There’s only one Ed Murray, but a Libertarian candidate hoping to unseat the current Seattle mayor says all he sees when he looks at most of his competition is “shades” of Murray.
Casey Carlisle, 33, says the people running for office all tend to focus on issues that are, “either beyond Seattle or simply impossible.”
“This talk of implementing an income tax in the city, regardless of one’s opinion on that, our own state Constitution forbids it,” Carlisle said. “Olympia tried doing something similar last year and it was struck down. So I don’t understand why we continue to focus on that.
“The same would go for rent control,” he said. “Regardless of our opinions on that, it is also illegal statewide. It just seems like they are all saying very similar things — just very popular buzzwords and phrases — to get attention. But they are promising to deliver an impossibility.”
Carlisle reached out after news outlets around the city flocked to former Mayor Mike McGinn’s Greenwood home to cover the unexpected announcement of his return to City Hall.
McGinn, Carlisle said, was an example of someone using what he calls “buzzwords.” He pointed out that McGinn discussed the possibility of big companies helping “pay for impacts that their growth has on our city,” and suggesting a city-wide income tax, while promoting a vision for the city to be less costly for low-income residents and small businesses. Carlisle said there were “glaring” contradictions during McGinn’s announcement speech, but he “hit all the right notes and all the right buzzwords.”
Carlisle and the big issues
There are five issues that really stand out to Carlisle: homelessness, cost of living, neighborhood autonomy, sanctuary status and traffic congestion.
The mayoral candidate says the city is just throwing money at the homeless issue, which has only worsened.
“The more money we are forced to throw at this problem, the more the homeless population will increase,” he said.
He believes solving the homeless issue comes down to people-helping-people, not additional money — city and county leaders have proposed a county-wide sales tax to fund homeless programs.
“A government that is only concerned with extracting more money from you, they will not be able to truly care for other people,” he said, adding, “The way I see it right now, the city is only aiding and abetting the homeless problem.”
Carlisle says he supports the city’s sanctuary status, but is not “in favor of shielding criminals regardless of their citizenship.”
“I am happy with the sanctuary status for those that have not achieved citizenship and have no criminal background,” he said.
The mayor, council, and the public
Carlisle believes there is little cooperation happening between city government and the public.
For example, he says the city’s decision to upzone some neighborhoods were made without really listening to what the public had to say.
“There really is no discussion between the developers and the neighborhoods they want to develop,” he said. “It is just a straight line from the developer to city council.”
The same, he said, goes for the homeless camps and neighborhoods they pop up in.
“Sure, those neighborhoods are allowed to provide their feedback, but they have little-to-no power in the process,” he said.
He says the tone of the mayor and council is fear.
“It seems, right now, the tone of the mayor and council, they love instilling fear in Seattle,” Carlisle said. “They make us feel that without them, we’d be doomed, we’d be lost. I don’t buy that. We are competent people and we are doing just fine with or without this authoritarian government that we have.”
Carlisle says that despite the huge discrepancy in contributions between Mayor Murray and himself — $325 compared to about $375,000 — he will continue his campaign. He also said it doesn’t bother him that more people jump into the fray.
“I hope more Murrays run for office,” he said.