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Morning Fizz: They couldn't give a straight answer

Caffeinated News & Gossip starring: Last night's 36th District debate, Greg Nickels, Chris Hansen, and Dow Constantine's schedule.


1. We hosted a debate last night in the 36th District (Ballard, Queen Anne) for the candidates jockeying to fill retiring state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson's (D-36, Ballard) seat. We'll post a link to video later today.

In the meantime, here are a couple of highlights from the lightning round of "Yes"/"No"/"Waffle" questions (we supplied Eggo waffles for candidates to hold up if they couldn't give a straight answer).

Seattle Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton was the only candidate among the five who answered "Yes" when we asked if they would have voted the same way as Rep. Dickerson (and the other rep from the 36th, Rep. Reuven Carlyle) who voted in favor of Republican state Sen. Joe Zarelli's pension reform bill — a Republican must-have "reform" bill in the budget deal that limited state employee retirement benefits.

Progressive Majority Executive Director Noel Frame was the only one who answered "No" when we asked if the candidates would accept an endorsement from Stand for Children — the hardline education reform group. The question caused a bit of kerfuffle: Frame questioned Brett Phillips's "Yes" answer because, she said to him, she heard he wasn't going to interview with the group. Phillips corrected that he was.

Frame added that she had gotten the sole recommendation (no official endorsement yet) from the Seattle Education Association, the local teachers' union, foes of Stand for Children.

In a waffle-y moment, Frame attempted to cozy up to the reformist agenda by saying she was pro teacher evaluations, but fell short of the reformist position by saying evaluations should not be a "significant" part of personnel decisions.

The question that brought out the most waffles: Do you support the current arena proposal—which could have a huge negative impact on Key Arena, which is in the 36th District? Only Tarleton said she did not support the proposal.

2. The 43rd District Democrats (Capitol Hill, Wallingford) made a batch of primary endorsements on Tuesday night — mostly in King County Superioir Court judge races and in the sheriff's race (John Urquhart got it), but there was a bit of news: hometown candidate former Mayor Greg Nickels lost out to former Gov. Chris Gregoire aide Kathleen Drew in the contest for secretary of state. (Both candidates were there.)

The third Democrat in the race, state Sen. Jim Kastama (D-25, Puyallup), infamous with Democrats these days for siding with the GOP in the budget coup, wasn't even nominated.

3. Chris Hansen, the San Francisco hedge-fund manager who has proposed up to $290 million on a new NBA (and possibly NHL) arena in SoDo, stands to net more than half a billion dollars on Friday's Facebook IPO, Forbes magazine reports. Hansen's firm, Valiant Capital Management, owns 36.3 million shares in Facebook. According to Forbes, "At $35 per share, the top range of Facebook’s IPO pricing, Valiant’s Facebook stock would be worth $1.27 billion. Valiant probably paid $500 million for the shares."

4. According to a response to a Crosscut public disclosure request, King County Executive Dow Constantine, who acknowledged having an affair with a local communications consultant after we acquired a detailed, emotional email the woman sent Constantine last week, blocked off all eight hours of his work schedule Friday, May 11 — the date the woman said she had spent time with Constantine at her house. ("Yesterday ... you held me...")

The schedule, which marks all day Friday as "DO NOT SCHEDULE," does not say where Constantine was during those eight hours. Constantine's political consultant Christian Sinderman explains the unaccounted eight hours this way: "Because so many evening and weekend events and meetings are part of the job, it's not uncommon to take all or part of a personal day, typically a Friday, to partly make up for all the overflow of official scheduling."

Sinderman adds: "Many elected officials follow a similar schedule, taking blocs of time to compensate for all the personal time lost to official obligations."

Erica C. Barnett was the news editor for Seattle's online news site, PubliCola, where she covered city hall, transportation, land use, and state politics. She had also been the news editor and city hall columnist for The Stranger. In 2007, the King County Municipal League named Erica its Government Affairs Reporter of the year. She can be reached at erica.barnett@crosscut.com.

Award-winning journalist Josh Feit founded and edited the online news site PubliCola, where he also did double duty as the state house reporter, covering the legislature in Olympia. Before that, for nine years, he was the news editor and political columnist at Seattle's alt-weekly, The Stranger. He can be reached at josh.feit@crosscut.com.


