couldn't walk home from Smith or wherever?

Posted by So...? | October 19, 2007 12:45 PM

Pairs of drunk women usually take cabs instead of subways late at night, even in cities with fabulous mass-transit systems. We have cabs now -- maybe even more than if we built more light rail or a monorail -- so they should have taken one.

Posted by Ass Transit | October 19, 2007 12:46 PM

Venus can afford to call a fucking cab. Headache indeed.

Posted by seattle98104 | October 19, 2007 12:56 PM

Actually, I think it illustrates the fallacy of a 70% single-family-zoned city,in which people go to dinner in Ballard MILES AWAY from their Mt. Baker homes. It's about DENSITY, foolz.

Posted by Finishtag | October 19, 2007 12:57 PM

But... if the Stranger has their way there will BE no light rail. You're saying we should have started years ago... so won't be saying that years FROM now? When we had a chance to do something and didn't? (If history repeats itself, we will have another serious proposal in 10-20 years, which we will vote down because it costs too much, while bemoaning the fact we didn't do this when it cost so much less).

Posted by exelizabeth | October 19, 2007 12:58 PM

ECB doesn't live on Capitol Hill, does she?

Posted by keshmeshi | October 19, 2007 1:00 PM

This is a good analysis Eli, probably the best I've read in all the words already spilled over this story. It's easy relate to Venus and what she did. I have also driven home after drinking a couple. Not smashed, but a little light headed. Honestly, many of my friends, my family, even my parents, have made similar choices on occasion. Regardless of whether it's right or wrong, it's pretty normal.

However, it does show very very bad judgment to do it on the eve of an election which is supposed to start your burgeoning political career. Obviously taking a train wasn't an option for Venus, but taking a taxi sure was. Or asking a friend to drive. Or drinking less in the first place. Any dummy know knows you have to be on your best behavior when the boss is watching. It's hard to vote for anyone who displays such unformed political intuition.

Posted by Gurldoggie | October 19, 2007 1:04 PM

Never read anything so stupid - take a cab is the only reply, and we do have lots of those all over Seattle

don't drive, you risk killing people

it is only about her and her morals/ethics

has nothing to do with mass transit, god what pin heads to keep supporting the frunkard - if there was a train station next to the bar she would have gotten into her car

really, how strange, you guys are a two bit propaganda machine

Posted by earl | October 19, 2007 1:06 PM

"A risk taker"? Yeah, that's the way to look at it. Sheesh.

Finishtag @8, thank you for telling where I should be allowed to eat dinner and where I shouldn't. If Velazquez would just sit in her apartment and do bong hits, this never would have happened.

Posted by Fnarf | October 19, 2007 1:08 PM

In any case, here’s what I see as the biggest lesson of the Velazquez DUI imbroglio: The need for more light rail and better mass transit.

LOL... I should have known Eli would try and spin this into a transit argument.

Not that I disagree. More transit means fewer drunks taking such a stupid risk.

So Yes on Prop- oh wait. Right.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2007 1:11 PM

There's no point in being a risk taker if you always lose. That's just stupid.

Like getting ticketed five times for no insurance, and somehow getting out of it each time. That's not intelligent risk taking. That's the way Paris Hilton or Britney Spears calculates risk: it doesn't matter if you get popped because you can just use money or connections or dogged stubborn denial to weasel your way out of it.

I was all set to vote for her too.

Posted by elenchos | October 19, 2007 1:16 PM

Eli, my lover (he so *loves* that term) and I were in NYC last week same time as you. We stayed in Park Slope and took the subway into the Lower East Side to attend a friend's birthday celebration at a bar. As you noted, this is the transportation mode of choice for all "responsible drinkers" in real cities. That was especially brought home for us when on BOTH trips, a responsible drinker vomited all over his shoes in the subway car we were riding in. Our Brooklyn-based friend said he's never seen that happen in 2 years of riding the trains. Must have been our tourist-karma.

But at least they weren't driving, eh Venus?

Posted by HL | October 19, 2007 1:28 PM

We all know mass transit is just for the little people. Politicians' schedules are just too important to fit to the vagaries of the bus schedule.

Venus appears ready to fit in to the council just fine.

Posted by MHD | October 19, 2007 1:45 PM

It's the wrong approach to base your choice on whether or not you break the law based on the solutions available to you. The thought process should be: "I shouldn't drive. What are my options home?" Taxi, bus, walk, spend the night, etc. Not the other way around where you let the solutions dictate your decision.

