It's crunch time for the waterfront tunnel, with Mayor Mike McGinn showing his main political skill, learned from years of Sierra Club advocacy, which is to block a project by hammering away at the legal weak spot and putting politicians on the hot seat. And winning over an impressionable media. In the last few weeks, it's been working fairly well.
Add to this another fact of political life. McGinn is starting to look sufficiently weak in public polls that challengers are lining up. Among the names most often mentioned as challengers to McGinn in 2013: City Council members Tim Burgess, Richard Conlin, Sally Clark, and Sally Bagshaw; former councilmember Peter Steinbrueck; State Rep. Reuven Carlyle; and State Sen. Ed Murray. (Don't forget Greg Nickels, either!) The City Council members are pretty firmly committed to the deep-bore tunnel, which gives the others a good opportunity to stake out some popular, statesmanlike positions.
First out of the gate is Ed Murray,