Polling poison arrows
A new poll shows challenger Ed Murray cruising along well ahead of Mayor Mike McGinn, according to a buzz-generating Publicola report. In a survey done for Murray supporters, the Washington Conservation Voters, Murray leads by a whopping 52-to-28. Among younger votes, generally thought to be a McGinn strength, he still runs away with 53-to-20, although the sample of the 19- to 29-year-old crowd was pretty thin. On The Slog, Dominic Holden essentially declares the race over: "Murray's got enough money to steamroll through to November at this point no matter what happens."
McGinn's campaign is singing a different tune. In a Slog comment, campaign adviser John Wyble (he confirmed that it's him) says: "On the mayor's side, our calling shows us down 7 [percent]. We have three debates, tv ads and the best ground game in the history of Seattle. This will be close." McGinn is indeed one heck of a debater. And how conclusive are polls when — as Publicola carefully notes — they are done by a group with a clear interest in the outcome? And what about the difficulties of reaching young voters who move a lot and have cell phones? — J.C.
Murray tracks voters on coal trains
Candidate Murray went out of his way Tuesday to portray himself as being opposed to a proposed coal port in Bellingham — an issue that worries a lot of environmentalists and Seattle voters. Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com calls it "a makeup day" for Murray, who had little to say about the environment in a vision speech last week. And the speech contained no reference to the coal port. — J.C.
Another nasty shutdown trickledown
The federal shutdown has forced the state Employment Security Bureau to lay off more than 400 employees, according to The Seattle Times. A spokesperson says that it is unlikely the laid off workers, or 450 others whose hours have been reduced, will receive any back pay. On its website, the Bureau says it will be able to make weekly unemployment payments for at least a few more weeks. — J.C.
City Light: We've got jobs
Seattle City Light will need to replace 52 percent of its workforce in the next five years, as aging employees continue to retire. Most of the retirees are lineworkers, who install and repair power lines and distribution equipment. City Light’s General Manager and CEO Jorge Carrasco mentioned the utility’s need to find new workers during a budget presentation before the City Council on Tuesday.
After completing an apprenticeship, City Light’s journey-level lineworkers earn $42 per hour. “A lot of the young people who used to be prime candidates for this kind of work,” said City Light spokesman Scott Thomsen, “are being drawn into programming and IT jobs.” Linework can be a tough sell because it often involves working outdoors — around high voltage electricity. "You’re not going to be sitting behind a desk," Thomsen said. — B.L.
Gaming a Boeing bid process?
The owner of an Everett aerospace-parts firm has been charged with mail fraud and wire fraud in an alleged attempt to secure contracts with Boeing, according to a Herald report. The indictment charges that Jeffrey Lavelle of Mukilteo, founder of J.L. Manufacturing, paid a former Boeing defense division procurement officer based in St. Louis for confidential bid history and pricing information. Lavelle received 7 purchase orders worth more than $2 million. Two other people were also charged. — J.C.
Stanford v. Seattle
Stanford football coach David Shaw today accused his University of Washington counterpart Steve Sarkisian of making "unprofessional" remarks, which suggested that Stanford players had faked injuries to slow the pace of the schools' game on Saturday. Sarkisian stood by his comments, according to the Seattle Times. Former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, now running the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll can't stomach each other (though that goes back to Carroll's University of Southern California days). So, Stanford and Seattle: Can't we be West Coast about this, do yoga together and get along when the game is done? — J.C.
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