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Hacks & Wonks

Mar 31, 2023

On today’s Hacks & Wonks week-in-review, Crystal is joined by Seattle political reporter and the editor of PubliCola, Erica Barnett!

Crystal and Erica discuss the City of Seattle’s first-in-the-nation legislation to provide paid sick and safe leave for gig workers, Mayor Bruce Harrell’s $970 million housing levy proposal, a story about the lack of progress building tiny homes leads to a discussion about the difference in responsibilities between the city council and the mayor - who bears the responsibility to implement programs and policy that has been funded.

Then they discuss the recently discovered $280,000 contract given to a Harrell associate to seemingly spin the narrative that his preferred Sound Transit station proposal is community led, and a political tactic used by monied interests that exploits language and concerns voiced by marginalized communities to influence policy.

Erica and Crystal also cover the Department of Justice moving to end the consent decree with the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle City Council candidate facing accusations of non-payment from former staff and volunteers.

As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at

Find the host, Crystal Fincher, on Twitter at @finchfrii and find today’s co-host, Erica Barnett, at @ericacbarnett.



Megan Burbank and the State of Reproductive Healthcare in Washington from Hacks & Wonks 


Seattle passes first-in-the-nation paid sick leave for gig workers by Josh Cohen from Crosscut 


Mayor Harrell Unveils $970 Million Housing Levy Proposal by Doug Trumm from The Urbanist 


Andrew Lewis announced a fundraising plan to double Seattle’s tiny houses. So, where are they? by Anna Patrick from The Seattle Times 


City Paid Consultant Tim Ceis $280,000 to "Encourage Agreement" and Build "Community Consensus" for Harrell's Light Rail Route by Erica C. Barnett from PubliCola 


Sound Transit Board Adopts Major Last-Minute Changes to 2016 Light Rail Plan, Skipping Chinatown and First Hill by Erica C. Barnett from PubliCola


Sound Transit Board Backs Last-Minute Proposal to Skip Chinatown and Midtown Stations by Doug Trumm from The Urbanist 


City Asks Judge to End Consent Decree; Outstanding Issues Include Protest Response and Accountability by Erica C. Barnett from PubliCola


Matthew Mitnick’s Campaign Meltdown by Hannah Krieg from The Stranger



[00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington state through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Be sure to subscribe to get the podcast - the full versions of our podcast - on our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, the most helpful thing you can do is leave a review wherever you listen to Hacks & Wonks. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at and in our episode notes.

If you missed our Tuesday midweek show, I welcomed reporter Megan Burbank to talk about the status of reproductive health care in our state after last year's Dobbs decision removed guarantees for abortion access on the national level. Today we're continuing our Friday almost-live shows where we review the news of the week with a co-host. Welcome back to the program, friend of the show and today's co-host: Seattle political reporter, editor of PubliCola, co-host of the Seattle Nice podcast, and author of Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery, Erica Barnett. Hello.

[00:01:12] Erica Barnett: Hello - it's great to be here.

[00:01:13] Crystal Fincher: Great to have you back. We have some good news this week, interesting news this week - we will start off for a big deal for gig workers - paid sick and safe leave is now available. What's going on here?

[00:01:30] Erica Barnett: As you said, the gig workers for the bigger companies - DoorDash, Uber, et cetera - are going to have access to the same paid sick and safe leave benefits that full-time employees have, provided by their employers. So there's a new law that was signed into - a new local law - that was signed this week. And yeah, so this is part of the process of slowly acknowledging that gig workers are, in fact, workers and employees of the companies that employ them, and not just people doing this for a hobby or as a extra source of work. These are jobs, and they are jobs that require now the same benefits that every other kind of job requires.

[00:02:14] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely, and this is taking place during a years-long debate, conversation, fight for gig workers rights from a lot of people who have recognized that - hey, the work that these people are doing looks a lot like the work of employees and not of independent contractors. They're being told where to go when, how to do things - fitting in a pretty specific box of behavior with a lot less latitude than a lot of people think of when they think of independent contractors or independent business owners. And the bottom line is because of this, whether or not it even meets the legal test of an employee - functionally, this is how it works. And so the impacts on people's families and in our society are the same as employees. So if someone gets sick, it can be incredibly economically disruptive to that family and to our community to not have any leave available. So this definitely seems like a positive thing for workers, and for the community, and just helping to make sure there's a solid safety net in place. This is a big bell - all of these safety net items that keep coming and unfortunately going in a lot of situations - but this was a gratifying thing to see that I think is going to help a number of people.

