Here's your daily caffeinated political news and gossip.
1. Chris Hansen, the media-shy San Francisco hedge fund manager who has proposed a new basketball arena in SoDo, rolled out a promotional web site, SonicsArena.com, and says he'll hold a rally for Sonics supporters in Occidental Park in Pioneer Square on June 14.
Bringing the Sonics back to Seattle could be a major shot in the arm for Mayor Mike McGinn, whose approval rating earlier this month was just 32 percent.
So it's interesting to note who's behind the pro-arena web site: McGinn's 2009 campaign consultant, Bill Broadhead.
Broadhead says his firm, the Mercury Group, put the web site together pro bono, both "to help out our partner Bob Gogerty, who is working for Hansen" and "because we're huge basketball fans."
2. Here's some counterintuitive political analysis on the "shot in the arm" theory, though. Bringing the Sonics back to town seems like a no-brainer play for McGinn to revive his popularity. But consider: his political base, progressives, don't support public investments in corporate sports. And the people who are jazzed (besides suburban dudes who can't vote for McGinn anyway) — the downtown business community — can't stand McGinn no matter what he does.
So, what's the win for McGinn? There really isn't one. Which makes Fizz, basketball fans ourselves, kind of like the guy for once.
3. The Cascade Bicycle Club, which prompted loud pushback from Sound Transit after it sent out an email blast accusing the agency of doing a "backroom deal" to push a "$40 million, 900-car parking garage" (Sound Transit claims the garage won't cost anywhere near $40 million and may be only 600 spaces), doubled down yesterday, accusing the agency in a second email blast of hatching a "backroom deal" that's even "worse than we thought."
Noting that Sound Transit itself estimates that 90 percent of Northgate riders will eventually get to the new light rail station by walking, biking, or on transit, the letter accuses the agency of proposing to spend "$40 million of limited taxpayer dollars on a 900-stall parking garage, while tossing a few scraps at making it easier for people to safely access the station on bike, foot or transit.
Then, tossing in a little Occupy rhetoric for good measure, the letter continues: "Instead of working to figure out how they can provide the 90 percent of people who will access the station on bike, foot or transit with safe and convenient ways to get there, Sound Transit might spend tens of millions of dollars benefiting the 10 percent at the expense of everyone else."
"That's just not fair."
The Sound Transit board will hold a meeting on the Northgate proposal in North Seattle on June 4.
4. Learn not to trust the Fizz: Defying our (perhaps cynical) prediction that he would have trouble raising $10,000 in $10 contributions by the end of May, City Councilmember Mike O'Brien announced yesterday that with two days to go, he was just $750 short of his goal. O'Brien looked to fill the gap at a neighborhood happy hour in the Central District last night.
5. Yesterday's Fizz had a rumor-y item about the anti-gay marriage campaign. Proponents of R-74, the pro-gay marriage campaign, said the anti side was shy on its signature goal (they need 120,000 valid signatures by June 6) and had resorted to paid signature gathering.
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