Less than a month out from Election Day and things (for Seattle anyway) are starting to get heated. The latest imbroglio? The Firefighters' Union says word from City Hall is that they better lay off their support of challenger Tim Burgess... or else.
Firefighter Union Local 27 Vice President Ken Stuart claims David Della's chief of staff said as much over beers last week. "He said David's going to win. If you continue to support him it's going to be bad for the firefighters. [Della's] on the Finance [and Budget] Committee. It's not going to go well for you."
David Namura, Della's chief of staff says he wasn't trying to threaten the firefighters. "David's the only one on the council right now with a labor background. He's been endorsed by most of the unions. I said we need to start off on the right foot together after this election." Namura says.
The firefighters, who have more than $100,000 in the bank, have come out in force for Burgess, flanking him at most public events, handing out fliers-- and they're not shy about touting their political clout.
But Stuart says this was too much. "When I walked away, I thought this was odd, I've never had someone from council talk to me in a way that wasn't positive," he says. "It definitely wasn't business as usual."
Namura says he was only trying to extend the olive branch. "It's unfortunate they decided to play politics as unusual and sabotage this relationship before it gets started," he says.
One thing's certain: the firefighters are still going to spend cash on Burgess, though Stuart won't say when or what.