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Comments:

Posted Thu, May 17, 8:58 a.m. Inappropriate

Dow Constantine will piss on your graves, you vile little jackals.

ivan

Posted Thu, May 17, 9:17 a.m. Inappropriate

Everyone seems to be piling on anyone who covers this story demanding to know why this is news. But there was another story when Constantine ran for KC Exec involving a female staffer at the King County Council where he served.

Now this...so why is it NOT news? What if he ran for congress and this all came out in the final weeks of the election? Would all the angry readers be so upset at the reporters then, or at Constantine?

Posted Thu, May 17, 9:24 a.m. Inappropriate

Dow & McGinn are already scuttling the tepid recommendation of the Stadium Review Panel:

"Prior to the first contribution, several things need to have occurred, including: ...Both NBA and NHL teams are secured, with 30-year non-relocation agreements"---Stadium Review Panel

http://tinyurl.com/6qyb8x2

Now we have a little scandal to divert our attention.

Godwin

Posted Thu, May 17, 9:30 a.m. Inappropriate

Thank you for pointing out that Chris Hansen is rich enough that he can buy his own damn stadium IN CASH. He doesn't need to put the city or county's tax rating on the line.

Trevor

Posted Thu, May 17, 9:31 a.m. Inappropriate

I mean bond rating...

Trevor

Posted Thu, May 17, 9:39 a.m. Inappropriate

I wonder what became of the waffles. Did the progressives throw the food in the garbage after using it as cutesy prop?

BlueLight

Posted Thu, May 17, 9:40 a.m. Inappropriate

Seconding ivan and Trevor.

Posted Thu, May 17, 10:17 a.m. Inappropriate

On Number Three, the fact that an Investment Fund he manages stands to make between $500-$800Million, in no way means HE stands to make that much money.

Brier Dudley broke it down Monday:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018198636_brier14.html

Posted Thu, May 17, 1:15 p.m. Inappropriate

And probably NOT I-91 compliant:

http://www.fieldofschemes.com/news/archives/2012/05/4953_seattle_arena_p_1.html

Godwin

Posted Thu, May 17, 5:18 p.m. Inappropriate

You know that I-91 compliance won't matter to the "progressives" who run the show here.

NotFan

Posted Thu, May 17, 10:37 a.m. Inappropriate

On the Dow thing. I LIKE pretty much everything he has done at the County. I like it a lot. What has been presented so far on this matter will in no way effect my vote for him, but I don't understand why everyone is up in arms on it being reported. That is reporters do. They investigate, find out what happened, report it to us, then we decide what to do with that information. I hope they dig further, figure out that there is nothing more to the story than two adults having sex *GASP* then we move on. But if there is something more to it, then I would like to know that too.

Posted Thu, May 17, noon Inappropriate

It's about honesty, fidelity, and decency. If the person cannot honor commmitments to the most personal aspect in their life, as in a committed relationship, why should we expect them to do the same in public office? A flaw in one area translates to a flaw in another. Dow is not going to be faithful to the public while being unfaithful to his partner - that's what is at stake.

So it is not about "private behavior between consenting adults". It's about taking off from work, that you are being paid handsomely for, to sleep around with someone else's wife, while cheating on your life partner". What else does he indulge in in his relativist's world of cheap and easily disposed of morals?

Posted Thu, May 17, 12:15 p.m. Inappropriate

Even if this was any of your business, which it isn't, do you actually know that anyone's cheated? Open marrages are not uncommon these days.

Posted Thu, May 17, 2:50 p.m. Inappropriate

It's a non-story and will have no effect on Constantine's credibility, ability to be county exec, or future campaigns. People with your sanctimonious scold opinion aren't likely to vote for a liberal D anyway.

louploup

Posted Thu, May 17, 5:20 p.m. Inappropriate

I don't have a problem with Constantine getting some tail on the side; it's what men do, and have always done. Of course, now that I've put it that way, I'm sure I can expect some sanctimonious "progressive" scolding forthwith. So, in the interest of equal time, let me also say that women have indulged in skankery forever, too.

Yep, wherever ya look, sex has a way of rearing its sweaty head. Especially in politics, where the art of screwin' someone is, in the end, all they really know.

