Evan Smith: Muni League chairman responds to comments

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

By Evan Smith
ShorelineAreaNews Politics Writer

My post 10 days ago on the Municipal League’s rating of legislative candidates has brought several comments from readers.

Here, King County Muni League Co-Chairman Gabe Meyer responds to some of those comments.

I talked to Meyer late Thursday afternoon. Here are his responses:

• To a comment that Democratic State Representative candidate Cindy Ryu’s low rating when she ran for re-election to the Shoreline City Council last year was due to her inability to appear at a League interview, Meyer said that when a candidate doesn’t appear at an interview, the League makes a decision based on the information that it has from other sources — questionnaires, references , etc. Meyer said that Ryu’s “adequate” rating of last year and her “very good” rating this year were both based on a variety of available information.

• To a comment that the League’s retraction of former Shoreline City Councilman Ron Hansen’s rating last year showed a lack of League credibility, Meyer said that when the League got a complaint about information that it didn’t have during its original evaluation, it retracted the rating because it didn’t have time to reopen its evaluation. He agreed with the comment that “rating retracted” was the proper term, rather than “unrated,” a term the League uses when it does not evaluate a candidate, usually when the candidate is unopposed. He said that a retracted rating should not be considered positive or negative, although he acknowledged that Hansen had complained because he had lost his “very good” rating without his having an opportunity to present his side of the story.

• To a comment that the League had made Democratic State Senate candidate Patty Butler’s questionnaire unavailable because Butler had listed her time in the Legislature as 2007-2009 rather than 1997-1999. Meyer said that such a simple error wouldn’t disqualify a questionnaire but said he didn’t know why the questionnaire was no longer available.

Butler’s completed questionnaire was available on the League web site Monday night, with the dates of her years in the Legislature corrected, but the date of her loss for re-election uncorrected.


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