What's more exciting than a hard-fought election? The hard fighting that continues after the election.
The Sidran Truth Squad, a loose coalition of activists organized to dog former City Attorney Mark Sidran on the campaign trail, won't let the fact that Sidran lost the election slow it down. The plan was to issue an e-mail challenge to state Rep. Ed Murray and state Sen. Pat Thibaudeau, two incumbent Democrats in Capitol Hill's 43rd Legislative District who endorsed Sidran.
The Truth Squad's intent was to tell the two legislators that it was "deeply disappointed" by the endorsement, given Sidran's record of targeting and harassing "[the] poor, youth, small-business owners, the homeless, workers in his own office, African Americans, and peaceful protesters." The letter continued: "We also hope that you take time first to confer with the community before staking out positions that are of such critical importance to the future of this city." An unimpressed Murray beat the Truth Squad to the punch by replying to a draft copy of the letter that had been forwarded to him.
"I am proud to have endorsed Mark Sidran and I am proud that my district voted for him," he responded. (Actually, 43rd voters backed Nickels by about a 10-point margin in the final.) He further challenged the Truth Squad to find its own candidate and challenge him in next year's Democratic primary if it can't handle his independence. "I will never bow to extremist single-issue politics and your fascist truth squad," he concluded.
Well, you can't say he ducked the issue. The Sidran Truth Squad has since gathered some 73 signatures for its letter and plans to distribute it—and Murray's response—to its supporters and the media.
Murray says he doesn't understand the pointed postelection commentary he's heard from Nickels supporters. "These are very divisive comments in a very close election," says Murray. "It's time for people to bring the city together." His critics, he notes, need to realize the election is over—and they won.