Tag Archives: Ed Murray

Seattle’s homosexual mayor resigns, finally, after fifth allegation of sexual abuse

Ed Murray with husband Michael Shiosaki

Both Dr. Eowyn and I have chronicled the sexual abuse allegations of embattled Seattle mayor (tomorrow he’s a former mayor) Ed Murray.

In April, Dr. Eowyn reported that Murray (demorat) was accused of having sexually molested a 15-year-old boy in the 1980s. At the time, Murray would have been in his early 30s.

From her blog post:

“Lewis Kamb and Jim Brunner report for Seattle Times that on April 6, 2017, a 46-year-old man with the initials D.H., a resident of Kent, Washington, filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court, claiming that Ed Murray had “raped and molested him” over several years, beginning in 1986 when the man was a 15-year-old crack-cocaine addicted high-school dropout. Murray gave the teen payments of $10 to $20.

Murray vehemently denied the allegations and abruptly canceled a scheduled news conference about police reform.

Two other men, Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, had accused Murray of abusing them in the 1980s when Simpson was 13 and Anderson was 16 years old. Both men had known Murray when they were growing up in a Portland center for troubled children.”

In July, I reported that it was revealed that the mayor was investigated by Oregon Child Protective Services (CPS) in 1984. The CPS determined that Murray should never again be a foster parent. From my blog post:

“…a child welfare investigator in Oregon concluded in 1984 that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused his foster son, The Seattle Times reports.

The Oregon Child Protective Services investigation validated Jeff Simpson’s allegations of abuse, according to public records the Times obtained.

Mayor Murray has publicly denied the allegations and made it a point that prosecutors in Oregon decided not to charge him years ago.

“Other than the salacious nature of it, I don’t see what the story is,” Murray told the Times. “The system vindicated me. They withdrew the case.”

Now comes news that the good mayor is resigning due to a FIFTH sexual abuse allegation. Apparently five is his unlucky number.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced that he will resign after a relative became the fifth man to accuse him of sexual abuse.

Murray released the following statement:

I am announcing my resignation as mayor, effective at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public’s business.

I’m proud of all that I have accomplished over my 19 years in the Legislature, where I was able to pass what were at the time the largest transportation packages in state history, a landmark gay civil rights bill and a historic marriage equality bill.

And I am proud of what we have accomplished together at the City during my time as mayor, passing a nation-leading $15 minimum wage, and major progressive housing affordability and police accountability legislation, as well as negotiating an agreement to build a world-class arena that I believe in time will bring the NHL and NBA to Seattle.

But it has also become clear to me that in light of the latest news reports it is best for the city if I step aside.

To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation.

In the interest of an orderly transition of power, Council President Bruce Harrell will become Mayor upon my resignation, and will decide within the following five days whether he will fill out the remainder of my term. During this time Director of Operations Fred Podesta has been tasked with leading the transition.

A cousin of Murray accused him of sexual abuse, The Seattle Times reports. The Times reports that Joseph Dyer says that he was molested by Murray in the 1970s when he was 13.

“There would be times when I would fake sleeping because I didn’t want him touching me,” Dyer told the Times. “And that’s when he would molest me.”

Murray told the Times that he denies the latest allegations. He says there is a “backstory” between his family and his cousin’s family. Murray believes they want to “finish” him off.

Murray canceled his appearance at the KeyArena announcement — it was later completely canceled. He told the Times he questions the timing of the accusation. “It’s never been our intent to take down the mayor,” Seattle Times reporter Lewis Kamb told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.

Murray’s cousin is the fifth person to accuse him of abuse.

Allegations of abuse originally surfaced in the beginning of April. Since then, the man who filed a lawsuit against Murray dropped it; he then filed another lawsuit against the City of Seattle demanding millions. His lawyer, Lincoln Beauregard, tweeted the following on Tuesday after news of the latest allegation broke: The truth normally prevails…

Murray has vehemently denied the allegations. He wrote an op-ed in which it alleged conspiracies of “political take down.”