Posted by I switched my vote | October 19, 2007 1:49 PM

I can see women getting drunk and taking the long elevator down to the light rail tunnel late at night.

Oh, wait, no, sorry, that's not going to happen.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 19, 2007 1:56 PM

Being a risk taker with other people's lives just simply isn't cool.

Posted by INORIGHT? | October 19, 2007 2:15 PM

I honestly don't even know where to begin talking about this. As someone who got popped for DUI a number of years ago after a night of very light drinking, I sense a massive tidal wave of denial everytime something like this happens. Honestly, really: How many people in Seattle have gone to a house party, etc, had a drink or two (or more) and driven home? Thousands. Tens of thousands. It happens a hundred times--at least--every day. Every one of my friends has done it many, many times. If you haven't done it, you're either wealthy enough to afford cabs, able to walk everywhere you go to drink, or a teetotaler. If you haven't been busted yet, it's not because you have some magic power to drive after drinking without being caught. It just means you're lucky.

Thus, her "bad judgement," as you call it might more accurately be described as bad luck. It was stupid of her to be going 50 in a 30 after having a few drinks, I'll admit that. But let's wait and see what her breath results were, which apparently haven't been released yet.

Now after saying that, I inevitably hear from another variety of in-denial douchebag--the one that starts saying shit like "even at .08, she put her life and the life of others in danger!!" Yeah, yeah...ever driven on not enough sleep? How about in a car that hadn't had the tire pressure checked in a few months? There are a dozen more example I could give of non-alcohol-related shit that is just as--if not more--dangerous than someone driving on .08.

Now, if she was really loaded, blowing a .20 or some shit and slurring her words like Rip Torn, I'd say she fucked up. Some things are just inexcusably stupid (though I dare say that some of the people lobbing shit at her now have probably hit the road with a .20 or higher themselves at some point in their lives). But it's fucking hysterical, reactionary shit to start calling someone out for a .08, or even a .10, unless you're the most ultra-responsible, always hyper-alert-and-driving-a-totally-tuned-car grandma driver (in which case, you're a total freak and you probably have weird anal issues).

The best part of Eli's post is at the end, when the point is made about a lack of transit options. Unless you live and drink in the same neighborhood, every time, your options are currently:

1) Cab there and back, which depending on where you live can run you $50 or more.

2) Take a bus there and cab/bus back, which cuts cost but requires up to (and beyond) an additonal hour of time (plus a lot more hassle).

3) Find a non-drinking buddy to be your personal chauffeur.

3) Drive, and pray.

Guess which option most people choose? It's rational behavior, given the options, to drive after drinking. THAT is a way bigger problem than anything Venus did.

One more thing: Why don't they have "double-headed" cabs in this town? The kind that drive both you AND your car home? Just that would take a fair number of drunks off the road. But I guess it's easier to keep judging and punishing people instead of providing better options for them.

Posted by Matthew | October 19, 2007 2:21 PM

Good point, Matthew.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 19, 2007 2:29 PM

And sorry about the typos in that last happens when I'm venting.

Posted by Matthew | October 19, 2007 2:35 PM

21. I'm sure someone who lost their loved ones to a drunk driver would get a kick out of you calling them a 'douchebag' and living in 'denial' for calling Venus out... but I can look past that for now.

It goes beyond the simple act of drunk driving. She sped badly and couldn't stay in her lane, then lied to the officer when she got caught. This is about her not just driving drunk, but showing terrible judgment in the process.

And I guess we can add Will to the 'hypocrites looking the other way and spewing denial because it's Venus Velasquez' list.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2007 2:38 PM

Thanks for the sanity check, Matthew.

Posted by kid icarus | October 19, 2007 2:41 PM

Driving while tired isn't illegal, Matthew, but you can still be pulled over, ticketed, and even arrested for driving recklessly. That said, I live in the city, am a young, broke college student, and can afford a cab ride home, especially when I think about it a bit and either plan ahead and split it with friends or drink somewhere where a cab ride is cheap to get back home from (downtown to UD at 2am is about $15 for me). To say that one can't both be a normal, social person and go out and not avoid drunken driving is just stupid. I drink. Often. But I don't drive drunk. It's not that fucking hard if you're thoughtful.

