Monday, December 31, 2012

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Predictions 2013

This is my fourth year making predictions. What I have learned from previous years is that the future is difficult to predict. I try to be as specific as possible, and hopefully entertaining.
I will re-use some predictions that were ahead of their time.

I called 2012 the "Year of Buyer's Remorse". It just looked to me that a few public figures were waging battle that they may be missing why the became public figures to begin with. I got 6 of 11 actual predictions correct.

2013 will be the year of people looking back at 2012 growing tired of opponents of losing campaigns still arguing as if they had not lost. the I'm calling 2013 the Year of Moving On.

Here we go:

#1 - Re-run from 2012 (some things take longer than a year to happen): Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn will lose the 2013 election in 2012.
As I said in 2012 - I know it looks like it is already over, but he still has parts of a fragile coelition that he has yet to break apart. He's got a basketball Jones, but doing the right thing for the right reasons isn't good enough for the rabid sports haters that have pooled up as one of McGinn's groups of support.

And here is why...

#2 - Peter Steinbrueck will strip enough of McGinn's lesser Seattle and rabid sports haters to sink both their hopes to make it past the Seattle mayoral primary election. At this point, Steinbrueck is saying that he is running for mayor, but the sad truth is that this is just a further extension of his lobbying activity for the Port of Seattle.

This is Peter Steinbrueck doing his version of Mike McGinn's 2009 anti-tunnel rhetoric:
Steinbrueck, who was paid by the Port of Seattle to oppose the deal—which has now been endorsed by both the City Council and the King County Council—said he would "honor the process," but indicated that he would use the process to explore better locations. - Publicola, And Steinbrueck Makes Six
Seriously, 2013 is the Year of Moving On. You lost the 2013 election when you didn't run in 2009.

#3 - Seattle will elect Ed Murray as Mayor of Seattle

So, why does Ed Murray win? Because it's the Year of Moving On.
"I’m not here to run against Mike McGinn or any particular candidate; I’m running because there are too many internal pissing matches in politics in Seattle," Murray said. "I think that our styles are very different. That’s one of the reasons I’m running." - Publicola, Ed Murray's Running for Mayor

#4 - not a prediction, but a thought people should consider, Tim Burgess should be the Chief of Police in Seattle.

#5 - The Washington State Senate Republicans majority discovers the most difficult opposition to overcome is from House Republicans.

Another rerun from 2011:
#6 - State Legislature will grant counties the power and authority to raise taxes to pay for transit by popular vote, adding an increase to the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax limit, and property tax limit, counties and cities could use.

#7 - State Legislature will grant counties the power and authority to raise taxes for health and human services.

#8 - Rural health districts will have a near-death experience (see #5).

#9 - A NBA franchise will be identified as the new Super Sonics (no insider info here, just a straight prediction).

The color for 2013 will be a saffron gold color.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Time to move?

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre plan to make schools in the US safer ends on star date 5730.2

The rest of us should go ahead and grab a towel and move to a planet circling Tau Ceti. It's 4.3 the mass of earth, so, it might have extra bathrooms.

Fuck it, let's move.

Endorsements | Peter Steinbrueck for Seattle Mayor - (aka the "shit list")

Hey, look who endorsed that political whore Peter Steinbrueck, it's the Nick Licata.

Sonics fan shit list

When is Brian Robinson going to stop turning the other cheek with Nick Licata?

Seriously, Brian, I don't want to hear how he "listened" to you. Who cares if he "listened" to you, what did he do? He has worked against you, and still is.

Nick, are you listening?

Don't you think Nick looks tired?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lobbyist whore: Peter Steinbrueck Is Running for Mayor

As long as he can stuff his pockets with lobbying money and trade off the corpse of his father then he's got a shot and going head to head for a battle for third place with McGinn.

Electing city council by districts, like the county does, would be more democratic. I like democracy, we should try it, rather than this coalition of neighborhood breakfast clubs bullshit. This is a city, lets try acting like it.

There is no yesteryear nostalgia here. He has been paid to run by lobbyist money, it's his job.