NotFan

Posted Thu, May 17, 5:41 p.m. Inappropriate

Not "sanctimony" but I'll keep calling you on your repeated and stupid misuse of "progressive."

louploup

Posted Thu, May 17, 5:53 p.m. Inappropriate

I do realize that "progressives" don't like to be mocked. After all, they are serious, superior, and better than everyone else, which entitles them to be thin-skinned and nasty towards anyone who regards them as hypocritical phonies. So be it.

NotFan

Posted Thu, May 17, 6:59 p.m. Inappropriate

notFan... hello, kettle this is pot calling.... "conservatives" don't like to be mocked either. In fact I can't think of a group of sane people who enjoy it.. maybe the folks at the correspondents dinner enjoy it, they do appear to be laughing on the outside.

GaryP

Posted Fri, May 18, 6:32 a.m. Inappropriate

GaryP, of course the wingnuts don't like to be mocked. But they mock the "progressives," and the "progressives" mock the wingnuts. I mock all of you, because as far as I'm concerned you are two sides of the same coin.

You are no different than Sarah Palin. Not any smarter, not any more truthful, not any better in any way. And the more it kills you to hear it, the more I'll say it. Why? Because you "progressives" need to hear it.

You need to be reminded at every turn that the largest group of people is "independents," and that this group is growing all the time. You need to understand what utter dolts and hypocrites the "progressives" are -- that you're not respectable, and therefore deserve no respect.

So here I am to remind you, and to throw your hypocrisy in your face. You don't like it? Good. I don't want you to like it.

NotFan

Posted Fri, May 18, 9:35 a.m. Inappropriate

The problem with your narrative is that it doesn't describe reality very well. Can you construct a description of the economic, social, and religious interests in the U.S. without (inaccurately) using words in quotes? And that actually describes various alignments and interests? Mock all you want; with or without unnecessarily nasty humor you still sound ignorant until you can present a framework that makes sense to the readers.

louploup

Posted Fri, May 18, 9:42 a.m. Inappropriate

Lol! It appears that "people who over use quotes" don't like to be mocked as well!

GaryP

Posted Fri, May 18, 12:46 p.m. Inappropriate

GaryP, I don't have any problem when you "progressives" engage in your usual ad hominems. I expect it. The only issue I ever have with it is when you crew then turns around and acts so wounded when you encounter an opponent who calls your "progressives" out for exactly what you are, rather than the superior beings you think you are.

NotFan

Posted Fri, May 18, 2:39 p.m. Inappropriate

Better to be labeled a "progressive" than it's opposite, "regressive."

Got news for you, we aren't going back to the good old days that never were.

GaryP

Posted Fri, May 18, 5:10 p.m. Inappropriate

I am not labeling you or your kind a progressive. I am calling you "progressives." The quotes convey sarcasm. I don't begin to believe your claims to be progressive; rather, I consider your crowd to be "progressives," which is to say hypocritical phonies.

NotFan

Posted Thu, May 17, 1:21 p.m. Inappropriate

Thanks to Erica and Josh for hosting a lively forum in the 36th last night. We wonder if you caught Tarleton's waffling on two important port issues:

First she explained she opposed the Sells/Kohl-Welles bill (HB2395) to give port truck drivers access to state benefits like workers comp insurance because of a legal conflict with federal deregulation from the 80's.

You might have asked her: Then why do you not support the federal Clean Ports Act to fix that problematic 30-year old federal loophole? That bill is sponsored by Rep. Smith, Inslee, and McDermott but Tarleton killed an affirmative port resolution in 2010.

Later in the night Tarleton said she'd vote no on Upthegrove's airport workers' job retention bill (HB1832), even though she wrote a letter in 2011 supporting it. Then she said she'd vote yes on HB2395, the port truck drivers' rights bill she said she opposed just an hour earlier.

It's these kind of inconsistencies, plus her support for cutting retirements for state workers, that make voters in the 36th ask if Tarleton really is the progressive middle-class champion she claims to be.

Posted Thu, May 17, 2:03 p.m. Inappropriate

Cause it's apples and oranges, as was explained to you in a lengthy thread on Publicola. The Teamsters' strategy was a loser to begin with, but they don't want to take the blame. Now over 100 of those guys are out of work.

