Last night was a ton of fun. I sat with the guys from SonicsGate. If you watched the debate online, you likely heard us yelling a time or two. The atmosphere was cool. It was mostly pro-arena. Max Vekich and his wife were sitting up front and being loud and obnoxious. But other than them and a couple other Port people, it was mostly supportive. Cheers for Mike Salk ripping Tom Albro and Peter Steinbrueck. At times raucous jeers for Steinbrueck.
Mike Salk was on FIRE. Love that dude. He absolutely killed Albro and Steinbrueck on separate occasions. Steinbrueck was exactly what he is, a sniveling weasel playing his baseless fear-mongering game. Going off about how the deal was made in secret (which did nothing but set up Salk to call him out for his relationship with the Port and hidden discussions that took place prior. Albro was the politician he is, looking out for his company’s interests. Said a bunch of whatever. And Mike O’Brien really was great. Super cool, very smart. Played the role of peacemaker as opposed to Salk’s rabid bulldog. All in all, a good conversation, IMO. It once again hammered home the fact that the Port does nothing but repeat it's rhetoric and try to scare everyone. Salk and O'Brien were CLEARLY the two smartest guys on that panel, and it showed.
They took written questions from the audience. Was disappointed they only asked a couple. But got mine chosen. Brought up the fact that the Port gets about $75 million a year in public subsidy from property taxes, so why can’t the Port team with the city and Hansen on the needed infrastructure improvements. He went on to give a very political answer about how the Port already does that and looks out for the environment, blah blah. Mainly, I just wanted it reiterated that the Port gets public money, and them crying with their hand out constantly is disingenuous.
As for the moderators. I was split. I don't know their names. But I thought the guy did a fairly decent job being even-handed. The girl, Erica, I think, she was exactly what you said, Pink. Set up the Port to make their tired old claims, and put the hard questions on the pro guys. She said something ridiculous at one point about will people with strollers want to walk a mile to the arena. In actuality her stupid questions only set up Salk and O'Brien that much better. Like I said before, they were both on point. Felt really good about how they came off as opposed to Steinbrueck and Albro.
They’ll be posting the audio later. I suggest listening if you didn’t watch last night. It was a hoot.