On the Capitol Hill, Seattle curve of E Olive Way where Democratic incumbent Patty Murray claimed 90% of the vote in August’s primary, her MAGA-friendly Republican challenger is hoping to make a stand over a shuttered coffee shop.
“These doors are closed because it’s too dangerous to ask employees to work here
anymore,” Senate challenger Tiffany Smiley says in the ad while standing — thanks to apparent computer wizardry — in front of the E Olive Way Starbucks that was controversially closed by the company this summer citing crime concerns in the area.
“Think about that. For decades, Patty Murray has spearheaded reckless policies that lead to shortages, inflation and so much crime that you can’t even get a cup of coffee from the hometown shop on Capitol Hill — even if you could still afford it,” Smiley concludes.
CHS has reached out to the Smiley campaign to ask more about the candidate’s “visit” to the neighborhood.
We have not heard back.
Besides the candidate’s insult to the neighborhood’s earning power, the flimsy punchlines probably won’t do much to change any minds about Murray here around the closed Starbucks store — 138 of 154 votes in the precinct surrounding the shop went to Murray in the primary.
And the store as example of Murray’s “soft-of-crime record” (sic) may not be the best choice.
CHS reported here on the political, real estate, and labor factors also behind the closure of the E Olive Way shop and a handful of other locations around the city that Starbucks claimed to be closing over crime fears.
As for Smiley’s chances in November, don’t bet on it. She’s up against 30+ years of WA Democratic power in Murray and has done little to distance herself from the Republican wackadoodle right though she has taken a more moderate position on abortion — “a rare Republican to take a stance supportive of abortion rights,” CNN says.
The candidate’s camp has been trying to hype up recent poll results and ad campaigns like the Starbucks “Cup of Coffee” jabs but election watchers say standing in front of a green screen pretending to be on E Olive Way is probably is as close as Smiley will get to any Capitol Hill.
UPDATE: A representative from the Murray campaign reached out to clarify Smiley’s stance on abortion. “Smiley is not moderate on abortion, despite her saying in a weird ad just two months before the election that she wouldn’t vote for a national abortion ban,” Naomi Savin, Deputy Communications Director for the People for Patty Murray campaign, writes.
Some background for consideration:
- Smiley is, in her own words, “100 percent pro-life”
- At the start of her campaign, she endorsed the Texas abortion ban — one of the most extreme in the nation, with no exceptions for rape or incest — even while admitting “there’s a lot of parts of it that make it hard for me in Washington state.”
- Smiley cheered the decision that overturned Roe and allowed states to ban abortion with no exceptions
- She is raising money from, campaigning with, and collecting endorsements from anti-abortion politicians who are committed to passing a national abortion ban.
- If elected, Smiley’s first vote would be to make Mitch McConnell Senate majority leader — and Republicans have already introduced and suggested they would bring to the floor legislation to ban abortion nationwide and impose criminal penalties of up to five years in prison on Americans.