Another hurdle for Steinbrueck is being branded with the "L" word—not a lesbian, but a lobbyist. He contends that his lobbying positions are consistent with his personal convictions. "I do some lobbying, but it's a tiny part of what I do," he explains. Steinbrueck has done work recently on behalf of the Port of Seattle to oppose the arena in Sodo.

And he is paid lobbyist for:

In addition, Steinbrueck has recently taken work with the Washington State Department of Transportation (as a historic architect for settlement issues along the deep-bore tunnel alignment), the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (for waterfront design), a University District group (advocating that the future light rail station have a park atop of it instead of a building), and Virginia Mason Medical Center (helping with its land-use planning). And finally, he's working on behalf of the South Lake Union Community Coalition, which is lobbying the city to restrict a proposal for 400-foot towers in South Lake Union.

Peter Steinbrueck Is Running for Mayor by Dominic Holden - Seattle Features - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper

He's battling for third place with McGinn. Tim Burgess will lock up the opposing side to McGinn on the Seattle Police Department to take second, and Ed Murray is leading them all in fund raising and political skill.

Btw, the doubters about the power of pissed off basketball fans might want to ask Greg Nickles how many of those votes he lost on his way to losing the primary to two nobodies.
In the 2013 primary, with this many people running, every niche group matters, including the thousands of basketball fans.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Op-ed: Don’t call the state Senate’s Majority Coalition Caucus bipartisan | Opinion | The Seattle Times

The Seattle Times gets corrected.

The Seattle Times editorial page applauded the move as a necessary check against the Democratic House and governor [“State coalition caucus a promising change,” Opinion, Dec. 12]. This argument looks flimsy after Washington voters overwhelmingly selected Democrats for president, senator, a majority of our congressional delegation, governor, all statewide offices except one, and majorities in the state House and Senate.

The fact is, though, the public expects us to work together to move the state forward, no matter who is in charge. This is especially true in the Senate, a diverse body with an unstable balancing point that shifts from issue to issue. After the election, majority Democrats knew that the Senate would descend into dysfunction if we tried to govern with a strict 25-vote strategy, the bare minimum number of votes necessary. We knew we needed to work from a much broader base, 30 to 35 votes. So we proposed a more-inclusive, less-partisan organizing model than has ever existed before, including a bipartisan education finance committee, and invited dialogue with Republicans about our proposal.
. . .
A strict 25-senator majority changing longstanding Senate rules to consolidate their hold on power will surely invite mischief and abuse in the future, and create unintended negative consequences for the public.

You could call that many things. Just don’t call it bipartisan.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Seattle Times: 2 Dems join GOP in state Senate ‘coup,’ say parties will split power

Kick Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon out of the Democratic Caucus, let the Republicans come up with their partisan budget in the Senate, the Dems in the House, reconcile the two budgets in the inevitable Special Session.

Two conservative Democratic state senators announced today they will join with Senate Republicans to form a “majority coalition caucus” in which they say power will more or less be split between the two parties.

The coup, which has been rumored since Republicans gained a seat in the Senate in last month’s election, would install one of the conservative Democrats, former Republican Rodney Tom of Bellevue, as the body’s majority leader and the other, Tim Sheldon of Potlach, as the president pro tempore.

Seattle Times: 2 Dems join GOP in state Senate ‘coup,’ say parties will split power

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Seattle Times: Legislature's Ed Murray wants to run for Seattle mayor

Ed Murray officially becomes one of the top 3 mayoral candidates.

That's the race right there, Murray, Burgess, McGinn, in that order.

Between the two candidates not McGinn, Murray and Burgess, Murray is most likely going to be able to pull supporters from McGinn. That's Murray's advantage.

In an interview earlier this week, Murray said he plans to reach out during the next few months to neighborhood groups, as well as business and civic leaders to gauge support. "Do I think a good number of people will come and help and support, yes, but, man, I cannot take it for granted," Murray said. "Burgess is a solid council member. McGinn is the last person I would write off. This is the guy who defeated an incumbent mayor. I have some work to do before I can have a full campaign for mayor."
It's not like Murray would be starting from scratch or suffers from a lack of name recognition, given the high-profile issues he's been in the middle of, including transportation and gay marriage.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Sen. DeMint resigning to head conservative group | Politics | The Seattle Times

A rat leaves a sinking ship.

