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‘So much crime that you can’t even get a cup of coffee from the hometown shop on Capitol Hill’ — Republican Senate candidate takes on Murray over E Olive Way Starbucks closure

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:

 

 

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public spaces belong to people
public spaces belong to people
6 days ago

Sad, suburban + rural pandering “cities are dangerous” stupidity on full display.

Just be better republicans, for real.

CHR
CHR
6 days ago

No matter your feelings on crime and the police, it’s a crazy argument to make that you can’t get coffee in Capitol Hill.

public spaces belong to people
public spaces belong to people
6 days ago
Reply to  CHR

I also hate the “crime is ok in cities, it’s just what cities are” stupid a$$ suburban thoughts – no crime is not OK, and yes, they should be penalized (including taken away from society that they clearly don’t want to function in).

However, this is beyond that. It’s stupid.

Mike S.
Mike S.
6 days ago

Instead of nitpicking about green screens (which are pretty commonly used in all campaign ads these days), I’d like to see some honest reporting and commentary about how that coffee shop went from a thriving central hub of the neighborhood for many years to what it is now. Do local politicians share any responsibility? I don’t agree with Smiley on much, but our side should at least have a better answer than “whatever, you’re a wackadoodle”.

D.. R..
D.. R..
6 days ago
Reply to  Mike S.

Two words: Union Busting.

SeattleGeek
SeattleGeek
6 days ago
Reply to  D.. R..

And, EVERYBODY knows it was union busting. The only way that local politicians share responsibility is if they made it so that Starbucks can’t be penalized for union busting.

JCW
JCW
5 days ago
Reply to  SeattleGeek

No, it FEELS like union-busting to you, so that means it must be true. Is that how it works, Christopher?

SeattleGeek
SeattleGeek
5 days ago
Reply to  JCW

Gurl, your aggressive gaslighting ain’t working on anybody. Why don’t you go bust the police union, JCW.

JCW
JCW
3 days ago
Reply to  SeattleGeek

Asking for receipts when someone makes a claim about something they have no direct knowledge of isn’t gaslighting, Geek.

SeattleGeek
SeattleGeek
3 days ago
Reply to  JCW

I didn’t see any asking for receipts. Do you have receipts for that request, JCW?

JCW
JCW
2 days ago
Reply to  SeattleGeek

Nope, you saw a snarky comment to someone who wants to make claims with no evidence other than their feelings. Which if they had any proof to the contrary they would have presented it when challenged. Instead, we get wordplay and redirection. But if you truly need it to be direct for you to understand I’ll rephrase…back up your statement. What evidence do you have to prove this was union-busting? This claim is all over the comments in this post, but those making it are curiously silent when asked for actual proof.

And before you try to dodge, I’ll state that I have no evidence that it ISN’T union busting. Could very well be. But no one seems to be backing that up.

SeattleGeek
SeattleGeek
2 days ago
Reply to  JCW

Well, at least you’re admitting that you lied about “asking for receipts.”

Thats a start for an honest conversation (although, now you’re lying about your comment being “snark” when there was absolutely no sense of humor about it).

Now you’re admitting you don’t have evidence that it isn’t union busting, while simultaneously taking an aggressive stance that it surely CANNOT be union busting.

Take your evidenceless gaslighting elsewhere. May I suggest 8Chan, which might be more your speed?

JCW
JCW
2 days ago
Reply to  SeattleGeek

And the dodge continues. Be well.

Will
Will
6 days ago

Gas light on full display. Civility on the Hill has taken a huge hit and my neighbors have noticed. Wish residence of Seattle could move just a little to the right. It does not have to get as bad as “other cities”, to have a valid argument of crime in this city.

d4l3d
d4l3d
6 days ago

Murray’s “soft-of-crime record” (sic). When did MAGA stop being a crime against humanity?

NayBor
NayBor
6 days ago

I feel like most of her ads are addressing state and local issues. I’m not sure T.S knows what a Senator does.

The Ghost of Video Vertigo
The Ghost of Video Vertigo
6 days ago

I am shocked . . . that the Smiley camp didn’t spell it “Capital Hill.”