[00:03:37] Erica Barnett: Yeah, and I think it's also part of the - just the reckoning from the pandemic that is, I think, slowly being whittled away at as people are being required to come back to offices, unnecessarily in a lot of cases. I think during the pandemic, we really started to wrestle with this idea of hustle culture - this idea that nobody needs any time off, and your work is your life, and it should be the only thing you care about. That is, I hope, over - at least for the time being. And we're trying in this state, at least, to figure out ways to put those kind of somewhat new values into practice by doing at least the minimum, which I think this particular law - it's great, but allowing people to have time off when they're sick should be a floor and not a ceiling.

[00:04:30] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely, and your point about many of the pandemic-era protections and safety net enhancements being whittled away is absolutely true. We're about to head into a time next week where mask mandates, even for transit, health care situations - the few remaining situations where they were necessary - are no longer being mandated. Although we are getting some news about some local health care systems that are still looking as if they're going to be continuing those, so we will stay tuned.

Certainly housing is top of mind for a lot of people now. City of Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has proposed an enhancement to the Housing Levy. What is he proposing and what will this do?

[00:05:18] Erica Barnett: Yeah, the new Housing Levy proposal would triple the size - and that's in real terms - the actual tax that people will be paying on their property. The previous Housing Levy - which passed in 2016 and is expiring now - that levy was $290 million. This would raise $970 million, which is obviously a significant bump. Interestingly, because the cost of everything has risen so much quicker than in the past and inflation has been so bad - and the cost of construction and the availability of labor and all the reasons that housing has become more expensive - well, building housing is also a lot more expensive. So as a result, one sort of dampening feature of this levy - or disappointing - is that it's not going to build that much more housing than the previous levy, despite it being tripled now. Now, that's not an argument not to do it. If we did levy the size of the previous levy, we would be building - we would be dramatically going back on reducing the amount of housing we were building. So it may be necessary to increase it this much, but it's not going to triple the size of housing or the amount of housing that's being built.

[00:06:28] Crystal Fincher: So given that the money is tripling but the amount of housing isn't, what accounts for the difference - is it that housing costs have also experienced inflation, construction costs have experienced inflation? What accounts for so much of that extra money not providing housing?

[00:06:48] Erica Barnett: Yeah, the main reason is that construction costs have simply increased, as has the cost of land. And that's everything from material, steel, concrete, to labor, to just - everything involved with building an apartment building now is more expensive. I think that raises a question that the Housing Levy does not attempt to answer - and we could go down a rabbit hole on who is supporting the Housing Levy and why - but the Housing Levy is not primarily an acquisition levy, and maybe it should shift more in that direction. It's much, much cheaper to - as the example of the Low Income Housing Institute during the pandemic has really shown - it's much cheaper to buy housing that already exists and convert it into low-income housing or start renting it to low-income people than it is to build new housing from the ground. And so I think this is a very - we're using the same old methods that we have always used and building housing instead of acquiring housing. And there are good reasons to want to build more affordable housing and add more density and all this stuff, but it also is quite expensive. And I think that there should be perhaps more creativity in play than just saying - Well, it's three times as expensive, so we're going to triple it. It doesn't necessarily solve the problem if, in seven years, we're coming back with a $3 billion levy.

[00:08:10] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that is part of the tension in all of our conversations about housing that we're having policy-wise at different levels - it's what will actually make enough of a dent in the problem in the medium-term to long-term? If we keep this incrementalist approach, it feels like we are just setting ourselves up for increased expenses, increased costs. And there needs to be a massive investment that will result in more affordable housing units, whether that's a combination of affordable on the market - which is not affordable for many people now - subsidized housing, public housing, whatever that is. We need more of it now, and I think a lot of people are concerned that what we're doing is going to do exactly what you say - kick the can down the road and set ourselves up for - are we going to need a tripling of the next levy? And I think sometimes we're a little bit hesitant on the left to have some conversations about - are we getting the value for our dollar that we need to here? Is this actually going to meaningfully address the problem? Again, absolutely not saying that we shouldn't pass this Housing Levy. We definitely need more housing. It needs to be a multifaceted, all-hands-on-deck approach. And this may be the best that can be done right now, but I think we do need to ask - is this the best that we can do, or how do we need to supplement this, and what's going on?