Which is why I have problems with Venus. Eli's article becomes comically dumb when he tries to tie this in to mass transit, but if you ignore the last four paragraphs it's the best commentary I've yet read about the scandal: it shows a serious lack of political savvy. She's got three weeks to go, the ballots drop today, a high-profile drinking-related scandal happened a week ago, and she can't think to call a fucking cab? That's just fucking idiotic. She should be in full-on campaign mode - every fucking thought is going to revolve around GOTV, fundraising, messaging, etc - but wasn't able to think about the costs a DUI would have? That's troubling in the extreme, as it means she was either beyond hammered and *couldn't* think about it, or just as bad means she isn't being serious.

Posted by Juris | October 19, 2007 2:43 PM

Also, since we're going on tangents and all, the big issue here is not just that she did it, but that she's currently running for city council, a situation where, despite all the hypocritical transgressions that go down as a politician, she is supposed to be held to a higher character standard. And here she caught in the act of stooping as low as your average frat/sorority pledge.

And we're supposed to look the other way and vote for her in November? Because Bruce Harrell is a big-interest puppet? (Like Venus is not, but that's a whole other issue)

This whole debate hasn't just shown us a lot about Venus' character, but it's shown us a lot about the likes of ECB, Meinert, Will and otehr apologists. It shows that there's two sets of standards that they hold people to, and which one you face depends on how much they like you.

Well done, folks. Well done like true winners at life.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2007 2:44 PM

i'm not sure what is more stupid - the contrived suggestion about mass transit (i'm a transit fan too but... c'mon, let's be serious here...) or venus velazquez. transit or not, she's an idiot for doing what she did - you can't be too careful when you're running for public office.

too bad.

Posted by kinkos | October 19, 2007 2:44 PM

Matthew: Really insightful and interesting post.

Many people drive drunk every day. Many of the high horse comments expressing shock... SHOCK... strike me as unrealistic.

I've driven home after a house party several times. I've ridden home with someone else who has been drinking after a house party several times.

This past August my cousin rode home with a friend from a house party. The driver had several tickets for speeding and reckless driving in his past. He had a habit of driving too fast. Everyone knew it.

So when the road he was on terminated at a T intersection, the combination of speed and alcohol sent the car straight into a tree. There is no indication that he attempted to brake.

My cousin was in the passenger seat, and a third passenger was in the back seat. The driver managed to only kill my cousin and the third passenger. He survived.

The force of the impact literally split the car lengthwise. My cousin broke nearly every bone in his body. Even though he was an organ donor, not a single organ in his body could be given to someone in need. Not even his eyes.

The passenger in back did not die instantly. He was found by the homeowner who was awoken by the sound of the impact. He was hanging half in and half out of the car. He bled to death and died at the scene.

My cousin Andy and his friend Josh were unlucky. They were unlucky because this kid Tom killed them doing something that you, I, and most everyone else has done--drive drunk or ride with a drunk.

So while I agree that the holier than thou attitude is not cool, Venus is the luckiest fucking person on the planet that she's not in jail facing manslaughter charges for killing her passenger or an innocent bystander.

Drunk driving is not socially acceptable. It is not "normal". And it shouldn't be excused, qualified, spun, or made light of by saying that it's because we don't have mass transit.

This. Shit. Kills.

End of fucking story.

Posted by nothing left | October 19, 2007 2:45 PM

First off, Gomez, are you not aware of how police reports--especially those of DUI cases--are rather exaggerated and designed to make the driver look bad? If you read my DUI arrest report, you'd think I was a drunken asshole, but I can assure you I was not. They design them in such a way to maximize convictions. Anyone with a ticky-tack DUI (and we are legion) knows this. You trust them way too much. Maybe she was mostly going 40 in a 30, and just touched 50 for a half a second going down a hill. Maybe she left the lane avoiding something in the road, or just drifted for a second like even sober people sometimes do when they're bored, or tired, or whatever.

But anyway...nobody is saying drunk driving is a good thing to do. It's stupid. But when you look at the options available, it's absolutely inevitable that it will happen. Nobody thinks they're going to be the one that kills somebody while driving drunk. Which means most everybody will still drive drunk. You can try and guilt people out of it, but it's not going to make a damn bit of difference. Do you want to solve the problem, or just demonize everybody?

And where's the "I lost my son to a driver whose car wasn't in good driving condition, so let's lock people up for having low tire pressure" crowd? Or the "I lost my wife to a tired driver who had to get up too early for work after a bad night's sleep, so let's lock up sleepy people" crowd? Isn't it just as important to drive a road-worthy vehicle and be well-rested as it is to be sober?

