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June 29, 2005

Congratulations, Bob Ferguson

I join the folks at Progressive Majority Washington in  congratulating King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson, who pulled off a surprise upset against Carolyn Edmonds last night at the King County nominating convention.  As Dean Neilsen observes:

Ferguson has shown that he is a relentless, door-to-door, grass-roots campaigner. He door-belled his way to beat Cynthia Sullivan for his current seat on the council, and out-organized Edmonds in the race to become the Democratic nominee for the 1st district.

I heard Bob and Carolyn on KUOW yesterday morning, and while Carolyn sounded like a typical Seattle-bland politican, Bob was sharp, insightful and unafraid to take strong stands.  I was particularly heartened to hear him speak out strongly on the issue of media consolidation, which I'm sure is on the minds of many of you blog-readers.

It's good to see the underdog progressives win.  It will be even better to see them not be the underdogs anymore.

Posted by Jon Stahl on June 29, 2005 at 08:51 PM in Candidate Races | Permalink


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Actually, Edie Gillis wrote the blog, not I.

Posted by: Dean Nielsen | Jun 29, 2005 8:54:00 PM

I guess Bob's a Progressive - if you think it's "Progressive" to run on a Tim Eyeman idea (shrinking the King County Council - to make it less representative), and then be the decisive vote on the bill that gets rid of 4 council seats.

He may be a good grassroots campaigner, but a Progressive he is not.

Posted by: Willis | Jun 30, 2005 3:08:35 PM

I guess Bob's a Progressive - if you think it's "Progressive" to run on a Tim Eyman idea (shrinking the King County Council - to make it less representative), and then be the decisive vote on the bill that gets rid of 4 council seats.

He may be a good grassroots campaigner - and I admire that ability, but a Progressive he is not.

Posted by: Willis | Jun 30, 2005 3:09:03 PM

I have no idea if he's progressive or not as Progressive Majority is not playing in that race, and I have not examined their records, etc.

But one issue with one statement. How can you say that the number of council seats are a progressive or conservative position? Are more council seats really progressive?

Posted by: Dean Nielsen | Jul 1, 2005 8:40:27 AM

More council seats gives better representation. What Bob voted for reduced representation across the board, and maybe its just me, but I view better representation in government as being a progressive ideal.

Posted by: Willis | Jul 1, 2005 3:07:52 PM

Laziness has been a hallmark of Seattle politicians for some time, so it's no surprise when someone takes the idea of running for office seriously (as Ferguson consistently does) and puts in the time and effort, they win.

Seattle politicians for years got a free ride as people, so fearful of running against an incumbent, gave people a pass. Fortunately that's starting to change (witness the early retirement of fundraising powerhouse Heidi Wills, etc.)

Posted by: Greg Dewar | Jul 2, 2005 2:04:32 PM

They are both good liberals, but where they differ Edmonds has been consistantly better. She was front and center on Tent City 4 while Ferguson took for ever to get his head out of his ass, and then proposed something more perminant, but far away from TC4, as a solution. On the Burke-Gillman trail, Edmonds has been good about funding improvements while Fergie has been nowhere.

I'm also surprised by the notion that Edmonds doesn't work hard. She is one of the most relentless doorbellers I know. Durring her first race for State Rep. she lost an unGodly amount of weight even after she won the nomination and CW said the race was over.

I also don't get the incumbant beating fetish that goes on when people talk about Ferguson but won't even mention when they talk about Edmonds. I mean when Edmonds did it, it was much more exciting than when Ferguson did.

Posted by: Carl Ballard | Jul 3, 2005 1:04:04 PM

Well speaking for myself, I would not say I have a "fetish" - rather when I lived in Seattle from 1994-2001, I found myself quite frustrated at how deferential to power the political culture was. You had so many mediocre politcos get away with dirty deeds or just plain incompetence, because no one dared to speak up.

Although I find it hilarious now everyone dogpiles on the same guy (i.e. Richard Conlin, a nice guy, and one of the dullest and most cautious politicos in Seattle, with not much of a record beyond pleasing well to do folks in town who think they're liberal). Sure, Dwight Pelz may be no better, but at least he's entertaining in a sort of old dirty politco sort of way.

Posted by: Greg Dewar | Jul 3, 2005 2:42:23 PM

Since 1993 when KC merged with Metro, the county council has had to control less and less, because many suburban cities incorporated. (Look at a King County map from 1989 or so and one now, it's pretty amazing). Thus, they have had to do less and less. Talk to some council staffers for the council about how much work acutally gets done up there.

While I agree with you to a certain extent, and voted NO on the initiative to reduce the council, you're making a poor intellectual argument as to more = better. Should we have more Seattle City Councilmembers? Why? More members of Congress or the U.S. Senate? How about 2 year terms so they are even more repesentative?

I don't buy the argument that more = better. Also, if that is your stance, what is the ideal level of representation? 1 elected per 100,000 population? 1 per 50,000? 1 per 20,000 people?

For example. The city of Snohomish has a 7 person city council and 8,500 residents, while the city of Seattle has over 500,000 residents and a 9 person city council. Thus, should the Seattle CC be expanded beyond 9? How about 13, to what the KC Council is currently? But then Seattle is roughly 1/3 of King County, so should that be tripled? The argument just does not play out.

Posted by: Dean Nielsen | Jul 5, 2005 8:48:04 AM

I may be exadurating when I say fetish, but the point was that they ignore the fact that Edmonds did it (a)first and (b) in a race that was way more exciting. If anything, Edmonds paved the way for Ferguson by showing that you can take on someone in power in Seattle in a primary the if you're smart and work hard.

Posted by: Carl Ballard | Jul 5, 2005 9:14:04 AM

Edmonds did beat a Democratic incumbent. So did Gary Locke in the early 80s (beating Peggy Maxie for the State House) and Greg Nickels in the mid-1980s (beating Bob Grieve for County Council). City Council and School Board incumbents have been beaten in recent years as well. It's been done.

Posted by: Dean Nielsen | Jul 5, 2005 11:43:29 AM

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