In one of those things for - how do we supplement this, what other strategies can we use to help make housing more affordable for more people - Andrew Lewis, certainly in trying to address the homelessness problem has really launched into tiny homes as an option that can meaningfully address moving people off of the street, out of encampments into a place that could help them stabilize and launch into more permanent affordable housing. But we saw a story this week asking where those tiny homes are - what has happened and where are we at right now?

[00:10:29] Erica Barnett: Andrew Lewis promised, I believe - and I'm not looking at the story right now, I'm just going from memory - I think it was 800 tiny homes over a certain period. And promise is - that's the word that The Seattle Times used. I think this was like a goal, and it's a goal that really depends on the - on both funding through the City budget, which has to be approved by both the City Council and the mayor, and it also depends on the mayor's willingness to actually invest those funds and actually direct funding toward that purpose. And I think this gets lost a lot of times when people are criticizing the City Council for inaction and blaming the City Council for things - it's up to the mayor. And under Mayor Jenny Durkan, there were a whole lot of things that didn't happen. She just decided that they weren't her priorities, and so the council would allocate money and the mayor would not spend it - and I think we're seeing that to a certain extent here.

I also think the Regional Homelessness Authority has been quite hostile to the notion of spending money on tiny homes. Their five-year plan that came out recently, or at least the draft, had no money at all for tiny homes. Now, they've changed that a little bit in the plan that they're probably going to finally adopt next month - but there is a lot of pushback against tiny homes as a form of shelter. And it's the type of shelter that people who are being swept from encampments most often say that they want, and so I think it is certainly worth a short-term investment at least. But right now we're not quite living up to what the City Council and Andrew Lewis have proposed.

[00:12:04] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. And your point about just whose responsibility is this is well taken. And I think in a number of areas - and frankly, in some of the local media coverage that we see of this - it really doesn't come through who is responsible for what. What does a city council do? What does a mayor do? A city council is responsible for allocating funds and for developing the policy for an issue. The mayor is the person who makes it happen. They implement and execute - that's their job. All of the departments in the City report to the mayor - they oversee and direct what happens in that. So really, once the money is made available and they hand it over to the mayor's office - whether or not something happens is really up to the executive - right now, Mayor Bruce Harrell. So I am curious about where this stands, but similar to several other conversations that we're having - whether it's issues related to homelessness or issues related to public safety, like Bruce Harrell's promise to stand up alternative 911 responses so that people can have the most appropriate responder to whatever emergency they're having - which usually is not a armed police officer in a situation that isn't related to illegality, but maybe someone's having a behavioral health crisis or needs some other resources. We need to ask Bruce Harrell where that is - that is the mayor's responsibility. Once the money is allocated, once the city council says - Here is the money, here's what it's for - it's up to you, Bruce Harrell, to make it happen. And so I'm really curious to see if that question gets asked to him and to see what his answer would be, because I think that would be very informative.

[00:13:48] Erica Barnett: Just real quickly, I want to correct myself. I said 800, it was 480 that Andrew Lewis proposed. And yeah, and it died because of Jenny Durkan - full stop. She just wouldn't spend the money. And so the length of this article in The Seattle Times is surprising when it could have been one line.

[00:14:07] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. Now, Bruce Harrell did take some action that we learned about - related to the Chinatown International District station conversation, debate that we're having about the siting. We learned that there was an effort launched as - what a year ago, I think it was - to actually drum up support for the new Sound Transit station options that were characterized as - Hey, this is a last-minute effort that came from the community because we heard the concerns, and so this is why it's popping up now. Turns out that there's more to the story. What happened?

[00:14:47] Erica Barnett: Last week, I'm sure folks are aware, Sound Transit Board adopted a new route through downtown that skips over Chinatown with new stations near the Stadium station and next to the existing Pioneer Square station, and then also eliminates a Midtown station that was going to serve First Hill. What I reported this week is that the mayor, about a year ago, hired consultant Tim Ceis, who has been around forever - since even before I was here in Seattle. He was Deputy Mayor for Greg Nickels, worked for Ron Sims, and has a long career as a political consultant and lobbyist. Now I would say we don't know exactly when or how this new proposal came about - I do not believe that it was last minute, but I also don't know that it was around a year ago. But in any case, Harrell hired this consultant at a cost of $280,000 for one year's worth of work, which is an absolutely astronomical amount for a consultant and lobbyist. And his job essentially was to - as you said, Crystal - to drum up support for the mayor's preferred alternative. And when this became the mayor's preferred alternative is something that I am still reporting on and trying to find out.

