Monday Jolt: Community Council coup and McKenna misstep

The day's winners and losers.
Crosscut archive image.

Rob McKenna

The day's winners and losers.

Today's winner: Opponents of corner stores on Capitol Hill. 

Capitol Hill residents opposed to a "regulatory reform" proposal that would allow more shops, restaurants, and home-based businesses in some low- and mid-rise buildings within a quarter-mile of light rail stations on Capitol Hill turned out in force at last week's Capitol Hill Community Council meeting, pushing through a resolution opposing the zoning changes, a bit of a coup for the anti-development faction that usually fights to a draw with supporters of urbanization.

Capitol Hill Seattle has a copy of the resolution, which refers to the proposal as a "commercialization" plan and says the residents "are deeply concerned about the proposal to bring commercial uses into the heart of our neighborhood." They argue that with empty storefronts on neighborhood arterials, it makes little sense to allow commercial development in neighborhoods.

None of the leaders of the opposition to the reform proposal, including Seattle Gay News editor George Bakan and city council central staffer Rebecca Herzfeld (a Capitol Hill resident who has recused herself from staffing the proposal) returned calls today. But community council vice president Michael Kent, a rare supporter of the proposal on the council, said that at previous meetings, council members had been split more or less evenly. The unanimous vote took place while Kent was out of town. 

"About 30 people turned out in opposition to the regulatory reform proposal, and community member Dave Horn presented the resolution," Kent says. "Since the Community Council's bylaws permit all members of our community to vote, and since so many people attended the meeting to voice their opposition to the proposal, the resolution passed."

Today's Loser: Rob McKenna. 

Here are the key paragraphs in AP reporter Mike Baker's story on Republican Attorney General, and GOP gubernatorial candidate McKenna today: 

An Associated Press review of thousands of pages of official McKenna documents stored at the King County Archives identified hundreds of records that have no place in government files: fundraising lists, candidate strategy ideas, a voided campaign check and a packet titled "Rob McKenna For Attorney General." And there are strong indications that McKenna himself was at least aware of how his District 6 office mixed campaign and government documents.  

In another memo, Goodman wrote to "District Six Staff" in January 2003 about items for discussion at a staff meeting. While the agenda included many council issues, such as a newsletter to constituents and an update on solid waste matters, it also scheduled staff to discuss "grassroots fundraising and candidate meetings" as well as McKenna's re-election kickoff scheduled for March of that year.

That re-election event is prominent in his files. His folders include lists of attendees, a map of where supporters would sit and a minute-by-minute schedule of events.

Another memo for a staff meeting a year prior referenced work needed for a specific fundraiser. Another asks staff members what needs to be done to get a fundraiser going for McKenna. Another memo from Goodman tells District 6 staff that an "action item" is related to the 2004 campaign for governor: "what is our next step in finding our candidate?"

Read the whole thing, including McKenna's unconvincing response to Baker — "that many of the documents were likely left accidentally in the office by someone doing outside campaign work "— here.


Please support independent local news for all.

We rely on donations from readers like you to sustain Crosscut's in-depth reporting on issues critical to the PNW.


About the Authors & Contributors