Saturday, August 22, 2009

Support For A Big Highway Project Helps Defeat Seattle Mayor

Voters rejected a multi-billion tunnel as the solution to replacing a aging elevated downtown freeway, yet the Seattle Mayor threw his support behind the plan.

Bad move, as he lost a third-term bid in a three-way primary to two neophytes.

Failing to get the streets plowed this winter a la Chicago's Jane Byrne was a contributing factor, but overall, voters felt dissed.

Opponents of the tunnel want a blend of surface streets and transit to replace the viaduct to cut greenhouse emissions, and expected more support from their environmentally-active Mayor.

This is an example of how complicated environmental and fiscal issues can get.

Throw in a referendum not honored (Gov. Jim Doyle's budget veto of the Milwaukee County sales tax referendum to rescue the bus system transit-comes to mind), and voter anger can tip an election and overwhelm an otherwise popular figure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Curious. I've asked my friends in Seattle for their take on this.