Though the lawsuit against Murray was dropped, several notable names in Seattle, including two council members, have called for him to resign. The city’s LGBTQ Commission and Human Rights Commission also called for Murray to resign.

Murray previously said he will not step down before his term ends. “I continue to believe such a course of action would not be in the city’s best interest,” he said in July. “That is why I am not going to resign, and intend to complete the few remaining months of my term as mayor.”

Murray dropped from his race for re-election.

DCG

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Busted: Emails show that minimum wage advocates, academics coordinated to boost the new $15 Seattle wage

shock

From MyNorthwest.com: It’s been alleged that supporters of Seattle’s minimum wage law sought to undermine a study from the University of Washington that painted a less-than-perfect picture of what’s followed. And a paper trail leading back to city officials may have further solidified those allegations.

When the Seattle City Council passed the $15 minimum wage law it commissioned the University of Washington to study its affects on the local economy and workers. The recent UW study found that the economy absorbed the first wage increase from $9.47 an hour to $11 an hour. But after wages increased again, some businesses cut workers’ hours, meaning that despite getting a higher wage, workers didn’t earn from as many hours.

However, another study from the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment found the wage law to be mostly positive.

But an email trail, which can be found at Forbes.com, led to some evidence that Forbes contributor Michael Saltsman called “not pretty.”

Among the findings, according to Saltsman, is a request from Mayor Ed Murray’s office asking the people at Berkeley to “omit any mention of the forthcoming University of Washington report from its write-up.

“Unfortunately, for them, I think they put a lot of coordination in email form that was accessible via public records request,” he told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. It certainly raises questions about objectivity, Dori pointed out.

The email trail also reveals that the press release for the Berkeley study was written by a PR firm that was also used by Fight for $15, strong proponents of the minimum wage law.

The Berkeley study, it appears, was also rushed to meet the timeline for the anniversary of the law, Saltsman said.

Go here to listen to the Saltsman interview.

DCG

Seattle redistributes $230,000 of taxpayer money to political candidates in the name of “democracy”

seattle-democracy-voucher

Back in January I told you about a new taxpayer-mandated campaign donation scheme (as one commenter called it) that Seattle voters approved under the guise of democracy.

How Initiative 122 works:

“Seattle voters ensured the city would be the first in the country with democracy vouchers when they approved Initiative 122 in 2015. The “Honest Elections” measure authorized a 10-year, $30 million property-tax levy to pay for the program. People not registered to vote can obtain vouchers as long as they live in Seattle, are at least 18 years old and are a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or green-card holder. Each voter will get four $25 vouchers to distribute among candidates in 2017.”

To date, voters approved the sum of $230,000 to be taken from private property owners and redistributed to three candidates.

From MyNorthwest.com: With two months remaining in the primary, Seattle’s one-of-a-kind experiment with publicly financed elections is off to a modest start with three candidates so far having cashed in a total of $230,000 in Democracy Vouchers.

County election records show at-large city council candidate Jon Grant leading the publicly financed candidates with $129,450 in vouchers cashed, followed by at-large council candidate Teresa Mosqueda with $61,225. City Attorney Pete Holmes, who is seeking re-election, has collected 1,597 vouchers for a total of $39,925.

Holmes, who has been city attorney since 2010, said the untested program’s newness meant a learning curve for both voters and candidates. “I was talking more about Democracy Vouchers in the first half of the campaign than I was about the campaign,” Holmes said. “We are the guinea pigs.”

Approved by city voters in 2015, the Democracy Voucher program sets aside a new pot of property tax money to give four, $25 campaign vouchers to the each of the city’s registered voters. Those voters, in turn, can pick which candidates or candidate get their vouchers taxpayer money. In exchange, participating candidates agree to spending caps.

