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You might actually agree with McGinn, Sawant on Bertha

Seattle Council Member Kshama Sawant asks former Mayor Mike McGinn why he thinks the Seattle tunnel project, or "Bertha Boondoggle," isn't a sticking point in the upcoming election. (AP file photo)

Former Mayor Mike McGinn didn’t get to his questions about the Internet in Seattle and the $15 minimum wage before Seattle Council member Kshama Sawant turned the tables on him.

“I want to ask you something, Mike…Why is it that the tunnel is not making a big splash this election year?” Sawant asked former mayor Mike McGinn on his podcast. “Why aren’t (the incumbents’) opponents using that as a reminder to people that these are the people who cheered on the tunnel and look at what a debacle it’s been?”

In his podcast, You, Me, Us, Now., McGinn said, among other things, there’s a question of oversight. The expert review panel was recently let go and former Governor Gregoire’s oversight panel only met twice.

Related: Dori says he was right about review panel

Not only that, but there is “politics of decisiveness or consensus.”

“What an issue like this requires is for someone to actually raise it,” McGinn said. “I think what we see is a desire by those who are for it to just kind of keep it below the radar screen.”

McGinn is betting that the supporters are just trying to see if they can get through this election, and maybe the next, and hope people forget the tunnel.

“That was in part, my electoral sin,” McGinn said. “If I had joined in on that endeavor &#8212 if I had just joined in with everybody and said I guess this is the solution, I guess everyone needs to work with it, which is what I was encouraged to do &#8212 then that provides the cover of the crowd to the decision. Everybody thought it was a good idea. Who could have predicted this?”

But Sawant argued there were enough well-educated people, especially environmentalists, who said they knew it was going to be a bad idea.

So when does a bad idea become a good idea? McGinn said one of his friends told him, at the time, that it’s when everyone says it’s a good idea.

In the end, McGinn said it was encouraged to ignore the naysayers.

“We don’t even call it the tunnel project,” Sawant said. “We call it the Bertha Boondoggle.”

Listen to Mike McGinn’s entire podcast:

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