Dori: City of Seattle at its most corrupt ever
I’ve got a question for all of the Progressives who have made this a one-party city — when you see the depth of corruption in the City of Seattle’s government, are you happy with yourselves?
On Tuesday’s show, we talked about how Jenny Durkan is trying to run a stealth government outside of the watchful eye of public disclosure requests. She and her staff were using private Gmail accounts to discuss the head tax rather than their city email addresses so that there would be no transparency.
What is going down now with Jenny Durkan’s administration is astonishing. I first read about it on the C is for Crank blog, run by Erica C. Barnett.
As we know, the City of Seattle has about 11,000 employees — a massive jump in recent years, thanks to the 1,000 employees added by former Mayor Ed Murray. Many are pulling down six-figure salaries. Do you think there would be one person on those employment rolls who could serve as a liaison between the city and Sound Transit? No, of course not — they had to hire that role out to a PR company.
The PR company, Cocker Fennessy, is owned, in part, by Anne Fennessy. When Sound Transit first ripped off the taxpayers for billions back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Anne Fennessy was one of the people who came up with the insane lie they’ve been trying to sell us ever since that they simply “did a reset” — even though they ended up being years behind schedule and billions over budget when they finally got to Husky Stadium in 2016. And Anne Fennessy was hired by the City of Seattle and by Sound Transit for big money to help them work through that spin doctoring.
Anne Fennessy is a longtime friend and donor to Jenny Durkan. Anne Fennessy’s agency — and Anne Fennessy herself — donated the maximum amount to Jenny Durkan’s campaign. And what a return on an investment. When the streetcar project was $100 million over budget, who did the City of Seattle turn to with a huge private contract? Cocker Fennessy got a $34,000 contract to do an assessment of the Seattle Department of Transportation coordinate what the city would do next. Jenny Durkan’s friendship paid off very handsomely for Anne Fennessy.
And now, Cocker Fennessy has been hired to do a consulting contract — to essentially be a liaison between the City of Seattle and Sound Transit. How much will the company get paid for this? Over four years, a total of $720,000. Oh, and did I mention that Anne Fennessy is married to David Moseley, who is deputy mayor and makes about $170,000? Well, well, how convenient is that? A longtime friend and campaign donor to Jenny Durkan, who has gotten massive contracts in the past for spinning lies about Sound Transit and helping the city with the streetcar debacle, and is married to one of the top city government members, is getting nearly three quarters of a million dollars for working between the City of Seattle and Sound Transit. And it was a no-bid contract, so it was wired from the very beginning.
As Erica Barnett reported in August, Anne Fennessy is a board member at the Transportation Choices Coalition. Shefali Ranganathan was formerly the director of the TCC. Where is Shefali Ranganathan now? She is another deputy mayor for the City of Seattle. Funnily enough, the TCC also gave the maximum amount to Jenny Durkan’s campaign and endorsed her when she was in a tough fight for mayor. Because the TCC controls everything in Seattle, we are completely gridlocked; agencies like the TCC wants to gridlock the region to make this one of the most car-unfriendly regions in the country and force everyone onto mass transit or onto bicycles.
Think about all of the people who are hurting around here. Think about the drug vagrants. I think we can all agree that we must provide help to the drug vagrants who have hit rock-bottom and want treatment. We should provide drug rehab, mental health counseling, and shelter to those in treatment. We are told we don’t have the money, that we will have to raise taxes for that. At the same time, city leadership pretends to care so much about the working class.
Jenny Durkan’s government is set up to enrich the powerful. That’s what socialism does; it ensures that the powerful and the connected get very, very rich. That’s why you have these despotic leaders in socialist countries who live the lives of royalty while people starve on the streets. That’s what socialism is designed to do.
Last week, when Jenny Durkan hit the one-year anniversary of being mayor, I gave her the grade of a D. I take that back; she is getting an F. Between the email scandal and giving huge, no-bid contracts to her longtime friend rather than to someone already on the city payroll, she is a failure.
It just reeks in the City of Seattle right now. People are literally starving on the streets and the city feigns concern. They tell us the reason for the desperation is because you and I haven’t given enough of our money. The reason the crime is so high is because the city can’t afford the extra cops. But a longtime friend and political ally of the mayor can get a no-bid, 0.75-million contract awarded to her.
And, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if we look purely at mayoral leadership and not at their personal lives, Jenny Durkan may be every bit as bad as Ed Murray. Ed Murray’s failings were very personal ones. From a purely mayoral standpoint, when it comes to running the city, if you look at what seems to be blatant corruption, Jenny Durkan is shaping up to be the worst mayor ever in Seattle. This is the worst governance that we have ever seen. You and I have to pay tax money so that friends of Jenny Durkan can be hired for huge contracts and high positions — it’s pretty cozy in the City of Seattle. Socialism is grand, isn’t it?