The only program of its type in the country, the vouchers experiment was geared for three primary effects: Taking the big money out of local politics; improving voter participation rates; and bringing new candidates to the process.

So how is it doing? “It’s too early to gauge its success,” said Wayne Barnett (FYI: Barnett’s salary in 2016 was $151,919.81), the executive director of the Democracy Voucher program. “But I would say that so far, it’s working well.”

To date, Seattle residents have returned approximately 16,000 vouchers. But 6,000 of those have not been assigned to a candidate for reasons including that the candidate isn’t yet eligible or that the candidate isn’t running for office at this time. For the current election cycle, the vouchers are only allowed for the two at-large council seats and the city attorney race.

In exchange for public taxpayer money, candidates who opt-in must agree to specific spending and fundraising restrictions. To qualify for the vouchers, at-large council candidates first must gather 400 signatures with a $10 to $250 donation from each. For the city attorney race, each candidate must gather 150 signatures and accept similar donation restrictions.

Candidates also must agree to spend no more than $150,000 in the primary – which ends in August – and no more than $300,000 overall including the general election.

Holmes opponent, Scott Lindsay, is not participating in the voucher program. Lindsay, who is Mayor Ed Murray’s public safety advisor, has raised $27,735 so far, according to state records. But because he is not taking public money, he is not limited in his fundraising for either the primary or general election.

The voucher program started with the passage of Initiative 122, the “Honest Elections Seattle” measure approved by city voters two years ago.

The money linked to unassigned vouchers will remain in the election funds pool for the next election cycle when additional city council seats will be eligible (2019) and the mayor’s race (2021). The fund is expected to collect $3 million annually from the fee that adds, on average, an additional $11 to the taxes on each home.

Holmes said the program is a work in progress.“We’ll be talking to them about what can be improved,” he said. “The turn-around for the money is slow, for example.”

DCG

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposes income tax for city’s ‘high-end’ households

ed murray

A sure-fire way to get re-elected: Another tax

The devil is in the “high-end” number, which Murray doesn’t define.

And this proposed tax, combined with his alleged sexual assault allegation, just may not get Murray re-elected. But then again, it’s socialist Seattle.

From Seattle Times: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will propose a city income tax on “high-end” households, he said Thursday night during a forum for mayoral candidates. On stage with six challengers in a Lake City church, Murray said he would send a proposal in the “next few weeks” for a City Council vote. He didn’t offer many details.

 “We all know that Washington state has a regressive tax system,” Murray told a crowd at the forum hosted by the 46th District Democrats.

“We can all argue about what we’re going to do about it. Those discussions have been going on since I was a kid in this city. But what I’m going to send to council is a proposal for a high-end income tax.”

Thursday’s event was the first such candidates’ forum in the 2017 race for mayor and came two weeks after a 46-year-old Kent man sued Murray for alleged child sexual abuse decades ago.

The mayor has adamantly denied the accusation and similar allegations made by two other men, who also claim Murray abused them as teenagers in the 1980s. Murray has vowed to remain in his job and continue running for a second term.

This week, former Mayor Mike McGinn and urban planner Cary Moon declared bids. They joined Murray at Thursday’s forum, along with educator and activist Nikkita Oliver, who entered the race earlier.

The mayor’s income-tax proposal came as a surprise to many in the crowd and seemingly to McGinn, who in launching his campaign Monday had called for an income tax.

For weeks, a coalition of local organizations led by the Transit Riders Union has been drumming up support for a city income tax under the slogan Trump Proof Seattle.

When asked about the campaign previously, Murray said he had supported the idea at the state level when he was a lawmaker in Olympia, but stopped short of backing Trump Proof Seattle, describing it as ill-fitted to pay for immediate needs.

Washington has long lacked an income tax because of a restrictive state law and voters have said no to statewide proposals before. A 2010 statewide initiative proposing a high-earners tax was defeated.

