Comment on amusing and not-so-amusing local happenings in this early August season:
- The mail invitation from Sen. Patty Murray's campaign which, on the envelope, invites local Democrats "to lunch with President Barak Obama!" at a fundraiser on Tuesday, Aug. 17 at the Westin Hotel.
It's doubtful that the misspelling of the president's name will have any effect on the level of attendance at the fundraiser, which offers individual tickets at $500 and a "gold captain" status for those who will raise $10,000 for the event.
- The joint campaigning formally announced by Republican Senate candidates Clint Didier and Paul Akers in their efforrts against fellow Republican Dino Rossi and Democrat Murray. This unprecedented arrangement positions the two as blasting Rossi and Murray while, at the same time, campaigning against each other. Both Didier and Akers have shown surprising polling strength in matchups against both Rossi and Murray. But the presence of both GOP insurgents on the primary ballot is likely to make Rossi the GOP nominee.
If either Didier or Akers had withdrawn his candidacy, the other could well have upset Rossi. Rookie mistakes.
- The continuing obduracy of Mayor Mike McGinn in trying to scuttle the state Highway 99 tunnel. Backed on the Seattle City Council only by his loyal sideman, Mike O'Brien, McGinn has tried a variety of tactics to stop the tunnel while, at the same time, suggesting he would let it go forward under certain conditions. His interest in a fresh ballot measure on the prospective Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement only serves to further delay a decision which should have been made years ago.
The viaduct has presented a public-safety hazard since the Nisqually quake nearly a decade ago. The council, for its part, should stop dancing with the mayor and simply order a tunnel go-ahead. McGinn, well into his mayoral term, seems unable to grasp the difference between campaigning and actual governance. Thus far in his term, we've gotten too much of the former and almost none of the latter.