Please. Stop the hypocrisy, the hysteria and the selective rage, and let's try to find an actual, workable solution.

Posted by Matthew | October 19, 2007 2:59 PM

I have a great solution: don't elect someone who acts as stupid as Venus did.

Venus can learn from this and change, but rewarding her with a city council election sends a horrible message and only validates her actions. She should clean up her act and try again in a few years.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2007 3:01 PM

nothing left FTW. Well put.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | October 19, 2007 3:04 PM

Is Venus's challenger really that bad? WTF Stranger.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | October 19, 2007 3:06 PM

She shoulda have ridden her bike home only! When drunkz drive carz they become suicide bomberz, only worse! If no train fine, but should have free yellows bikez (like Francia! Or Portandia!) for all of us! Even city counzil candidatez and their drunk friendz!

Posted by Franzine | October 19, 2007 3:06 PM

I totally agree with Matthew. Venus only had 2 drinks. She's 5'02". As a woman who's 5'03", I understand how alcohol can sneak up on you without even making you feel drunk. Was it stupid for Venus to be drinking at all without planning ahead? Obviously. But at the same time, it's not like she was at a bar chugging beers. She had 2 drinks, with dinner. She drove because she didn't realize she was drunk. If people vote against her with a "holier than thou" attitude, I guess they've never made mistakes in their lives (or never gotten caught). I personally would rather have a city council member who makes good decisions for this city than an idiot who didn't drive drunk during his campaign. I'm sure Venus's mistake is punishing her. Do we all want to let Bruce Harrell punish us?

Posted by Megan | October 19, 2007 3:18 PM

Eli, as D. Parvaz said, Venus' behavior wasn't "risk-taking," it was reckless. Even if you excuse driving under the influence on absentee-mail day, 50 in a 30 under the influence is much worse. If you are buzzed and have any sense, you drive very carefully. However, if you drive way over the speed limit after drinking, it shows you've been drinking so much you have lost any judgment, or that your judgment is very bad in the first place.

Now, I don't think a DUI disqualifies you, but under the circumstances, why would I vote for someone who Gary Harts when Bruce Harrell seems decent enough? I agree that Harrell hasn't been an impressive campaigner, but he's got a solid resume, and hasn't shown the tendency to self-destruct.

Jane Hague and her reaction to her DUI arrest (as well as the fact she lied on her King County Elections app - where has that story gone to?) is even worse. I'd even vote for Richard Pope to get rid of her, but I don't live in that district, so we'll have to hope they don't condone mean drunks in Bellevue.

Posted by Ebenezer | October 19, 2007 3:31 PM

Matthew @30... For the record, the entire stretch of Market Street in Ballard where VV was observed and stopped by SPD is FLAT AS CAN BE. No hills.

It is also a very wide street, with two traffic lanes in each direction, plus a parking lane on each side of the street, so technically, a six-lane road.

It is ALSO a VERY HEAVY PEDESTRIAN area, populated with younger out-on-the town hipsters (if Ballard has acheived that status yet), as well as OLD PEOPLE WHO CAN'T JUMP OUT OF THE WAY VERY QUICKLY.

Venus was endangering both herself, her staff, and the citizenry she so badly wants now to represent.

Not the best way to win votes.

Posted by Friend of Bill's | October 19, 2007 3:31 PM

Well put Eli; that's exactly what I have been thinking.

Posted by Will in 98103 | October 19, 2007 3:40 PM

She has a kid, right?

So had a car or a bus been on the other side of that yellow double line and the impact killed Venus and/or her passenger, what would her kid think when she gets older.

That mama was a brassy risk taker?

That mama did something that lots of people do?

That mama drove drunk when it wasn't politically expedient?

Or would she think that mama is dead.

Or would she think that mama is in jail because her passenger is dead.

Stop the hypocrisy, the hysteria and the selective rage, and let's try to find an actual, workable solution.

There is no sorta-kinda-maybe here. You put your life on the line every time you drive drunk. Whether you get lucky once, twice, or hundreds of times, you only end up dead once to lose it all.

And you know it's the family that has to pick up the pieces.

Anecdote: My uncle and cousin went to the morgue to ID Andy's body.

They had his body covered with a blanket, with only his left arm and face uncovered.