DeMint's positions have earned him rankings as one of the most conservative senators. He supported partially privatizing Social Security and installing a flat sales tax to replace income taxes. He once suggested that gays and unwed pregnant women should not teach in public schools.

He's politically dead, and nobody has the guts to say it.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tim Burgess Is Running for Mayor by Dominic Holden - Seattle News - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper

This sums it up:
“I like Tim,” Council Member Tom Rasmussen told The Stranger earlier this year. “He does his homework… He would make a good mayor.”

True. Tim Burgess will be painted as "conservative", which he is. In contrast to McGinn, that's likely going to be a positive attribute.

Good luck to you, Tim.
Free advice, not everybody will like all of your policies, but an electable majority will like who you are. Be yourself.

Tim Burgess Is Running for Mayor by Dominic Holden - Seattle News - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper

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Mike Baker

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

From POLITICO - Kyl: Blame the media for the do-nothing Congress

Jon Kyl is a fucking moron.

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Kyl: Blame the media for the do-nothing Congress


By JUANA SUMMERS | 11/25/2012 10:34 AM EST

Reporters are partially to blame for the dismal job approval ratings of Congress, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) says, attributing some of the gridlock and hyper-partisanship on the Hill to the 24-hour news cycle. 'For one thing, the media now have a lot of time …


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From POLITICO - GOP warns of shutdown over filibuster

The Senate is broken, and here is why:
Republicans say eliminating filibusters - even on a piecemeal basis - will undermine the fundamental underpinnings of the Senate as a body designed to operate on consensus and protect the minority party, making the body run like the House, where the majority rules with an iron fist.

See, they have it all wrong. The Senate was designed to protect the minority of the population by giving each state, regardless of population, two senators.
It wasn't designed to protect a minority of senators.

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GOP warns of shutdown over filibuster


By MANU RAJU | 11/25/2012 01:02 PM EST

A partisan war is brewing that could bring the government to a screeching halt as early as January - and no, it's not over the fiscal cliff. It's all about the filibuster. Democrats are threatening to change filibuster rules, in what will surely prompt a f…


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The Seattle Times: McGinn missteps beckon crowd of potential rivals

It's the early list of potential mayoral candidates for Seattle.

Among the possible candidates are: state Sen. Ed Murray; three current or former City Council members, Tim Burgess, Bruce Harrell and Peter Steinbrueck; former County Executive Ron Sims; commercial real-estate broker Charlie Staadecker; business owner and engineering project manager Albert Shen; Republican Port Commissioner Bill Bryant; and perhaps the most experienced of all, the former mayor of both Bellevue and Bremerton, Cary Bozeman.

The Seattle Times: McGinn missteps beckon crowd of potential rivals

Here is my preliminary ranking, some folks are unfamiliar to me right now.

1. Ed Murray, state Senator,
2. Tim Burgess, current City Council member,
3. Bruce Harrell, current City Council member,
4. Ron Sims, former County Executive
5 (a tie of unknowns to me). Charlie Staadecker, commercial real-estate broker,
5. Albert Shen; business owner and engineering project manager.

Finally, a parade of jackasses in no particular order:
Bill Bryant, Republican Port Commissioner (the court case the Longshoreman's Union has against the city's arena efforts will drag this gasbag into the light of public examination during the discovery phase in a way that might cost him his current job).
Cary Bozeman, the former mayor of both Bellevue and Bremerton (the fact that the Seattle Times gives this person any kind of consideration with occasional news stories, quotes, and opinion pieces, should be a giant red flag right there).
Peter Steinbrueck, former City Council member (see Bill Bryant, see also his NASCAR-like lobbying business. He's an entitled brat and a tool.).

Where does Mike McGinn fit in all this?
One of the top 6 will emerge as the top contender and frontrunner. this will comprise 1/3 of the primary poll (it's Ed Murray's to lose).

McGinn is1/3 of the primary contenders.

The group of jackasses at the end will get enough in-kind contributions parading as "news" from the Seattle Times to AstroTurf one of them to the level of "also ran" status, the final 1/3.

