It's always hard to tell how much people love or loathe Howard Schultz. The Starbucks founder and serial retailer is a worldwide marketing success. Yet locally he's enshrined in civic memory as the rich guy who built a driveway through a city park. As principal proprietor of the Seattle SuperSonics, he's lauded for maintaining local ownership. Yet, based on recent polls, a majority finds him undeserving of a tax giveaway to fund a $271 million KeyArena renovation.
Not unexpectedly, Seattle 's fickleness for Howard has boosted an anti-arena tax drive by Citizens For More Important Things. They've quickly gotten 19,000 signatures and think 25,000 will be enough to safely qualify their Initiative 91 for the fall ballot. But who would have thought they'd get Schultz's coffee customers to protest Shultz's basketball tax grab? Here's the campaign's petition board in Magnolia. It's on a public sidewalk, outside the local Starbucks store. The sign-up sheet? Filled solid. I mean, in Magnolia.