Now a stadium will put even more truckers out of work, but Teamsters local 117 got a sweet deal in Hansen's MOU, didn't they? I guess that is admission that the truck drivers never really mattered, that drivers would not have gotten teamster jobs at the Port anyhow, and you just want to shift the blame.

When a union organizes employers instead of employees it's about opportunities and not jobs.

Godwin

Posted Thu, May 17, 2:45 p.m. Inappropriate

Item 2: And Kastama is the most qualified for the position...

louploup

Posted Thu, May 17, 3:38 p.m. Inappropriate

On the question "will you accept the endorsement of Stand for Children," I voted NO. I did not even submit a questionnaire, so wouldn't be considered for endorsement. My sign must have been lost between Brett's and Evan's, who both said YES.

On the pension reform question: For those who were there, you know it was pretty hard to hear those questions. My vote was meant to be NO. In the confusion, I grabbed the wrong sign. My bad.

But I'm the only one who voted NO on the stadium proposal? That's surprising - since it's the biggest risk to the future of living-wage union jobs and industrial lands in Seattle. What's progressive and environmentally responsible about building a new sports complex/NBA shopping mall in SoDo when Key Arena and Seattle Center in the 36th District are already publicly owned and need a new future? Tens of thousands of union maritime jobs are at stake in the Lower Duwamish manufacturing industrial center. What's so progressive about giving a sweetheart deal to a hedge fund manager, anyway?

Gael Tarleton

Posted Thu, May 17, 5:56 p.m. Inappropriate

Gael Tarleton, for what it's worth, I'd support you. It sounds like you might know the difference between a typical Seattle "progressive" and the real thing. I figure this will make you flatly unacceptable to the Publicola types.

NotFan

Posted Thu, May 17, 4:30 p.m. Inappropriate

"I LIKE pretty much everything he has done at the County" West Seattle Foot Ferry? Talk about a waste of County resources.

The problem is that given the current make-up of the Council and the Executives office, none of the taxpayers of King County will ever know if we have an "Aaron Reardon" problem with Dow. If you are walking by the King County Courthouse you can probably detect the hint of burning hard drives and records being destroyed. You can never find what you are not looking for.

Cameron

Posted Thu, May 17, 9:33 p.m. Inappropriate

I must say, this is one of the most entertaining comment threads I've ever read on Crosscut. The only thing that would make it better would be crossrip trying to tie the discussion to his oft-repeated Sound Transit rant.

Bravo, Mr. Brewster for bringing Josh and Erica on board! Crosscut's audience should increase tremendously...

orino

Posted Thu, May 17, 11:29 p.m. Inappropriate

I certainly never thought I'd read "getting some tail on the side" and "indulged in skankery forever" in a Crosscut comment thread, that's for sure!

Posted Fri, May 18, 5:36 p.m. Inappropriate

Come on, this is the West. Or are we to call those ladies who worked in Pioneer Square "seamstresses" rather than the, um, "progressives" they actually were?

NotFan

Posted Sat, May 19, 1:02 p.m. Inappropriate

Seriously do you not have any other term to call someone with whom you disagree than a "progressive?" Come on use your imagination, it seems to run wild with conspiracy theories on every other subject.

GaryP

Posted Sat, May 19, 3:49 p.m. Inappropriate

If this were a different blog, I might call someone a "wingnut." But we don't seem to have any wingnuts here. If and when they appear, you'll see what I have to say about that side of the ledger.

Unlike you and the rest of the "progressives," I don't have some tender ego interest involved. I'm independent. Not a right-winger, not a left-winger. It drives "progressives" and wingnuts crazy when they encounter a voter who thinks for himself. They don't know how to handle it.

NotFan

Posted Thu, May 17, 11:33 p.m. Inappropriate

Nickels couldn't love from the 43rd? Interesting.
Kastama couldn't get love from the 43rd? Expected.

Stand on the Children a political hot potato? Good.

UncleJesse

Posted Fri, May 18, 7:54 a.m. Inappropriate

Sinderman's explanation of the '8 hour full day block off' of Constantine's calendar/schedule really is a full story by itself and could lead to many more stories of how the electeds manipulate and self-perpetuate. And, does Ms. Tarleton still draw a salary and benefit package from UW? That position was always puzzling to me.

animalal

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