My cousin recounted it thus:

Alan walked over to Andy and held his hand.

He said, "Yep. Cold." As if to confirm the death.

"I cut your umbilical cord."

A few days later, rumor around the family was that Alan had a small zip lock bag in his pocket with some of Andy's ashes.

So yeah. Quit the hysteria. This isn't that big of a deal.

Posted by nothing left | October 19, 2007 3:43 PM

Hmmm, to get emotional about this I think anyone who gets into a car while drunk is a piece of shit. (I have had two friends killed by drunk drivers). So no way will I vote for her at this point.

But the mass transit option that was mentioned I totally agree with. If we had reliable transit around the clock she would have had options. (Anyone else irritated by the commercials on TV that encourage you to take a cab or BUS when you are drunk? What fucking bus are you going to take at 2am Saturday morning???)

Still, she could have called a cab and she is still a piece of shit who takes the same "risks" that George Bush takes.

Posted by Just Me (The Official Ignored Commentator on Slog!) | October 19, 2007 3:58 PM

BTW, by "risks" I mean the same level of risks that Bush would take.

Posted by Just Me (The Official Ignored Commentator on Slog!) | October 19, 2007 4:01 PM

wtf?!?! i can handle, "V fucked up, but i think she'll still do a good job...' i can't stand this, "we all make mistakes -- we all drive drunk."


first, no, we all don't drive drunk. and so what if the police exaggerated a report (which i believe they do). in these cases, they have laws to back them up... such as breathalizers (of if you skip one it clearly spelled out repercussions).

we have strick penalties on ticky-tack DUI's because people -- like matthew here -- continue to believe it is not a big deal. hello? it is a big deal. get that through your heads.

you can still like her, vote for her, forgive her, or whatever. just don't try to tell me it's not a serious fuck up.

Posted by infrequent | October 19, 2007 4:21 PM

You mean like trying to use the same lies about WMD and al-Qaeda on Iran, another country that actually has killed more al-Qaeda than we ever have?

Like what the MSM (especially the Washington Post and NY Times) are trying to faithfully regurgitate for the White House today and yesterday?

Is that what you mean @41?

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 19, 2007 4:25 PM

uh, i do agree with matthew on one thing: when you get all worked up, your typo rate also increases.

Posted by infrequent | October 19, 2007 4:28 PM

I don't know from Velaquez. Up until a few weeks ago, I had never seen her and thought she was a drag queen or something. So believe me when I say I have no agenda on this issue.

But let me throw this out there: Is there any reason the cops might be gunning for her, and would have arrested her on a trumped up DUI charge? Back in Omaha, they do crap like that all the time. They took down a good progressive mayor by trailing one of his kids and arresting him for DUI right before the election. It was later thrown out of court.

Then again, the Omaha police also kill black people in jail and call it suicide, and nobody questions it. If you do, they call you a liberal, which is their new word for communist, which was their new word for witch. They're pretty stupid there.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | October 19, 2007 4:34 PM

42. Another note on the 'possible exaggeration' theory... you have to be driving erratically for a cop to pull your ass over in the first place, whether speeding or swerving or both.

That the cop made it a point to mention both indicates both had happened, which indicates the cop had observed both. Let's not play the 'cop made it all up' conspiracy card. Why would a cop waste his time and go out of his way to fabricate a drunk driving charge?

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2007 4:50 PM

well, i would like to be clear: i hate it when police lie or exaggerate because they feel it makes it more likely they will get a conviction. that is injustice. you should be able to convict based on the actual evidence or not at all.

because in some cases, the accused has no recourse to defend themselves.

when pulled over for drunk driving, however, YOU DO. it's not he said/he said. only, valazquez refused her opportunity (the breathalizer).

Posted by infrequent | October 19, 2007 4:57 PM

The Stranger: unwilling to endorse a drunken train ride home because someone somewhere on the Eastside might be able to take an unnecessary car ride down I-405.

Posted by JW | October 19, 2007 5:18 PM

Gomez, you hit the nail on the head. As drunk-driving busts go, this one is probably middle-of-the-road (given the seriousness of the act). But for her to continue running now just confirms her total lack of political judgment. Yes, nothing tragic happened, luckily, and she seems contrite for now. But she needs to pull out of the race, get out of the spotlight, and maybe try again in a couple of election cycles. It's the only politically sound move she can make at this point.