A Seattle tax likely would be challenged in court and could serve as a legal test case with statewide implications. “It’s going to be challenged,” Murray told the crowd Thursday. “It’s too soon to cheer … But if we win in court and we can get that high-end income tax we can shift our regressive taxes on sales tax and on property tax onto that high-end income tax.”

Asked after the forum to clarify his plan, the mayor said the income tax would be accompanied by reductions in other taxes that hit poorer people harder. During his term as mayor, Murray has backed a number of property- and sales-tax hikes.

The income tax wouldn’t be completely revenue neutral because some of the new revenue would be set aside to backfill potential cuts in federal funding by the Trump administration, Murray said.

“He didn’t steal it. I think he finally saw the wisdom of the idea,” McGinn said after the forum, reacting to Murray’s proposal. “Elections have a way if doing that sometimes.”

Murray said his initial plan is to propose a resolution stating the city’s intent to pass an income tax rather than an actual ordinance putting it into effect. That could potentially leave open the option of asking voters to weigh in later on the ballot.

Oliver declined to immediately comment on Murray’s proposal. Moon answered during a lightning round that she would not support a local income tax. Also taking part in the forum were Jason Roberts, Mary Martin and Alex Tsimerman.

During the lightning round, every candidate expressed support for allowing more duplexes and triplexes in neighborhoods now zoned for single-family houses, including Murray, who put forward and then quickly withdrew such a change in 2015.

DCG

McGregor hopes to become 1st transgender person on Seattle City Council

matt mcgregor for seattle city council

Seattle City Council candidate Matt McGregor

Playing identity politics in Seattle. Well, I’m sure that will work heavily in his favor in proggieland.

From Seattle Times: “We’re not going back in the shadows:” That’s a message Mac McGregor wants to send with his campaign this year for Seattle City Council. McGregor is trying to become the first transgender person elected to the council, and he believes he’d be the first elected anywhere in Washington state.

The 53-year-old, who sits on Seattle Police Department’s LGBTQ Advisory Council and served on the Seattle LGBTQ Commission, said November’s election motivated him to seek office.

McGregor said President Trump’s “pretty extreme, religious-right administration” wants to roll back the clock on protections and acceptance of minorities. “They want us to be silent, but we’re not going to do it,” he said. “I’m going to stand for all marginalized people.”

The Beacon Hill resident is one of 10 candidates registered with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission to run for Position 8. Position 8 and Position 9, the council’s citywide seats, are up for election this year. The council’s seven district seats will be up in 2019. Position 8 is an open seat because Councilmember Tim Burgess announced in December he would not seek re-election.

Other than McGregor, the candidates include former Tenants Union of Washington State executive director Jon Grant, local NAACP Vice President Sheley Secrest, Washington State Labor Council political director Teresa Mosqueda and Washington State Human Rights Commission chair Charlene Strong.

Others are Ryan Asbert, who has promised to make council decisions based on a constituent-input app; Hisam Goueli, a Northwest Hospital doctor who wants to develop city-run health insurance; James Passey, who describes himself as a Libertarian; Rudy Pantoja, whose video-recorded interaction with a North Precinct police-station opponent at City Hall in August went viral; and Jenn Huff, are also registered.

Grant’s campaign has raised the most money — nearly $76,000 — most of it through the city’s new democracy-vouchers taxpayer program. Mosqueda’s campaign has raised about $53,000 and Goueli more than $11,000. The other candidates have each raised less than $10,000.

The outcome of the Position 8 race could have a significant impact on Seattle politics: Burgess is one of the nonpartisan council’s longest-tenured members and is widely considered the most moderate voice on a panel of progressives (HAHAHAHA‼!).

McGregor is a former martial-arts competitor, coach and gym owner with “a black belt in 17 different styles.” He grew up in Florida in a “ very dysfunctional family.”

“It was my community that stepped up and made a difference in my life … giving me rides to school events and making sure I had a sandwich,” he said. “That really taught me to give back to my community.”