But this was an option that the mayor, as well as King County Executive Dow Constantine, presented as an organically-arising proposal from the community, and that there was unanimity in the CID community around skipping the CID. And as we saw last week, five thousand some people who signed a petition that was presented to Sound Transit that was against that option, the head of Uwajimaya does not support it, the head of SCIPDA, the main public development authority down there, does not support it. And so there is not unanimity. And I think Tim Ceis' job was in part to present appearance of unanimity where there was none.

[00:16:41] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely, and I think this is a situation - similar to the big homelessness complex conversation - that a lot of people have a hard time reporting on and wrapping their heads around. And I will call it out - especially when it involves communities of color, there seems to be this - whether it's a belief or desire that - coming from the belief that communities of color are a monolith. And we are not. There are various opinions, perspectives. We are as diverse within our communities as everyone else. And so what we're seeing from the community is - absolutely there are concerns, there are different opinions on what the best path forward is - I think they're all worthy of hearing, especially when they come from the community. And we should do that. And that is genuine and authentic. But what we see too often, especially politically - and this is a tactic that we see used often locally and nationally - is that people will piggyback off some of those rumblings in community to push their own agendas and to push their preferred options with the veneer of community support. So there's the term "astroturfed," which is the opposite of grassroots - we're going to try and make this look like it's a grassroots effort, we're going to try and make it look like the community has completely rallied around this new option or alternative. And that is a marketing ploy. That's spin.

And I think there are both things going on here. So it is absolutely still important to listen to those concerns from the community, to seriously consider and to implement mitigation strategies - and that has not been done in too many prior projects and situations, and that's a legitimate concern and should be addressed. But I also think that we need to take a serious look at - okay, who are the people that stand to profit and benefit here who are pushing these alternatives that don't seem to fit the characterization that they're trying to sell. There is more to the story. And so it's just one of these situations that just makes me groan because it's messy and it's not straightforward. And it requires people to proceed with a bit of nuance and hold space for different opinions and perspectives while still being wary of people looking to exploit the situation. So it's a continuing thing that we see - is notable to me, as you noted, the size of that contract is gigantic.

[00:19:19] Erica Barnett: $20,000/month.

[00:19:21] Crystal Fincher: For 20 hours of work - please pay me a $1,000/hour.

[00:19:24] Erica Barnett: And let's be real - we don't know, and I've also requested a lot of information about this - but we don't actually know how many hours of work Ceis was doing. The 20 hours was an estimate given to me by the mayor's office and it was a squishy - Oh, it's about 20 hours of work a week. The contract doesn't really stipulate anything and it doesn't have an hourly rate. And for all we know, it was 10 hours, it was five hours, it was - maybe it was 25. I don't know, but -

[00:19:52] Crystal Fincher: It's definitely less than - I know the official thing, and you have high reporting standards that you adhere to and I appreciate that. It's one of the things that I appreciate most about your reporting - is that it is solid and backed up. But I know that they weren't spending 20 hours a week on this thing. But even if they were - Look, I would be willing to spend 20 hours a week doing something if you pay me $280,000 a year. I will put that out to anyone - for whatever 20 hours of work that involves, I'm down. But we'll just continue to see how this proceeds.

[00:20:26] Erica Barnett: But yeah, and I'm still reporting on it. So I suspect there will be - I'll have follow ups in the midterm future.

[00:20:33] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. Also this week, we saw that the City of Seattle is pursuing an end to the Seattle Police Department's consent decree with the Department of Justice. What's going on here?

[00:20:48] Erica Barnett: Yeah, this week the city attorney and mayor and - the City of Seattle officials - sent a request to Judge James Robart to effectively end the consent decree with a couple of exceptions. So basically, Robart would find the City in substantial compliance with this agreement that has been going on for more than a decade - or the City has been a party to for more than a decade - with the exception of crowd control and accountability. And those are two issues that Judge Robart has brought up in the past as - and finding the City not in complete compliance. But the agreement proposed says - But don't worry, we'll wrap all that up and we'll be done with it by various months in the future, but generally this summer. And be out from under the consent decree entirely by the end of the year.

