Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Political Desk: Any Ports in a Storm

 So let's talk about the Port of Seattle. Their purview has been the airport and the docks, and so it is a pretty big deal. Over the years it has been a hotbed of minor political brushfires and scandal, and my go-to involving political shenanigans.

Not this year. Not only has the Port Authority kept its nose politically clean for a while, but  several of the challengers come across as strong candidates. In many cases, both sides have achievements they can point to, and are not political tyros. And both sides are relatively close together on matters of trade, employment, and the environment, and can point out specific instances of this. 

If anything, I would prefer to see more not on the airport, but on what they can be doing to help alleviate the global shipping crunch. One big reason - the port is too small for the mega-carries that have come online in the past decade - but even so we have ships on the water, waiting to dock. Is there a way to help take the load off LA?

I usually tend to lean towards the incumbents in cases like this. If they haven't been screwing up, they should keep their jobs. But that is a low bar, and I really am looking at their credentials, their statements, and their endorsements. For that reason, I'd recommend:

Port of Seattle Position 1 - Ryan Calkins - Incumbent, competent, capable, well-regarded.

Port of Seattle Position 3 - Both incumbent Stephanie Bowman and challenger Hamdi Mohamed look good, say the right things, and wave a fistful of impressive endorsements. Mohamed edges out with concern for the local communities. Hamdi Mohamed.

Port of Seattle Position 4 -  Amusing thing - the Seattle Times has been running a lot of pieces on how a citizen's initiative, run by Incumbent Peter Steinbrueck's father, saved the Pike Place Market from urban redevelopment. That's probably just because we're moving up on 50 years since that salvation, but it does a lot to put the Steinbrueck name out there. Toshiko Grace Hasagawa is pulling down the endorsements. Both are good, bu I think Toshiko Grace Hasagawa will be better. 

But I'm going to be honest, this is a situation where you the voters do not have a bad choice. Enjoy the feeling while it lasts.

More later,