The candidate, who lives with his wife and teenager, said he thought twice about launching a campaign, wondering whether someone might target his family. “I’ve been pretty public about who I am for a while, but you put yourself under a different level of scrutiny running for office,” he said.

McGregor said he agrees with Mayor Ed Murray on many issues, but believes the way the city has been carrying out evictions and cleanups of unauthorized homeless encampments hasn’t been fair. “I understand it’s a complex problem. There’s no easy answer to the homeless issue we have in our city,” he said. “Even if we took everybody off the street who was there today and gave them housing, we’d have another homeless problem in six months.”

He said he’d like to see the city get community members more involved in cleaning up encampments. “I’m a big community organizer and some groups are already starting to do it,” he said. “

Other key issues for McGregor include police reform and the persistent gap in pay between men and women. He said he helped develop training for the Seattle Police Department around interacting with transgender people.

McGregor said the city needs to “keep asking more” of developers in the creation of affordable housing so that teachers, nurses and police officers aren’t priced out.

DCG

Seattle continues to fight homelessness with more high-paying government jobs

 

Ed Murray

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Last April I told you about Seattle’s serious homelessness problem. From my post:

In 2016, the King County region saw an increase of 19% of our unsheltered population, the majority of those people residing in Seattle. In November of 2015, Mayor Murray declared a State of Emergency on Homelessness to bring light to this crisis and seek greater support from our state and federal partners. Mayor Murray has increased spending on homelessness intervention and prevention and the City of Seattle is now spending a record high of nearly $50 million dollars to address this crisis.”

How did the city respond to this emergency? They hired a “Director of Homelessness.” This was “to ensure that the City’s increased efforts are well coordinated and driving toward the greatest outcomes for those in need, the new Director of Homelessness will be tasked with executing the Mayor’s priorities on this issue.” The pay rate when this position was advertised? Between $97,279.92 and $160,483.68.

In August 2016, the city hired George Scarola to fill this position, who makes $137,500 per year.

Apparently just one high-paid city worker is not enough to help the homeless. Now comes this: Seattle hiring to clean up after the homeless.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle is putting its money where its mouth is in its latest effort to staff the homeless crisis. The city seeks to fill three positions, all targeted at cleaning up garbage along Seattle streets and around encampments.

“All three positions will support the city’s efforts to mitigate impacts of unsanctioned encampments,” said Julie Moore with the City of Seattle.

The first position will supervise pilot programs that address homeless litter in neighborhoods affected by encampments. Two other jobs will organize the cleanup efforts around encampments. All are already funded under the 2017-18 budget and pay between $37-46.80 and hour (that translates to $76,960/year – $97,344 [not including benefits]).

Seattle Public Utilities started two pilot programs in 2016 to address the issue of litter and trash related to the homeless crisis — the litter abatement pilot, and the encampment trash pilot. The Homeless Encampment Trash/Litter Abatement Pilot Program Administrator will oversee both programs. The position pays up to $46.80 an hour.

The homeless litter program focuses on street sweeping, washing sidewalks, and picking up trash in general. “The encampment trash pilot program provides scheduled solid waste pick-up services to five unsanctioned homeless encampments and on-call trash pick-up service, as needed,” Moore said. “This service is separate of collection of trash following a scheduled encampment cleanup.”

The program focused on the International District and Little Saigon when it was enacted last year. Four new neighborhoods will be added in 2017. It is unknown which four neighborhoods those will be.

Two Field Operations Supervisor positions were created in 2016 and have been filled temporarily. The city is seeking to fill them permanently for up to $42 an hour ($87,360/year). “They provide additional capacity to increase the city’s response to unsanctioned encampments…” Moore said, noting the supervisors will work with the city’s Navigation Team.

