Letters to the Editor

'Big city' politics arrive here

In Seattle’s political races, the mud is flying. It’s refreshing that we Islanders typically conduct respectful public discourses. Big city politics arrived a few days ago, however, when I received City Council candidate Kevin Scheid’s attack flyer targeting Councilmember Dan Grausz. It appears that Tea-Party-tinged attack messaging has come to our community.  Attack campaigning undermines objective analysis by attempting to incite emotional responses to out-of-context quotes and subtle verbiage. This strategy is designed to instill distrust by sowing anger and/or fear in the electorate.

For example, Scheid’s attack piece on “Tolling” quotes Grausz as saying that Islanders are prepared to “pay their fair share”, implying that he supports tolling. This implication is inaccurate.  What the flyer leaves out is the immediately preceding legislative testimony in which Grausz clearly reaffirmed the City’s opposition to tolling while astutely affirming the Legislature’s sole authority to set tolls. Grausz’s skillful acknowledgment of the obvious while underscoring the fair minded sensibilities of Island residents makes his opposition to tolling much more effective than a shrill, anti-government, “we won’t pay” rant.

Another example is a reference to “ten votes to raise taxes” that Grausz supposedly took in 2012. This is misleading too as one “tax increase” was an ordinance required to authorize the voter-approved fire station levy and another simply extended the utility tax to the City’s own utilities – something virtually every other local city does.  Other “taxes” the flyer refers to were utility fees that must be approved every year, mostly involving pass-through charges from Seattle and Metro. Two of Scheid’s endorsing Councilmembers quoted in the flyer largely voted for all of these fees. Attack pieces ignore “fine points” such as these.

Dan Grausz has effectively served us for 14 years and while I may not agree with him on every issue I have never doubted his commitment to good government.  Kevin Scheid, has no record of involvement with our city or school district instead resorting to attack ads to get elected. I value a proven public servant who effectively advocates for my family’s best interest.  I’m voting for Dan.

David Freiboth

 

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