Connelly's prescription (Swallow hard, Seattle)
Political columnist Joel Connelly at seattlepi.com has pronounced that what the city (and the state) needs is a healthy dose of Republican politics, though it's more likely that the print Seattle Post-Intelligencer will start landing on doorsteps every morning again.
Connelly does makes some good points, though:
Moderates and conservatives need to be heard here. I'm not talking about the ugly, race-tinged resentment and jingoism of Fox News and talk radio, but a Main Street conservatism that blows the whistle on half-baked ideas, casts a critical eye on benefits from spending public bucks and challenges the self-protectiveness of public employee unions.
Such voices aren't likely in Seattle's 2013 election. The city's Democratic district organizations are as rigidly orthodox, in their way, as Catholic bishops recently named by the Vatican. Endorsement meetings are likely to be pander-thons. Deviant ideas will be denounced in the liberal blogosphere.
The problem with the Republican pitch for the city, though, is that the party, as constituted today and in the likely future, doesn't represent residents' values on the environment, social justice, identification with average people and more.
What Seattle needs is someone — a party, a faction, or just individual city officials — who is big-hearted in all those areas but also cranky enough to answer hard questions and ready to offend people if she or he thinks something needs to be said. Those would be nice qualities in a mayor. They are essential somewhere on City Council.
Perhaps Mr. Connelly should be drafted for a council run? That would shake up City Hall.
Likely City Hall candidacies
In the wake of Councilmember Tim Burgess' quirky mayoral declaration, the local news-osphere is looking around corners for the next candidate. The Publicola team featured former Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck telling them that he "has 'no earthshaking news to report.'" The Times picked up on that somewhat dutifully, although they wryly suggested he could be behind a Facebook page that's been set up to urge him to run.
Well, Steinbrueck may not have news to report now — because it's still November. At a post-electio party he casually told Crosscut's Eric Scigliano that he was "ready" to run and that the announcement would be in December. Scigliano's checking back with him, but here's betting that he has no earthshaking news to report. For now.
In the wake of Burgess promising an exclusive to The Stranger and then tipping a whole bunch of news folks about his run, every candidate is likely thinking carefully about their comprehensive announcement strategy.
Spouse A and Spouse B
The Seattle Weekly has been heading up reporting on marriage licenses and how they will read once marriage equality goes into effect. A Weekly posting today reports that the new language will add "spouse" as a check-box along with "bride" and "groom." And King County promised to have new forms ready for the first same-sex licenses to be issued next week.
Words matter. Speaking of which, kudos to the UW Daily for choosing to go gender in pronouns. As an editorial explains, the paper is going with "they" as a singular substitute for "he" and "she." You can argue the specifics, particularly whether we shouldn't just go with some new words (something the editorial board there favors as well for the long term), but it's a worthy effort.
It's Friday, and even in November that often means a grueling drive from one part of the Puget Sound region to the other. So maybe it's appropriate that The Herald had a midday report saying a federal decision could come down Monday on opening up Paine Field to regular airline service between Everett and other major regional or Western cities.
If offering plane service from more than one airport in a thriving metropolis sounds reasonable to you, you're just not born to be a Snohomish County politician, who mostly have been fighting this for decades. At least if it's an order from the feds, they can tell their constituents that they fought the good fight. The area lives and dies on Boeing, but doesn't want any commercial flights to mar their skies.
A dark report from Woodland Park
The Seattle Times is promoting what looks like it will be an important report on zoos and elephants, to be published in the Sunday paper. From a Times web page:
On Sunday, The Seattle Times will publish a special report on the dark side of elephant captivity. Zoos' efforts to preserve and propagate elephants have largely failed, both in Seattle and nationally.
You go, Times. The paper has a video trailer online which you can see here, seems to have made it difficult or impossible to embed (hard for even a good paper to overcome that monolithic mentality, right?), so here's an animal rights video to set the stage.
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