That's what it looks like.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Seattle Times: Some Texans want to divorce U.S.

And all this time I was trying to figure out how to get them to leave. It turns out they want to leave on their own. Win-win.

Sales of bumper stickers reading "Secede" — one for $2, or three for $5 — have increased In East Texas, a Republican official sent an email newsletter saying it was time for Texas and Vermont to each "go her own way in peace" and sign a free-trade agreement among the states.

Well, yes, it would be peaceful, but, no free trade agreement for you, not right away. You have to earn that kind of relationship. In the meantime, good luck fending off the Mexican drug cartels.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Friday, November 23, 2012

The Seattle Times: GOP may strengthen firewall in state Senate

"Democratic Sens. Rodney Tom of Bellevue and Tim Sheldon of Potlatch have both signaled in recent days they aren't going to endorse their party's leadership to control the chamber."

If Rodney Tom doesn't support the Democratic Caucus in the Washington State Senate then maybe he should go back to being a Republican.

In the end, it might just be better to have a clear competition of ideas between the Democrats in the House and the Rodney Tom supported Republicans.

Put Rodney Tom on an island and make him choose.

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Mike Baker

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Seattle City Council passes the arena proposal

About Nick Licata. It's as if he had not read the MOU or attended any of the council meetings.

It doesn't matter if Chris Hansen over paid for property. The city will buy the property at a price determined by an independant estimate, and not whatever Hansen paid for it.

And lastly, Nick set a high bar for somebody to jump over in order to partner with the city. Hansen exceeded that threshold and Nick voted no anyway.
Not a particularly honorable thing to do.

The Seattle Times chose to focus on the two "no" votes.

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Mike Baker

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Latest Arena Developments - CORRECTION

** Corrected from earlier e-mail with updated committee meeting information **
You have written in the past regarding the proposed sports arena. I am writing to provide you with an update. 
At its meeting earlier today, the Seattle City Council voted 6 to 2 to approve the three-party Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Seattle, King County, and ArenaCo, the investment group headed up by Chris Hansen. 
Because the Seattle City Council made changes to the MOU previously approved by the King County Council, the newly amended MOU must return to the King County Council for discussion and vote. 
The King County Council's Budget and Fiscal Management Committee anticipates taking up the MOU at a special meeting on Tuesday, October 2, beginning at 9:30 a.m. 
I was pleased to vote in support of the initial MOU when it was before the King County Council. I now look forward to reviewing the changes made by the Seattle City Council and am optimistic that the King County Council will vote to approve these changes. 
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to contact me in the future at (206) 296-1001 or You can also find me on Facebook.
Bob Ferguson 
King County Councilmember 
Metropolitan King County Council, District 1 
516 3rd Avenue, Room 1200 
Seattle, WA 98104 
ph: (206) 296-1001 | fx: (206) 296-0198  
For more information:  
Visit our website to view the latest District 1 eNews

Friday, September 14, 2012

Why Maloof Family Could Not Be Majority Owner of a Team in Seattle

The revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Chris Hansen, City of Seattle, and King County, has a restriction on how much debt can be placed against the value of the NBA franchise.

MOU, page 14:
First Right to Distributions.

