God help us if this is the campaign debate we have to look forward to. In today's Times, Jan Drago takes some shots at Greg Nickels' effectiveness in Olympia, saying the Mayor's purportedly my-way-or-the-highway style isn't selling in the South Sound. (A few legislators echo the sentiment.) Drago says she'd be better, but that's tough to verify, given that they always end up lobbying for the same thing, and thus getting the same results. For example, both were pro-tunnel, both got it, and, at least in the reactions given in the Times piece, it's not clear that either can claim the credit.
But more fun is the Mercer Corridor Project: Drago claims credit for her lobbying role in the tunnel, but stays largely quiet on the Mercer project, for which she and Nickels unsuccessfully sought stimulus money. When that money was denied, Councilmembers Nick Licata and Tom Rasmussen were pissed, as the Council had voted the previous day to release funds for the project, with the understanding that stimulus money was coming. Though Nickels and Drago had talked to House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn, they both professed surprise and indignation at the decision.
Today, Clibborn says it was easier to talk to Drago, and that she wished Nickels had discussed his disappointment with her privately before he went public and called the decision "mystifying." But at the time, when Clibborn said that she'd told Drago about the funding decision, Drago countered that Clibborn's remarks "weren't quite accurate," that Clibborn hadn't told her anything definitive, and said that the state's decision "makes no sense. It's illogical."
For a more detailed preview of the race, check out this story by Laura Onstot, or just watch this video, hosted by MTV's Kurt Loder: