State Politics, Activism, The City, Media

State Politics

Timothy Borders is best known as the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit to overturn the election of Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire. But before the young Republican became party to the court challenge known as Borders v. King County, he worked for King County as an elections worker. Evidently, Borders felt pretty good about his job and the King County Elections Department at the time. On Dec. 7, 2004, he asked and received permission to use King County Elections Director Dean Logan as a reference on his application for a job with the U.S. State Department's foreign service, according to an e-mail obtained through a public disclosure request. Just a month later, Borders and seven others sued Logan, King County, and the state's 38 other counties, charging that the tabulation of illegal votes and rejection of proper votes rendered Gregoire's election invalid. Borders says ultimately he never used Logan as a reference because he failed the State Department's rigorous test required to advance his application. Is Condoleezza Rice next on his litigation list? GEORGE HOWLAND JR.


The Seattle Central Community College administration has withdrawn a demand for an apology by a student group involved in an anti-Bush rally Jan. 20, during which military recruiters were chased off campus and their literature was destroyed (see Buzz, Feb. 2). The incident was a lightning rod for right-wing radio and blogs, and SCCC administrators were besieged with criticism for not holding the students accountable. Student representatives also took to the airwaves, appearing twice on Fox News Channel and on local conservative talk radio. Students Against War refused to apologize for what they claimed was the spontaneous action of individuals. According to the students' faculty adviser, Pete Knutson, the school apparently decided that attempting to disband the group, as it had threatened, "wasn't worth the battle." Next for the student group: preparing a major antiwar rally in Seattle on March 19. GEOV PARRISH

The City

Are the Sonics leaving Seattle? The team says it won't play that game to get an expanded venue, as the Seahawks and Mariners have. But without another expansion of city-owned KeyArena, owner and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says he might be forced to sell the team. Then the new owner can move it. It's extortion by another name, and the strategy is to snare $205 million in additional taxpayer money to expand KeyArena and add new profit-making concessions and VIP seating. That's $30 million more, by the way, than Schultz was asking in December, when the issue first surfaced. It also turns out the Sonics actually owe the city about $60 million, not $40 million, on the KeyArena redo just nine years ago—a debt they effectively want forgiven with legislation introduced in Olympia. State Rep. Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle, for one, has bought the Sonics' line. He's prime sponsor of House Bill 2209, which would extend and redirect some existing taxes to KeyArena once the bills for Safeco Field and Qwest Field are paid. Pettigrew recently told The Tacoma News Tribune that "this is really about the stability of Seattle Center, supporting the arts, and helping the city." Actually, it's about helping the rich folk who run professional sports franchises. If he wants to help the Center, the city, and the arts, the tax receipts could be dedicated to their nonarena causes, and half-billionaire Schultz can pay his own tab. By the way, the bill would also grant arena-naming rights to the team. Just what this city needs: another Starbucks sign. RICK ANDERSON


Slate founder Michael Kinsley referred to it as "The Church of David Brewster." Now the church is looking for a new preacher. Brewster, the former editor, publisher, and founder of Seattle Weekly, left the paper in 1997 and went on to create Town Hall, the civic gathering spot and performance venue in a restored historic Christian Science church downtown at Eighth Avenue and Seneca Street. After five years running the place, Brewster will step down this fall, and a search for his successor is under way. The change will bring in new blood and allow the onetime writer, who has been a columnist for both Seattle Weekly and The Seattle Times, to again become a self-described "menace" with the pen. Instead of playing host to the city, he plans to write a book about his favorite town. KNUTE BERGER

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