People are confused about the consent decree at all. I totally understand - it's a weird situation that the City has been in for the last 12 years. Essentially, the City was found to be in noncompliance with a whole bunch of things related to constitutional policing - including racially biased policing, including use of force - excessive use of force. And the City keeps coming back in recent years to try to get the judge to lift the decree. And they've gotten very close in the past, but then something always happens and - there's a scandal, there is an egregious instance of police brutality, there are protests involving thousands of people where the police brutalized protesters in response to protests against brutality, and tear gas in the entire neighborhood - this happened in 2020. And so it's been a long, slow process - the City now seems to believe and called themselves "a department completely transformed and unrecognizable from the way it was 10 years ago."

[00:22:37] Crystal Fincher: That is a curious characterization, isn't it?

[00:22:39] Erica Barnett: City Attorney Ann Davison's memo supporting this was effusive about it, and even more so than the actual memo saying we deserve to be let out from under this. It was - called the department dramatically transformed, a night-and-day contrast, and even described the protest response in 2020 as a temporary lapse and a single one from otherwise completely improved and transformed crowd control policies. I'll say that some of the reasoning they gave for this is there have been protests since then and the police didn't act that way. And the protests - notably - are things like the Women's March, protests against war in Ukraine, things that did not involve criticizing the police and also did not involve racial justice. So I think that's a little bit of an apples to orange because orange is comparison there.

[00:23:29] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. This is an interesting effort because there are a lot of people who cheered the establishment of the consent decree because it's somewhat of an acknowledgment that - yes, there has been unconstitutional biased policing and the use of excessive force to the degree that the department is no longer trusted to oversee itself. To fix those problems, it needed federal oversight from the Department of Justice - hence the consent decree that we got into. And certainly this has been a long winding road, as you said. It has been interesting in that the brand of oversight has had both positive and negative elements - I think to all sides they find both positive and negative with that - certainly they are looking for status reports and some accountability attached to that. And the judge associated with this has called out events in protest and it looking like the issues that caused the consent decree to be necessary have not been solved. We've also seen sometimes the judge has had opinions and perspectives on how the City should address reforming the SPD, or reimagining SPD. And the judge made it clear he was not a fan of dramatically changing funding, reducing funding - a number of the things that some people who are more progressive and reform minded would have supported and opposed. And that shaped what's been possible with policy for fear that - hey, if the city council does pass some sweeping overhaul or substantive changes, that those are not going to be allowed and going to be overturned by the judge. So this has been an interesting situation that I think hasn't unfolded exactly as anyone predicted.

But it is, I think, a victory lap that is trying to be ran that - I think, as you talked about - is, man, you should urge caution for declaring victory and a mission accomplished statement, because if something else happens, it just makes it look like you are completely out of touch with what is happening in the department and uninterested in taking substantive steps to address it. But we'll see.

[00:25:50] Erica Barnett: Yeah, quickly - I think something else has happened, which is the death of Jaahnavi Kandula, who was a pedestrian - a student who was walking in a crosswalk and was hit by a police officer going allegedly to the scene of an overdose. But a lot of details have come out about that make one question that narrative from SPD. But SPD has been really untransparent and has refused to release any details about its investigation of this incident, which happened in January. It is now almost April and there's no body-worn video - there's just no information whatsoever - no video, no narrative, no explanation. And it is interesting that they have been so non-transparent at a time when they are asking for this consent decree to be lifted. So I think, of course, something else is going to happen - it's not a matter of if, but when. But this is an example of something that has been - I'm not going to go so far as to say it's been covered up, but it has certainly been slow walked. And a lot of people are asking a lot of questions about that incident, including myself. I've reported on it extensively and just gotten absolutely nothing from SPD.

[00:26:56] Crystal Fincher: You have and your reporting has been critical to people finding out any information for this, so much appreciated. I do want to talk about an event that unfolded this week in the City of Seattle campaign land. One of the 30+ people now running for city council in the City of Seattle made news this week in their campaign - for not paying their workers. I, in this situation, just wanted to say a couple of things to set the record straight. Because there was a story written about this, which is great to bring light to it, but -

[00:27:32] Erica Barnett: And we should say it's Matthew Mitnick running -

[00:27:33] Crystal Fincher: It is Matthew Mitnick.

[00:27:35] Erica Barnett: - running for District 4.

