Mike O'Brien, a cheerful duckling of hope on the otherwise miserable city council.
Typing this makes our fingers burn, but...
The Seattle Times already wrote everything you need to know about Council Member Mike O'Brien. He "has strayed beyond the leftward boundary of the reasonable too many times," the daily paper wrote in endorsing O'Brien's opponent, Albert Shen. But Shen—who received 58 percent of his campaign money from outside Seattle, according to city records—lost the primary by a stunning 24 points. If the Seattle Times taught us anything, it's that its suburban, brain-dead, out-of-touch editorial board is the one that's strayed beyond the rightward boundary of Seattle. And O'Brien, who has a healthy lead going into the November race, is squarely inside the city's mainstream.
O'Brien has been the most effective council member in city hall. In his freshman term, he passed a bill to ban plastic bags, thereby reducing the city's waste. He sponsored legislation that prevents incumbents from rolling over their war chests of cash from one campaign to the next, thereby giving political newcomers a better shot at being elected. He was behind a bill that allows homeless people to sleep in their cars outside churches, and he's supported paid sick leave and a bill helping people with criminal records get jobs. We even love his fuckups: O'Brien created a registry that lets us block phone-book delivery, but it was struck down in court. At least he tried.
In meetings, Shen has revealed that he's an ill-informed, anti-pot, anti-bike-lane, and anti-streetcar candidate who's fuzzy—at best—on the functions of the city council. He also says he wants the city to pass a law to arrest panhandlers. But guess what, you clueless dolt? Aggressive begging is already a criminal offense in Seattle. No wonder Shen's biggest supporters are the wankers at the Seattle Times and donors who don't even live in Seattle.