Monday, September 16, 2013

Sonics Fans, the point it moot

The Seattle Times noted in a graphic way which candidates for mayor of Seattle thought the "NBA arena in SoDo" was a "Good idea". Both Ed Murray and Mike McGinn's faces appear in the "Good idea" section.

(Photo: Seattle Times)

[self-editing note 1: the fact that there isn't a clip on YouTube of Jesse Jackson on SNL doing "the point is moot" skit from Weekend Update is just wrong. Seriously, I'm cheesed off about it, because I could really use it right now.]
Both candidates for mayor in the general election, Ed Murray and Mike McGinn, support the arena. It's a non-factor in the general election. But, I believe Peter Steinbrueck's robotic repeating his opposition to the arena at every opportunity in the primary election was not only weird, but just not a popular message for him. A pathetic attempt to split the "I'm a Sonics fan" message from "pull the plug" on the arena was self-conflicting and weak. 
I don't See Ed Murray flip-flopping on the arena just to pick up votes that are simply not going to Mike McGinn anyway. 
What I think did Peter Steinbrueck in was the same issue this election as in 2009, Tim Ceis cornered the market on the folks most likely to donate to his campaign. The difference this go round was that I think Steinbrueck had been paid up front by the Port as a lobbyist to keep pounding that pathetic message. The first big weekend Murray released the bulk of his fund raising numbers Peter's goose was cooked. 
Campaigns are about money, it's true. Money matters. giving something of value also matters. People volunteering is the same as paying people to phone bank if the net result is that the calls were made.
Peter Steinbrueck's numbers peaked early, and he didn't have the cash or volunteers to do anything. So he flapped his gums about the arena (because all the people that live in warehouses would be drawn to his nimby message?). 
About as many people care about dead warehouses as do about the potential blocked views of one cube of people living in SLU by a proposal to build another big cube in SLU. And that was the other paid-to-talk issue Peter Steinbrueck had, his selective myopathy when it comes to density and blocked views. Seriously, he was in one giant cube of condos while complaining about those views being blocked by another giant cube of condos. Pathetic.

Nobody gives a shit about either f those "issues" to give Peter Steinbrueck campaign money in an individual level on the scale that could get him anywhere in this race. The old school media whores gave him every opportunity to parade his father's corps, and placed way to much value in name recognition in a port city that turns over 1/3 of its population pretty damn quickly. People love Victor Steinbrueck park, and Pike Place Market, but those are old and closed issues. Peter attempting to make the area and large buildings in SLU as campaign talking points were so sad and pathetic. Those are not enticing positions for Ed Murray to take on as his own.
Back to the arena.
It's hard to measure what the political influence the arena was among the general public, or how many Sonics/sports fans "moved the needle" in favor of Mike McGinn. The most help anybody got directly from Sonics fans, other than embracing the positive message about the arena to the point that it it was a non-issue, was actually volunteering at Mike McGinn's campaign. They could have been darn near anybody, but they weren't, they were motivated Soncs fans. I think that's where they made any kind of measurable difference. The rest is guesswork.
The top two candidates support the arena in the general election. Sonics fans, find another reason to vote for or against a candidate. The arena isn't the issue that turns this race one way or another, basic competence is.
I'm voting for Ed Murray for a variety of other reasons, and he supports the arena, and the arena process. At no point will you find me volunteering for the McGinn campaign.
[self editing note 2: I started writing this before the KING-TV poll was released showing McGinn getting crushed by Ed Murray.
Below is a photo from from the NJ Boardwalk fire, somehow it fits this story, you decide where.]

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, Wa

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