Oh, and to commend her for being "lucky" is beyond contemptible. The only "lucky" people here are any pedestrians or drivers along her route home that night.

Posted by laterite | October 19, 2007 5:26 PM

The train argument is a stretch, but the city council COULD take hundreds of drunks a week off the street by raising the cap on the number of cabs. Did you know NYC has 13,000? Seattle has 667, and the cap hasn't been raised for years.

Why don't those genuises behind the 10 cents a cup for daycare or whatever get behind a similar liquor tax to subsidize cab rides to provide the earnings a larger fleet of drivers will need to earn a living?

Posted by Some Jerk | October 19, 2007 5:46 PM

I would not be averse to supporting Venus in future elections, should she learn something from this and take time to grow from it as a person.

But as of right now, to continue along is in bad taste at absolute best. She is not painting a positive image in asking for our vote after such a poor display of judgment.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2007 5:51 PM


Posted by kid icarus | October 19, 2007 6:17 PM

Gomez: I am curious about the strange split-personality positions you seem to hold re cops in general and SPD in particular.

Over the past couple of years I've seen you make numerous references to the racism of the SPD and how they target blacks.

I've also seen you make references to how the cops won't do their jobs and arrest people (esp/the thug wannabes in the UD).

You also make references to the fact that police don't arrest people unless they're guilty of something. And @ 46 you say: "you have to be driving erratically for a cop to pull your ass over in the first place, whether speeding or swerving or both."

Sorry, but that last is flat out bullshit. Having been stopped by the police numerous times for no reason other than stereotyping/profiling, I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the civilian rather than the cop.

And cops (SPD in particular) are notorious for lying in their police report. Just see the brouhaha earlier this year where a drugstore videotape totally contradicted the written police report.

Posted by gnossos | October 19, 2007 10:14 PM

Because I'm being objective, and judging situations on a case by case basis instead of just relying exclusively on typecasts?

Posted by Gomez | October 20, 2007 12:41 AM

seems as though the blogosphere is swinging in Venus' favor. In addition to the stranger still supporting Venus, Metroblogging seattle,, and are both coming out accepting Venus' apology and supporting her.

Check out the Metroblogging link for a great example of why Venus is still the better candidate.

Posted by Meinert | October 20, 2007 1:05 AM

Meinhert - you are grasping at straws and a bad spin doctor.

I have been reading all the blogs and comments sites, my take is that comments are running 8 to 1 AGAINST Venus.

As has been the case on SLOG, the comments are running against Venus with fervor. What the Stranger does is incidental, the story encompassed the whole city. And trust me, most of the city does not read the Stranger and many do not know it exists.

Seattle voters do not like drunk drivers. You can try to paper over the facts all you want, she made a big mistake and will not be elected. I filled out my ballot this evening and it was easy to vote for Harrell, and I really was previously undecided in this race.

As they say, toast.

Posted by lee ann wong | October 20, 2007 3:38 AM

@55: Sorry, Dave, but simply writing something doesn't make it true. Venus is getting zero love across the blog spectrum and her campaign is in bad trouble. Just the facts, man.

Posted by J.R. | October 20, 2007 8:36 AM

I can let Venus pass on the alcohol issue because sometimes people can drive with a higher alcohol blood level.

But I can't forgive reckless driving.

My mother has been hit by a car going too fast. She almost died.
My brother had been hit by a car going too fast. He almost died.
I had been hit by a car going too fast - but I got off okay.

It pisses me off when people race down streets without regard to life.

Posted by patrick | October 20, 2007 9:48 AM

@56 and 57, go to the links I posted and read them and you will see different.

People are not excusing Venus driving drunk for sure, but they are accepting her apology and refocusing on the issues, and when that happens Venus shines.

Talking about this and the Burgess CWA thing at home this morning, thinking there is a possibility that the bad press Burgess got from his CWA work actually ended up working in his favor as it shed light on the race and made people familiar with each candidate. When people looked closely at Burgess and Della, they saw Burgess as the obvious choice. This seems to be happening here as well.

A DUI is a very bad thing, no excuses, but as the story sheds light on the race, Venus comes out looking like the real intelligent progressive in race with specific policies on real issues, while Harrell still can't seem to be pinned down, likely because he either doesn't have actual well thought out positions or because he leans right and his actual positions would be offensive to most seattle voters. The Metroblogging review of the west seattle debate between Venus and Harrell highlights this point. Check it out.