Chaz
Chaz
6 days ago

Yes, this is nonsense, but Seattle lefties should also be doing some self-reflection. Why is Seattle starring in so many conservative political commercials? Ten years ago, Patty Murray could have stood at that location and used it as the backdrop for her re-election campaign. How did we go from being one of the most livable cities in the country to being a cautionary tale of what happens when you elect progressives? The west coast cities are not well, and it is not just covid.

Joseph Blough
Joseph Blough
1 hour ago
Reply to  Chaz

Republicans have been using the “cities are dangerous hellholes where no decent (read white) person is safe!” for at least a half century. You can walk half a block to find another coffee shop that’s doing just fine.

Moderate
Moderate
6 days ago

Seattle isn’t safe. I’m pro-choice, and Smiley’s a carpetbagger. That said, progressives have destroyed Seattle. Progressives have destroyed the SPD with their rhetoric, and have directly caused a massive rise in all facets of crime. Progressives have demonstrated that they’re anarchists who’ll victimise the victims — think the minorities who’ve been killed during the rise in violence, and women who’ve suffered sexual assault; And yet these progressives demand that the perpetrators remain free “because jails aren’t safe!”.

SeattleGeek
SeattleGeek
6 days ago
Reply to  Moderate

“Progressives have destroyed the SPD with their rhetoric”

I wish…

Guest guy
Guest guy
6 days ago
Reply to  Moderate

*gasp* Not the rhetoric! How will they ever recover?! I sure hope their qualified immunity applies to all things mean words and harsh language. jfc

Boo
Boo
6 days ago
Reply to  Moderate

I agree with Moderate to some extent. Now, Seattle itself has never been entirely safe. When I moved here w/my family in 1960s, we were warned that Pioneer Square wasn’t safe to go to after dark. When I moved to Capitol Hill a couple of decades later it was definitely sketchy, and also not that safe after dark.

Things improved in the 90s, but in the 21st century, there’s been a steady decline. The neighborhood looks uglier for a start, with more trash strewn all over the place. There’s an increase in homelessness. And a general sense that you can essentially do anything you want and get away with it. Now people shoot up openly on the street. I used to read police reports where someone shoplifted from Safeway or QFC and the person was arrested and banned from the store. Now I see people strolling out w/o paying and no one does anything. Years ago my upstairs neighbor came downstairs because someone had broken into her apt; we called the police and they actually came. Now a neighbor told they called the cops because there was a non-resident in their building pounding on doors and screaming, and when he called the police, they said there was nothing they could do. There’s a sense of lawlessness that has been present for quite a while (I stopped walking by Cal Anderson after sunset over a decade ago), but I guess the difference now is that there seems to be no concern about stopping it. It’s the same in the downtown core (3rd Avenue) which looks like a wasteland, added to the trashed out light rail stations (esp Westlake).

I don’t doubt that Starbucks had other reasons for closing that particular outlet (which I also thought must surely be earmarked for redevelopment), but since they officially announced that “safety” was the reason it was closed, what can you expect but that people will point to that as the reason.

Meta
Meta
5 days ago
Reply to  Boo

Good description of the progression of the state of things. I moved away when Seattle was more in its original prime, before tech and Amazon invaded, about the time the movie Singles came out, and was about the age of the actors in that movie. As a kid I remember Pioneer Square before it was revitalized. Dad would drive us around all of the derelict buildings and alleys and streets down there. Broadway used to be more to human scale. Now it feels like a box lined canyon. Went to the original REI in a big old building near the freeway, the old St. Vincent de Paul, the Doghouse Cafe, boatbuilding works on Lake Union, the locks, the Alki Tavern, the Off Ramp, was at the UW when we won the national championship, and on and on. It’s a gone world now, but I still carry with me through life some good memories of those times and that era.