Further, to satisfy any default in (A) ArenaCo’s obligations under the Arena Use Agreement and (B) the NBA Team’s obligations under the non-relocation agreement required by paragraph 21.d, the City and County will also be entitled to receive the first distributions of any proceeds from any sale of the NBA Team, subject only to repayment of any obligations of the NBA Team related to any debt of the NBA Team to the NBA or other lenders approved by the NBA that are secured by the NBA franchise and other assets of the NBA Team up to the $125 million cap plus the amount of Public Financing used to fund the SODO Transportation Infrastructure Fund in the Second Installment up to an additional $25 million on such debt currently allowed under applicable NBA rules (“NBA Team Secured Debt Obligations”). The total NBA Team Secured Debt Obligations shall not exceed $150 million. ArenaCo Parent shall covenant not to enter into any agreement that would interfere with City's and County's rights to receive distributions of the proceeds of sale of the NBA Team payable to City and County as and when provided for in this MOU, and the NBA Team shall covenant not to enter into any agreement granting any lien, security interest or other encumbrance on the NBA Team's assets in excess of the NBA Team Secured Obligations. The Parties also agree to explore further ways to secure the obligations of ArenaCo, ArenaCo Parent and the NBA Team subject to NBA requirements, rules, regulations and agreements. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, if the NBA revises its rules to allow NBA teams to borrow in excess of the current limit of $150 million that may be secured by the NBA franchise and other assets of NBA teams, then the NBA Team will be entitled to increase the amount of the NBA Team Secured Debt Obligations; provided, however, that the NBA Team will limit the amount of the NBA Team Secured Debt Obligations that will be senior to the right of the City and County to receive distributions of any proceeds from any sale of the NBA Team to the lesser of: (A) the maximum amount of NBA Team Secured Debt Obligations that is then allowed under NBA rules, or (B) 40% of the then "fair market value" ("FMV") of the NBA Team. The FMV of the NBA Team will be as mutually agreed upon in good faith by the Parties at that time; provided, however that if the Parties are unable to agree upon the FMV of the NBA Team at that time, then the FMV of the NBA Team will be determined by a sports industry recognized appraiser with experience in valuing NBA teams selected by the mutual agreement of the Parties pursuant to a customary valuation process to be specified in the Umbrella Agreement; but provided further, however, that if the NBA Team Secured Debt increase of the NBA Team is being sought in connection with the acquisition of the NBA Team on an arm’s-length basis by an unrelated party, then the FMV will be equal to the actual all-in acquisition price of the NBA


I just don't see Chris Hansen paying the Maloof family $250 million dollars so he can be a minority owner in his own building, AND be unable to borrow against that equity because the majority franchise owner has the rest of the team in debt.

Not in a million years.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

'We got it all' in arena deal, council member says | Local News | The Seattle Times

Just who "we" are has yet to be seen. Of the city council that are on the Government Performance and Finance Committee at the press conference yesterday the only one absent was Nick Licata.
Chair: Tim Burgess
Vice-Chair: Nick Licata
Member: Sally J. Clark
Alternate: Mike O'Brien

It will be interesting to see what he has to say about the revised proposal. I anticipate that he will vote in favor, but Nick can't help but stay as close to both sides of this (and many) proposals. What will be the qualifiers used when he casts his vote? Remember, a portion of Licata's supporters are the "no, no matter what" folks.

Some people really hate professional sports. So, it was unlikely that Licata would want to be seen as a cheerleader. But at the end of the day, if the city benefits, Licata will vote in favor of the proposal.

Nick Licata will be fine, Richard Conlin, not so much.
Councilman Conlin took the "no" position early, too early. There may be no political value in voting "yes" no matter how good the proposal is now.

This is an unusually public process, and people will not forget, even if they are being encouraged to just move on.

Burgess said after the news conference that he was skeptical of the deal when it was presented to the City Council in May, and grew more skeptical as he delved into it.
But eventually, he said, he realized "there's hidden opportunity here. Chris Hansen becomes the catalyst to do other things," like make transportation improvements in Sodo.
He said he's convinced there will be an arena built somewhere in the region soon, and it's better to get a direct benefit and be able to have some control over how it affects the Sodo neighborhood and KeyArena.
Asked whether there was anything the city wanted, but didn't get from Hansen, Burgess said, "Nothing. We got it all."

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Mike Baker

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Port commissioners will consider CEO’s side gig Sept. 11 | Politics Northwest | Seattle Times

Seeking an outside is what they should have done as part of their standard process.

The commission is likely to seek a second, outside opinion on whether CEO Tay Yoshitani’s position on the board is a conflict of interest, said Commission Chairwoman Gael Tarleton.

Maybe the Port wasn't in the best position, politically, ethically, and otherwise, to be picking a fight with Sonics fans.
Their problems run pretty deep, are many, are systemic.
They should have looked for a path to compromise months ago, but didn't.
They should have done a lot of things much more important than fighting an arena that has negligable impact to them.

