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The Corporate Shill and the Ideologue

Seattle, in case you don't follow our local politics, has got a mayoral election going on. (Technically it was last Tuesday, but they're still counting the ballots.)

It's a fairly interesting election, as elections go, if only because we junked the good-for-nothing incumbent in the primary, mostly on account of his failure ("think of the salmon!") to remove snow from our roads last winter, which forced me to work from home for a week.

It's also fairly uninteresting, in that the two primary-survivors, the Corporate Shill and the Ideologue, are both political neophytes. I actually met both of them, the former during an impromptu pre-primary baby-kissing session at Green Lake, the latter during a town hall at the local community center. They both seemed like, well, aspiring politicians.

And to be honest, neither is particularly appealing as a candidate. After losing their beloved incumbent, the city's political and business "establishment" seems to have lined up behind the Corporate Shill. So I can't support him. On the other hand, our douchebag alterna-weekly The Stranger hasn't stopped tongue-bathing the Ideologue for months. So I can't support him either.

(My preferred candidate was the former NBA player whose campaign platform seemed sensible. He came in 5th in the primary, I think.)

At last count the Ideologue is ahead by a few thousand votes, although there are still many left to count, so anything could happen.

Nonetheless, the aforementioned douchebag alterna-weekly makes the point that under either administration, the city council (and in particular its president) is poised to control an outsized share of the power in the city. This is probably the case, and I'm sure that any one of the three would continue the current policies of running the city into the ground.

There is one part of the article that leapt out at me as being, well, weird:

[City council president] Conlin sees the city pulling itself out of the gutter by embracing the most progressive elements of his environmental agenda. For example, a company called General Biodiesel—which uses primarily waste fats like cooking grease and tallow—was having a hard time getting permits, Conlin said, and by removing red tape Seattle was able to help that company (and, hopefully, laid down a marker that will help attract other green-job companies). "We should be targeting companies like that and asking, 'What can we do to help you?'" he said.

I had to read this paragraph several times, because I wasn't sure what part of was "progressive." Nominally, it's a story about making it easier to do business and in particular relaxing a permitting process. These are both pretty anti-progressive positions, so I can't imagine that's what he was referring to.

Instead, I figure, what he really meant was something along the lines of "let companies whose names contain green-sounding terms like 'Biodiesel' and 'Renewable' and 'Sustainable' ignore laws and regulations that apply to other, less-SWPL-friendly companies." And indeed, this is the sort of Seattle "progressivism" I've gotten used to.

In anticipation of this new agenda, I'm thinking about renaming my publishing company to something more progressive, like "Compostable House," "Biodegraded Books," or "Post-Industrial Press."

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