Posted by Meinert | October 20, 2007 10:49 AM

She blew .115, y\'all.

So assuming she was drinking for 3 hours (her event ended at like 8:30, right? and she got pulled over at 11:30?), and assuming she weighs 120 lbs, in order to get a BAC between .11 and .12 she would have to drink:

6 gin and tonics


approx 6.5 12 oz beers


5 margaritas


approx 3.5 dry martinis


3 doubles on the rocks

Posted by dewey | October 20, 2007 1:47 PM

She blew .115, y\'all.

So assuming she was drinking for 3 hours (her event ended at like 8:30, right? and she got pulled over at 11:30?), and assuming she weighs 120 lbs, in order to get a BAC between .11 and .12 she would have to drink:

6 gin and tonics


approx 6.5 12 oz beers


5 margaritas


approx 3.5 dry martinis


3 doubles on the rocks

Posted by dewey | October 20, 2007 1:48 PM

Excerpts from the PI account:

After the hearing, Velazquez apologized to her family, supporters and the voters - and said she still wants to serve on the city council. "I made a mistake and I'm sorry," she said.

She accepted responsibility for driving Wednesday night and not taking a taxi.

The City Attorney's office asked for $1,500 in bail. But Judge Adam Eisenberg rejected that request, as well as ones for an ignition device on her vehicle and an electronic monitoring device.

But Eisneberg prohibited her from consuming alcohol or drugs as long as her case remains active. She also must take an alcohol breath test if a police officer asks her to do so, he said.

Velazquez on Friday went to a state-certified agency, which found that she does not have an alcohol problem, her attorney Bill Bowman said.

After she was pulled over on Wednesday, a portable breath test showed that she had an alcohol level of 0.115, Bowman said after the hearing.

But the technology used with the portable machine, he said, often has higher readings than the device used at a police station. She declined to take a breath test at the police station.

The difference, Bowman said, is that the portable machine measures molecules in a person's lungs, while a device at a station screens molecules in the mouth.

Also, evidence from portable machines is not used in court, Bowman said. But an officer can use it for guidance at the scene.

"She is saying that the correct choice would have not been to drive at all," Bowman said. "She takes the blame for that."

Posted by Brown | October 20, 2007 2:11 PM

From the Times

The Seattle Police Officers' Guild and Seattle Fire Fighters Union Local 27 on Friday say they still support her candidacy.

Ryan Ellis, president of the firefighters union, was at dinner with Velázquez the night she was arrested. Ellis said she didn't look impaired, but he left the restaurant before Velázquez.

"We're not changing our support in any way, shape or form," Ellis said. "We originally supported her for her stance on public safety and that's what we are continuing to support her for."

Denis Hayes, the president of The Bullitt Foundation who gave Velázquez a personal endorsement, said, "If I never voted for a political candidate who had driven after having two drinks, I suspect I would probably have never voted in my life." He will continue to support her, but added, "I expect her to exercise better judgment in the future."

Laura Kohn, executive director for the New School Foundation who gave Velázquez her personal endorsement, said, "What I'm hearing is that Venus is acknowledging that she's made a mistake and she's taking it very seriously. Because of all that, I don't have concerns about it. If she had been in denial or fighting it — in any way minimizing it — it would be a problem for me, but she's addressing it responsibly."

Posted by Brown | October 20, 2007 3:43 PM

I don\'t have concerns about it. If she had been in denial or fighting it — in any way minimizing it — it would be a problem for me, but she\'s addressing it responsibly

Pleading not guilty is fighting it. The responsible thing to do would be to plead guilty. If she\'s not guilty, then there is no reason she should have taken a cab. You don\'t say you should have taken a cab if you\'re sober. You say you should have taken a cab if you shouldn\'t have been driving because you were legally drunk. Which she was. So I think by Laura Kohn\'s own logic, I can\'t vote for her.

Posted by not guilty! | October 20, 2007 4:53 PM

Venus has a Masters in Social Work but she is NOT licensed as a clinical social worker. (Don't you wonder why?) She can lie her way through a test that shows if she has a problem with alcohol or drugs. She is spinning her lies as we post comments. Seattle should vote in Bruce Harrell because he is not a divisive person. He obviously is more mature and uses better judgement. If you have money, family and friends --- you have no excuse to drive in a car after one drink or two drinks.

Posted by MaryNotRhoda | October 21, 2007 8:42 AM

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