This is not going to end well for the Port.
It's not going to end with just the CEO.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What is the Port of Seattle thinking? | Sound Economy with Jon Talton | The Seattle Times

The Port has decided that the Port CEO has complied with the Port ethics rules, so says the Port.

Insular in just this case, or is this the nature of the Port overall?
I think that independant observation of this particular instance should have been use, and possibly the entire Port.

If so much depends on the Port and they do not appear to be building their business case for the future on facts, and their internal decisions are judged by their being a law, or not, then maybe it's time the public had an independant advocate evaluate the Port.

What are the port leaders, and specifically Yoshitani, a smart and capable man, thinking? The seaport has just suffered the loss of a major portion of its container business, with the move of the Grand Alliance to Tacoma. In the dispute over the horrid conditions facing drayage truck drivers, a shameful example of the exploitation of "independent contractors," the port came off as insensitive and out of touch. Meanwhile, the Century Agenda, while a fine aspirational document, still lacks specifics about how the seaport will face growing competitive threats. Among them: the wider Panama Canal, Prince Rupert and Tacoma. Amid all this, the port chose a very public battle against the proposed Sonics arena, as if it's an "either/or" choice, rather than working constructively behind the scenes to ensure improved infrastructure and protection of industrial zoning. These challenges wouldn't seem to leave much "on his own time" time for Yoshitani to be moonlighting.

It would be harsh to wonder if Yoshitani sees disarray and dysfunction at his employer and has decided to cash in while he can. But people are wondering just that. It's time for the port to remember, as it parses "conflicts of interest," that it serves the public interest.

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Mike Baker

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Port CEO's external job in question, "We are concerned about the precedent this sets..."

Turns out, the extra job taken by Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani as a Board Member of Expediters International is in question.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Port of Seattle Email Calls Port's Job Creation Numbers "Pie in the Sky" | Slog
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 10:06:00 -0700
Subject: Proposed SODO Arena


POS, I feel, is really starting to have a major PR problem with the proposed arena.
The numbers being thrown around regarding job creation just don't have any substance and are being viewed as "pie in the sky".
You've had freight mobility issues for years because of a constrained layout.
Losing a couple of major carriers hasn't added any weight to the job creation argument.
I feel that this is a ripe opportunity for the Port to gain substantial concessions from both the City and the County regarding dedicated transportation infrastructure.
Please see if you can get a better spin on what looks like a done deal.

Regards, MB.

Yes, just put a better "spin" on those "pie in the sky" numbers and everything will be ok.

Attention Larry Phillips, you are being played for a stooge, or not (and that's worse).

Attention Richard Conlin, you are being played for a stooge, or not (and that's worse).

Both of you should recognize that more will come out because people still haven't learned that a Public entity's emails belong to the public.
You are on the wrong side of honesty, and you can't stay there for too long before somebody comes along to return the public office to the correct side of honesty.

Free advice, admit that you took an early position based on the best information you had at the time. Although the arguments were convincing, it now appears that the basis for those arguments were based on "pie in the sky" numbers.

This really is the only phase that you can save face, to any degree. Championing "pie in the sky" numbers never gets better with age, never.

Now for the unfriendly advice, your email belongs to the public too.

And note: I did not offer advice to Pete von Reichbauer, there is no good in that one.

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Mike Baker

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Port Century plan still aspirational

Fearmongering fails to hide the fact that the Port Century plan still aspirational.

Tim Ceis, Sodo-area consultant for the Seattle Department of Transportation, said the report doesn't show how the Port might meet those cargo goals.
"There's no data or analytics behind it to suggest whether it's achievable," he said Tuesday.

Port report warns of more traffic problems with proposed Sodo arena | Local News | The Seattle Times

Build the arena.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Send an Email - tell elected officials you support Sonics Arena

The King County Council has voted to move forward with Sonics Arena.

Now it's time to urge the Seattle City Council to do the same.

Tell the Seattle City Council you support bringing the Sonics and NHL to Seattle!



Clearly state your support
Tell your elected officials why you support a new Sonics Arena and how excited you are for the return of the Sonics/arrival of the NHL.

Be polite
Let your passion be heard, but keep it clean.

Include Your Street Address
That way elected officials will know you live in the area, and County Council members will know you're in their district.