According to the job post:

The Field Operations Advisors will be responsible for coordinating cleanup efforts, directing on-site operations, overseeing assigned City employees and contract laborers, ensuring compliance with legal and environmental standards and regulations including outreach to offer alternative safe shelter, overseeing proper collection and storage protocols, collecting data, and liaising with other city departments, outside agencies, property owners, law enforcement, contractors and the public to ensure collaborative and efficient operations at assigned encampment sites.

All three jobs had an application deadline of March 14. It is unknown how soon the city plans on filling the positions.

DCG

Of course: A community organizer and BLM supporter is going to run against the progressive Seattle mayor, Ed Murray

nikkita oliver

Just what Seattle needs…another radical proggie

I wouldn’t bet $100 that she has no chance. Because if you know anything about Seattle, you know there’s a good possibility that the proggies will elect her.

From Seattle Times: Nikkita Oliver, an attorney, community organizer and spoken-word artist who’s been active in Seattle’s Black Lives Matter movement and in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, will run for mayor against Ed Murray.

Oliver is seeking office under the banner of the Peoples Party of Seattle, “a community-centered grass roots political party led by and accountable to the people most requiring access and equity,” says a website for Oliver and the party.

South Seattle Emerald and Crosscut first reported her candidacy. She is Murray’s highest-profile challenger so far. In an interview Wednesday, the 31-year-old said Donald Trump’s inauguration as president and conversations with community members inspired her to run.

Oliver said she was “feeling stuck, not having a voice in the process and not knowing how we change things at the federal level” before she decided to become a candidate. “We have to get involved locally, because that will begin to shift the narrative and the policy,” she said.

The Indianapolis native, who moved to Seattle for college, said her campaign will focus on housing, education and ending the school-to-prison pipeline.

She said officials should reassess the “area median income” benchmark they use to define affordable housing. The Seattle area’s median income is much higher than what the average working person actually makes.

Many of us in the Peoples Party have been forced from our homes by unmanageable rent increases. But we are not alone. In fact, displacement has become the story of so many Seattleites. Construction cranes, blocked roads, and rerouted buses are the status quo. Developer-driven rezones and growth are swallowing our city whole!” Oliver’s campaign website says.

“The residents who made the Emerald City the innovative and cultural gem it is today are being pushed out and replaced with murals, cultural relics, and colorful crosswalks. Seattle is quickly becoming a museum of our contributions, a place we can visit but we cannot live.”

The party is running Oliver “to break down barriers and open doors for collective leadership that is willing, able, and experienced in divesting from practices, corporations, and institutions that don’t reflect the values and interests of our city,” the website says.

“Whether on stages and in classrooms as a teaching artist, or in the courts and streets as a lawyer and legal observer, her track record, experience, and selfless dedication as a truly progressive servant of the people speaks for itself.”

Oliver works as a teaching artist and mentor in Seattle Public Schools and through Creative Justice, a nonprofit that uses art to work with court-involved youth. She holds law and education degrees from the University of Washington, was the 2015 grand champion of the Seattle Poetry Slam, and received the 2015 artist human-rights leader award from the Seattle Office of Civil Rights. She’s been a leader in efforts to stop the city from building a $160 million North Precinct police station and King County from building a new youth jail.

Oliver said her work in schools and with court-involved youth would help her craft better policy as mayor. She said Murray talks about aiding young black men in Seattle but hasn’t been engaging enough with community activists.

Murray has raised $272,376 and has been endorsed by a number of labor unions. Another candidate, safe-streets activist Andres Salomon, has raised $2,886.

Oliver told the Emerald, “We’re going to lack financially. But what we lack in funding we’ll make up in actual, real community relationships. If you see pictures of me with young people, it wasn’t a photo op. It’s not because I went down to Rainier Beach High School to have a fake conversation with young people and take a picture and say it happened. It’s because I actually spend time at Rainier Beach.”

She added, “If you ask those young people about who I am they’ll say I’ve seen Nikkita in the community. You’ll see pictures of me with young people, but they were taken in community, not just some transactional stuff that politicians do.”

DCG