[00:27:36] Crystal Fincher: Correct. In Seattle City Council District 4. So there were nine former volunteers or staffers, depending on who you - what version of events happens to be the truth. But who wrote an open letter accusing the campaign, or released a statement accusing the campaign of essentially wage theft, potentially youth labor violations because a number of the people involved were under 18. But there seems to be some conversation or disagreement with a lot of people where evidently a number of people were under the expectation that they were going to be paid, saying that Matthew Mitnick said that he would pay them. They wound up not being paid, and then there were some other accusations about his treatment of staff.

But my takeaway from this was a little bit simpler. Even if you only believe what Matthew Mitnick said and you only go off of what there is written evidence for, there is a staffer who was hired - who was agreed to be paid a wage, who has not been paid all of their wages. They were paid once. They have not been paid again, despite continuing, despite doing work after being paid. There is unpaid work currently on the table. Matthew said - Hey, we're raising Democracy Voucher money. As soon as we raise enough, we'll pay you. That's not how things normally work in campaigns.

[00:28:54] Erica Barnett: That's what I was going to ask you. So if you're running a - and we should say this is a guy who's running as a socialist. He's a 22-year old student. He moved here pretty recently from Wisconsin, where he also ran for office. And so he's, I would say, a pretty marginal candidate. That's my opinion - you may disagree, Crystal - I don't know. What is the common practice when you are a campaign that's running on a shoestring and you don't have a lot of money? Is it just to not hire people until you have that money? Because that would make sense to me.

[00:29:24] Crystal Fincher: That is literally exactly what it is. That is literally exactly what happens in the majority of situations. Now, it's not like there's never been abuse before. But yes, you only hire and buy what you have the money to hire and buy. And that does mean a lot of things go - if you aren't able to raise much money, that means that you aren't able to afford a lot of the things that you probably hope to be able to afford with a campaign. One of the things that people do need to acknowledge is that running for office today requires raising and spending money. I wish it did not require as much money and think that Democracy Vouchers and other reforms that are on the table can help lower the cost of campaigns. I think that there's also a lot of spending on a lot of things, which is cool, but that's not everything. But they do require money. And if you're going to have staff, if you're going to have - if you're running a campaign in the City of Seattle, you need a campaign manager at minimum. You should also have people who are familiar with how to win campaigns - who have done that before, who can help guide through the process, because there are - that is an expertise. There are people who bring that to the table. I'm not going to suggest that someone go to court without a lawyer. I'm not going to suggest that someone run a campaign without other people who have been through that process before to help you through that process. But yeah, you just don't hire them until you have the money to hire them.

And also, campaigns run out of money. And when that happens, then you have to wind things down - starting with paying the most vulnerable people first. The people who take haircuts in not getting paid, unfortunately, are - sometimes consultants agree to - hey, we can bill this on debt, you can pay me if you raise enough money and different things like that. But you have explicit overt conversations, you write stuff down, and you pay people who are reliant on that money to pay their rent. And what was cited in the story is that the person who wasn't paid does not have enough money for their rent at this point in time. So there's an impact. And so you do have - you are responsible for managing the people on your campaign, for managing your budget - that absolutely needs to happen. That's how that works.

[00:31:38] Erica Barnett: Yeah, and I'm just looking at Mitnick's campaign filings. And again, as I said, I consider him an extremely marginal candidate who was hyped up by The Stranger in particular, in a way that I think was out of proportion to his viability. But at any rate, he has raised less than $5,000. Winning a council campaign is in the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands for the primary. So yeah, not surprised he can't pay anybody - he hasn't raised any money. And so that is - it's unfortunate that he led campaign staffer on in that way or was overconfident in his own ability to raise money.

[00:32:15] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. And with that, we thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks on this Friday, March 31st, 2023. Hacks & Wonks is co-produced by Shannon Cheng and Maurice Jones, Jr. Our insightful co-host today was Seattle political reporter, editor of PubliCola, and co-host of the Seattle Nice podcast, and author of Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery, Erica Barnett. You can find Erica on Twitter @ericacbarnett and on You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks and you can find me on Twitter @finchfrii, with two i's at the end. You can catch Hacks & Wonks wherever you prefer to get your podcasts - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to get the full versions of our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, please leave a review whenever you can. You can also get a full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at and in the podcast episode notes.

Thanks for tuning in - talk to you next time.