1. Building the Arena will require no new taxes.

2. Local business and community leaders have endorsed the Arena.

3. One of the largest private investments for any Arena in North America — public contribution to the Arena will be fully repaid by Arena generated revenues — unprecedented taxpayer protections in place.

4. Studies show there will be a minimal effect on traffic in the area.

5. The Arena will boost the local economy.

6. The NBA will return to Seattle — and this time it will stay.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

For Sonics fans, What is fair, I think we know.

Council, oh council,
Will you find a way to get Sonics fans to inequitably pay for traffic improvements not required from Mariners, Seahawk, Sounder, and Storm fans?
I sure hope not.
I know Chris Hansen will look out for his bottom line, and the city government will look to get as much tax money as they "fairly" can.

In both cases, I'm paying for all of it. Nobody, not you, not Chris Hansen, is actually representing my interests.
At no point should Sonics fans, fans that paid for Safeco Field, and Century Link Field, have to pay one penny more in SoDo traffic mitigation than any other fan, citizen, consumer, in the Stadium District

Traffic for the Storm at Key Arena was a "benefit" worthy of compensation. Traffic in SoDo is a burden to be mitigated, as well as mitigating the burden of the Storm by having Sonics fans pay for that "fair" deal, too. The Storm was a revenue loser for Key Arena last year, everybody knows it, and it's not getting better.

This isn't a Christmas Tree to be decorated with money from my wallet.
Please be "fair" to everyone that is actually paying for this, that would be me.

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Mike Baker

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What is fair, I think we know.

The Seattle City Council is inventing a new definition of fairness, one not found in the city's lease with the Seattle Storm.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bob Ferguson: Arena Decision

[this email was sent from Bob Ferguson, King County Councilman]

I just went on the air with KJR sports talk radio's "Mitch in the Morning" and announced that I intend to vote "yes" to approve the MOU for the proposed new sports arena.


The King County Council is likely to vote this afternoon on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city of Seattle, King County, and the private investor group led by Chris

Hansen to develop a new arena. 


I will propose several amendments, including a requirement for an independent economic impact analysis prior to spending any public funds, and an amendment to ensure that the rights to the Seattle Supersonics name, memorabilia, and history always remain with the City of Seattle. These amendments are supported by Chris Hansen.


I appreciate all the feedback I have received on this important issue. Over 3000 people wrote to me with their views, nearly 300 people attended a town hall meeting I held with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien, and an overflow crowd came to testify at the joint Seattle-King County Councils meeting. 


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I greatly value all the input given to me and my colleagues.


Please feel free to contact me in the future at (206) 296-1001or You can also find me on Facebook.






Bob Ferguson 
King County Councilmember 
Metropolitan King County Council, District 1 
516 3rd Avenue, Room 1200 
Seattle, WA 98104 
ph: (206) 296-1001 | fx: (206) 296-0198  
For more information:  
Visit our website to view the latest District 1 eNews

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Big weekend for Seattle Arena efforts and hypocrisy

As reported by Tim Booth, AP Sports Reporter, the talks between the City of Seattle and arena developer Chris Hansen will be going on this weekend. The effort is to resolve some issues for Seattle early in the process, while not chasing Hansen off.

The reality of the situation is that a competing arena could get built outside of Seattle. Seattle would lose economically in a big way if that were to happen. There would be no interest and leverage by Seattle in resolving issues with Key Arena with a developer in Bellevue. Also, the substitution effect would have to local spending leave Seattle and go to Bellevue.

