State Sen. Ed Murray.

Ed Murray doesn’t understand why his opponent in Tuesday’s mayoral election is accusing him of being “Comcast’s candidate.”

A report by the Washington Post published Thursday suggested that Comcast, along with other Internet providers, was contributing to Murray’s campaign in hopes of putting a stop to Gigabit Squared’s planned high-speed fiber network.

Incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn then sent an email to supporters Friday morning with this subject line: “Washington Post exposes Murray as Comcast’s candidate.”

In an interview with GeekWire Friday afternoon, Murray told us that he’s flabbergasted both with the Post article — “they speculated and never interviewed me,” he says — and McGinn’s messages.

“It’s interesting this didn’t come up in the past ten-and-a-half months I’ve been running for mayor,” he said.

Murray said that he’s publicly supported the city’s attempt to have Gigabit provide high-speed broadband for several months and plans on honoring the agreement if elected.

Asked why Comcast, AT&T and CenturyLink have all contributed to his campaign, Murray recommended that people look at his 18-year record in the Washington legislature and his support from 22 labor unions in this election, among other achievements he listed off.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

“It’s pretty clear that I have a lot of integrity,” he said. “To infer that I am some kind of hack for Comcast I just think doesn’t bear out the facts.”

Murray also said that McGinn, who awarded a Pioneer Square broadband project to Comcast back in 2011, is “trying to ignore his own record.” He’s referring to McGinn’s promise back in 2009 to bring high-speed Internet for all of Seattle, which hasn’t happened yet.

“This is a mayor who said something and never produced in the last four years,” Murray said. “It’s great to say the really cool thing; it’s very different to bring results.”

Murray said he’s fully supportive of both bringing high-speed Internet to Seattle and also competition in the marketplace, “because that’s the only way we’ll spur people on to provide more service and cheaper service.”

“If people don’t believe my words, there’s not much I can do about it,” Murray said. 

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • 509

    Well Governor Locke was a hack for Verizon.

    Governor Inslee is a hack for Boeing.

    Senator Cantwell is a hack for Microsoft.

    We have the “best government money can buy”. The question is why are you electing people that represent BIG MONEY??

  • Harkonnen

    It’s a poverty of talent and vision in the Seattle mayoral race. The leading candidates have lackluster records, though McGinn has the additional burden of being known for fighting a losing battle against the Alaskan Way tunnel and rising crime in downtown Seattle.

    • Ben Schiendelman
      • RunTheNumbers

        The statistics don’t mean a thing in aggregate; they matter in specifics. The statistics are down because police reporting and responding to these incidents is down.

        But don’t take my word for it; spend a day walking around Westlake, the fringe areas of Pioneer Square and the International District, the park by Pike Place Market, or *anywhere* near City Hall. Not be be overly dramatic, but I’ve personally watched open-air drug deals, seen people fighting where it seemed someone was most certainly injured, watched drunks and addicts do faceplants into the street with oncoming traffic, watched police deal with the body of a deceased addict in a doorway across from our building. It seems isolated until you realize you’re seeing so many things like this, you forget about the first stuff that shocked you. Anyone who thinks the situation is improving isn’t spending enough time in the heart of the city.

        I doubt Murray will be able to do much about this, unless it becomes a major focus of the City. But McGinn has shown very little capacity to appreciate this problem nor to do much about it.

        • Ben Schiendelman

          I live downtown. You seem to be using an anecdote to make up a conspiracy theory. It’s crazy.

          • RunTheNumbers

            Anecdotes, yes — personal experience, so small sample size applies.

            But conspiracy theory? Hardly.

          • Ben Schiendelman

            That’s what it means to believe the police are all suddenly not reporting. In fact, the opposite has happened.

          • RunTheNumbers

            Who said anything about the *police* not reporting? I’m talking about no one responding to these scenarios.

            Nonetheless, you live downtown and I do not. If you feel safe with the current state of the city, more power to you. In spite of the statistics that are reported, I find the situation warrants significant improvement.

            And I don’t see McGinn caring about that situation beyond an election cycle. In fact, the *only* cycle I think he really cares about involve two wheels and painted lanes throughout town.

          • Ben Schiendelman

            I think that means you’re not paying enough attention. The mayor’s work on reforming the police has been nothing short of astounding. He used the DOJ settlement to get people into the room who had never had any access to government before – people in the East African community, Asian and Pacific Islander communities, people who had never been invited to be part of decision making now have a say in policing and real access to recourse.

          • RunTheNumbers

            Super, fantastic. Those communities deserve to participate and interact with the police in a meaningful, positive manner.

            What does this have to do with downtown?

          • Ben Schiendelman

            Why would it need to? You made a non-downtown blanket statement about the mayor that I responded to.

          • RunTheNumbers

            “Blanket” statement about paying lip service to downtown safety & security? Thanks for classifying my response for me.

            Here’s some advice from an old political hack: if you’re intention was to get me to listen to your opinion, this is *not* the way to go about it. You’re presenting a slate of facts which fall under the fallacy of cherry picking, and in doing so have insinuated that I have no knowledge or appreciation of the matter at hand. (Hell, I’m cherry picking too — but that’s only how the conversation starts, not how it should end.) The only thing you’ve managed to do here is reinforce a stereotype for me that those who support McGinn see exactly what they want to see, is judgmental toward others, and ignores everything else. Exactly what you’ve accused me of doing.

            You had an opportunity to convince me to believe what I otherwise believe, and you failed. I won’t continue with a debate where I’m essentially being insulted. But hey, congrats — you win.

          • Ben Schiendelman

            You said all he cared about was bikes. I responded to that. I can’t make you care about my opinion on the internet – your mind was very clearly made up. What I did was make sure your attitude and treatment of others in a discussion were apparent to everyone else.

  • guest

    So was there and answer to the question of why Comcast, AT&T, and Century Link are contributors to his campaign? I read twice, but I don’t see an answer…

    • Guest

      Just ignore Ed’s ridiculous non-answer. A week from now, you won’t need to know who he is. Mike has already won reelection; we just need the news to tell us.

    • Ben Schiendelman

      And why Comcast has donated additional tens of thousands to PACs working for his election. That kind of donation doesn’t come without specifics.

  • Max Storbakken

    McGinn has been making solid progress on increasing internet speed in Seattle and building the City of the Future, making sure innovation doesn’t continue to be squelched by slow data speeds. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/11/01/seattle-mayor-i-have-comcast-and-i-would-like-better-service/

    I too would appreciate an answer to why those slow-anti-competition internet providers are backing Murray. I can only think that they believe Murray will slow down on the progress McGinn has been making.

  • Tom

    “If people don’t believe my words, there’s not much I can do about it,” Murray said.

    you could not take the contributions, Ed. That’s what you could do.

    • Ben Schiendelman

      Indeed – he could send them back! But he hasn’t.

  • Anon

    “Deep Throat” suggested in the days of Watergate that you should “Follow the money”. Ed Murray has the max contributions from Comcast/ATT/CenturyLink/and the Fraternal Order of the Police, all monopolists, what else can go wrong from someone who is beholden to this group. There’s no question that Mike McGinn has made mistakes, but my take is that he has learned from them. He supports the Seattle Tech community, will you support him?

  • Guest500

    Endorsed by 22 labor unions! He gets my vote. As everyone knows, unions always help move things forward, just like when they delayed them multi billion dollar tunnel project for almost a month over which two employees from which union could stack a few boxes.

    • Ben Schiendelman

      If you sign contracts with two different companies promising them the same money, what happens when they both ask you to pay up?

Job Listings on GeekWork