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    The Daily Troll: Ed Murray in. Keeping pot away from megacorps. Unfiltered Kemper.

    The Seattle mayor's race gets another candidate. Marijuana lighting up legal talk. And developer Kemper Freeman Jr. takes up blogging.
    State Sen. Ed Murray

    State Sen. Ed Murray Washington Legislature

    Ed Murray running

    He wanted to do it in 2009. Now, state Sen. Ed Murray is running for mayor.

    Technically, he is only forming an exploratory committee, but as The Seattle Times noted, he announced this so-called exploratory committee at a press event before a crowd of cheering supporters.

    The reporter covering the story for the paper is Andrew Garber from their Olympia bureau, so there's a good section on how a campaign might be complicated by his legislative position, including his recent selection by Democrats to be the majority leader. Murray promises that he will focus on his duties there. And, Garber wrote:

    One of Murray's biggest fears is the Legislature could bog down, as it often does, and drag on through multiple special sessions.

    "If we're going through June and July, then, at that point, I'd have to re-evaluate. It would be very difficult for me to see how I could run," he said.

    Publicola takes more of the City Hall insider approach here in its story, which has lots of detailed quotes on hot-button issues like density, police accountability and the arena — plus a so-2011 section on the tunnel that mainly allows him to take a shot at McGinn (who shot himself in the foot over and over on that one). But there's a particularly smart ending:

    The conventional wisdom, with so many high-profile candidates lining up to run for mayor, is that McGinn is vulnerable. But Murray isn't underestimating McGinn.

    "I, for one, think that Mike McGinn is a far stronger contender than some of the chattering classes think he is," Murray concluded. "I don’t take him lightly. He did defeat an incumbent mayor. That was more than just luck. He has a significant core group of very strong supporters."

    Maria Goodloe-Johnson dies

    Just after 5 p.m., a variety of news outlets began reporting the death of former Seattle Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. KOMOnews.com linked to a South Carolina station's report that she had been sick for about a year.

    One early reaction came from former King County Executive Ron Sims, who said on Facebook: "This makes me very sad. I really liked her."

    Before coming to Seattle, she had been the first black woman to be superintendent of schools for Charleston County in South Carolina. The Seattle School Board removed her in early 2011 following a critical state audit report on financial issues. 

    Legal reefer madness

    Hoping that Big Money doesn't control the marijuana distribution field after Initiative 502 takes effect on Thursday? Olympia attorney Arthur West has got your back.

    Washington State Wire's Erik Smith reports that West has filed suit in state court, alleging that the initiative broke the state's constitutional prohibition on including more than one subject in a bill. It's a pretty technical challenge and Smith lays out reasons why supporters of the law think his challenge will flop. 

    West, though, probably speaks for a fair number of those who voted for the measure, saying he doesn't want "big corporations or drug cartels" dominating under the regulatory scheme that is supposed to be developed by the state.

    On KING5 earlier today, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg predicted the federal government will be provoked enough by the state engaging in regulation that it will go to court, with the resolution coming from the U.S. Supreme Court in about two years.

    Also on the eve of sidewalk puffery: A nice line from The Oregonian's Joseph Rose, calling Washington a "right-to-toke state." 

    Kemper Freeman, Jr.: unfiltered

    Normally it would not be news that a commercial developer has launched a website to advance his or her ideas and initiatives. But in this case that developer is Kemper Freeman, Jr. The Bellevue mall developer is arguably the Eastside’s most controversial civic leader. He may also be its most misunderstood.

    Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!


    Posted Thu, Dec 6, 6:59 a.m. Inappropriate

    One of the points in this piece is misleading:

    Freeman has strenuously fought efforts to build the East Link

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Kemper Freeman and his partners in Kemper Development Company have huge financial incentives to assist in getting Sound Transit’s East Link train line built out. If it starts operating they would become vastly richer. It would be GREAT for KDC’s property development business. The proposed light rail station at the Bellevue Transit Center would have an entrance on 110th Ave. NE near NE 6th Street. That is just a couple of blocks from the Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square properties KDC owns. The Lincoln Square office, condo and hotel properties could be developed more easily and quicker, and they would become much more valuable with a light rail station within blocks. If thousands of extra people a day were to be delivered by train to the doorstep of those properties those planned and existing KDC holdings could sell or rent for much more. Moreover, if East Link gets built out KDC also could hike the rents of the tenants in the Bellevue Square properties.

    There is no good reason for Freeman to truly oppose the East Link plan, and plenty of financial motives for him to act in sneaky ways by faking opposition to it in an effort to get it built out. Sure enough, that’s what he does.

    Here’s an essay describing how he’s been part of fake-opposition PR and legal campaigns for years that are designed to obtain good press and unjustified case law for Sound Transit:


    What Freeman actually has done -- signing the lame Statement Against for the 2008 voters guide, arguing weakly in opposition to ST2 at the roadshow stops with Nickels during the run-up to that election, directing some money to get I-1125 on the ballot, ignoring the legitimate legal claims that could derail Sound Transit and East Link in particular, and prosecuting the bogus lawsuits -- does not come close to any kind of legitimate opposition.

    If you click on that “kemperfreeman” URL and then search for the term “second bogus lawsuit” you’ll see a description of the several legitimate legal claims that someone interested in preventing WSDOT’s handover of the highway infrastructure at issue would raise. Needless to say, none of the claims Freeman raises in his lawsuits reference the key facts or controlling law underlying those legitimate claims. He just raises bogus, straw-man claims.

    The state supreme court is expected to decide soon whether to accept direct review of Freeman’s second bogus writ action, the one he brought in Kittitas County. Anyone want to discuss the ostensible “merits” of the claims Freeman brought? They are a complete joke.


    Posted Thu, Dec 6, 10:56 a.m. Inappropriate

    Anyone who actually knows Kemper would know he's most honest....says what he means. His opposition is real. He thinks it an enormous, unnecessary wawte of incredible amounts of money. One can disagree with him over long term necessities, but do not impugn his motives!


    Posted Thu, Dec 6, 7:20 p.m. Inappropriate

    I-502 would only be struck down by the Supreme Court on the ballot title and single issue rule if Tim Eyman had been its author and supporter. Left-wing initiatives get a pass.


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