Support of WNBA Storm among Seattle arena issues Eds: Adds details, quotes. By TIM BOOTH AP Sports Writer SEATTLE (AP) — With the King County Council potentially taking a vote next Monday on a proposed new arena in Seattle, sticking points and possible concessions on traffic and the city's lease agreement with the Seattle Storm are building with the Seattle City Council. Seattle City Councilman Mike O'Brien told The Associated Press on Friday that city officials continue to negotiate with investor Chris Hansen over changes to a proposed deal between the city and the private ownership group. Among those issues are dealing with traffic concerns in the city's industrial SoDo neighborhood, and the possibility of having Hansen's ownership group take over the city's current annual subsidy of the Seattle Storm. The city's lease agreement with the Storm currently calls for a $300,000 payment each year from the city to the WNBA franchise as part of a revenue sharing agreement. Asked about talks on the Storm subsidy, O'Brien said: "I'm not exactly sure how that's going to fall out. That remains an issue." A spokesman for Hansen did not immediately return a message seeking comment. "Councilmembers have expressed to me that there are further concessions they are asking and if (Hansen) does not agree to those concessions we may lose this deal," said Brian Robinson, head of Arena Solution, a group supporting efforts to bring a new arena to the Seattle region. "My concern is the city will overreach in those concessions and they will lose this opportunity for the city of Seattle."
Support of WNBA Storm among Seattle arena issues

How did that go again? Oh yes, Sally Clark said in an email to me, regarding the city council exempting the Storm lease:

On Jul 1, 2012, at 1:57 PM, "Clark, Sally" wrote: The Storm history is interesting. Staff remind me that we did that as a "belt and suspenders" approach; that we didn't technically need to exempt the Storm, but chose to just in case of an odd-ball challenge to the lease. The approval of the Storm lease, negotiated to include public benefit and to recognize the condition of Key, still strikes me as different from investing in the development of a new arena. I don't believe we've put the Seattle University or Stars on Ice or other Key Arena shows through an I-91 filter.

Yes the Storm's history is interesting.

Councilmember Clark, I knew better back in 2009. Do you still think it is fair for the council to characterize the Storm lease as I-91 compliant and exempting it as simply "belt and suspenders" to keep some oddball lawsuit?

I'm the "oddball" from 2009 that challenged Tom Rasmussen to not apply a double standard by favoring the Storm over the Sonics. Here we are two years later and you are actively favoring the Storm, and their subsidy, over the Sonics by burdening them with that Storm subsidy.

The hypocrisy is nauseating.

Will any of you councilmembers be able to say that there isn't a double standard between your approach to WBOS and the approach taken with Chris Hansen?

For Key Arena, this is life and death, for Seattle, win or lose.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz: Why Liberals Should Support the Sonics | PubliCola

Mr. Pelz makes a valuable point about elitism. Basketball is an urban game that attracts a broad spectrum of people, from all over the city, and all over the world, from kids on the playground to the President of the United States.
It might not be the opera, symphony, or ballet, but it is a cooperative and athletic art for a great many people, including myself.
Please approve this arena proposal.

The article says, in part:

I love Seattle and I love liberals, but sometimes we are so politically correct that we ask the wrong questions. For instance: "What is more important, sports—or schools or libraries or health care for the poor or clean water or justice for all?" Of course sports is "less important," especially if you are asking the wrong question.

At that point we liberals get close to crossing the line from educated enlightenment to snobbery or elitism. We call for investment in the leisure- time priorities of the well-educated, but not always of working people.

As liberals, we pride ourselves in caring about people more than the right wing does. We should be  a city that respects the desires and dreams of the child who falls asleep clutching a book, as well as the child who falls asleep clutching a basketball.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Public Comment on Arena



First, thanks to the nearly 500 of you who turned out to last week's joint meeting of the County and City Councils to share your thoughts on the arena proposal with me and my  colleagues.


I wanted to update you on recent action by the County Council and make you aware of a second opportunity for public testimony coming up next week.


After nine meetings of the Budget Committee, including presentations from staff analysts and our independent expert review panel, thousands of emails and in person testimony from hundreds of community members, I moved yesterday to advance the arena proposal from my committee to the full King County Council and we voted 8-0 to do so. This means that the King County Council could vote as early as this coming Monday, July 30th.


Monday's meeting will be yet another chance for the public to share their comments directly with councilmembers. The details for that meeting are below:



King County Council Meeting

Monday, July 30th

Meeting begins 1:30pm(Estimated end time, 4:00pm)


Council Chambers, King County Courthouse

516 3rd Ave, 12th Floor

Seattle, WA 98104



Your input has been and continues to be a vital part of this process and I hope to see you Monday!





Joe McDermott

King County Councilmember, District 8


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