Clark
Clark
5 days ago
Reply to  Moderate

Please- maybe you missed there was a pandemic? The courts have a 40 backlog. The pandemic saw cases postponed over and over for sick judges, sick attorneys, sick bailiffs, sick court reporters, etc. The jails are 20% understaffed (like the rest of society). They are having to close jail units becuase they can provide guards. meanwhile the anti-vaccine nonsense has permeated police and jail staff so jails are still ahving covid outbreaks. Meanwhile the polcie are similarly understaffed, while also engaged ina work slow down to shift sentiment about the DOJ onsent decree. Maybe you missed 20 million people lost their jobs (and 1.1 million lost their lvies) and many became homeless. But it’s easy to blame a complex world on whatever bogeyman you wish. Every complex problem has a simple solution that is appealing and wrong.

C_Kathes
C_Kathes
6 days ago

Smiley isn’t “supportive of abortion rights.” She merely claims to oppose a federal ban, which has become the standard Republican line post-Dobbs (Lindsey Graham notwithstanding).

Matt
Matt
6 days ago

Once again, I would like to remind the commenters here of a few facts: 1) still in the midst of a global pandemic that sees less people using this bus stop and meeting point on a regular basis. 2) Urban living is chaotic and tumultuous, we don’t eat at the same slop holes as our founders because communities and businesses continue to build off one another. This is a prime price of real estate that will likely be multistory housing. Please all of you who want Seattle to fail, keep on hating/complaining, the rest of us are here with our sleeves rolled up actual trying to make a difference!

Chaz
Chaz
6 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Have you been outside the Seattle bubble in the last few years? Not all cities went into decline “due to a global pandemic”. I have traveled a lot in and outside the country. Other cities away from the west coast don’t have nearly the level of boarded up businesses and societal breakdown. In fact, many have become more vibrant over the last couple of years. Seattle’s problems are largely self-inflicted by the activists and ideologues on city council and within the court system and NGOs that enable drug addicts, camping and criminal behavior.

Matt
Matt
2 days ago
Reply to  Chaz

It’s almost as if tech companies took advantage of the lack of income taxes in WA and the progressive policies of western states that their employees desired to lure people here, displaced locals, did not ultimately contribute to the local tax base, and then abandoned the city during the pandemic when things got tough 🤷🏻‍♂️

Lubatab
Lubatab
6 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Probably you didn’t live in that area and that’s why you are not well aware. I did lived close by and I never felt safe being in that area. I still live not far from that location and the noise and violence coming from that area all the time. I am going to another coffee shop on Broadway and sometimes, when I am sitting outside, I am not always that comfortable as well. I am sick and tired of people not doing anything but just arguing about who is better or worse, democrats or republicans. I don’t care, as long the city become safer and cleaner. It’s a shame that people got used to live like that. Even the third world lives cleaner.

JTContinental
JTContinental
3 days ago
Reply to  Lubatab

Even the third world lives cleaner.”

Ummm…definitely not true

Nic
Nic
6 days ago

Go vote for Patty Murray! This is such an important election for the rights of women and bodily autonomy overall. And, it is gross to have Smiley stoking fear in front of a union-busted Starbucks. Don’t be distracted. Vote for Murray.

Readup
Readup
5 days ago
Reply to  Nic

The Supreme Court ruling means no federal law regarding abortion is constitutional. Abortion rights need to be codified at the state level. Neither smiley nor murray can make any difference to the new status quo.

Glenn
Glenn
4 days ago
Reply to  Readup

Not true. Congress can always pass a law addressing abortion access. The court merely found no constitutional right to abortion. There ruling does not prevent Congress from passing a law allowing abortion nationwide. Federal law would then preempt ant State’s attempts to restrict it.

Brian Aker
Brian Aker
3 days ago
Reply to  Readup

You need to go reread the opinion written by the Supreme Court; they most definitely left open an option for Congress to regulate abortion.
If the Republicans can line up control over the House, Senate, and land a President? I have no doubt that they won’t pass a bill restricting abortion on a national level.

Capitol Hill resident for 18 years
Capitol Hill resident for 18 years
6 days ago

Considering where she is standing, there is a Starbucks right on the corner of Broadway & Denny, you know the unionized one. Oh and Starbucks Reserve, 5 blocks south. Or the Starbucks in both QFCs along broadway. That location was shut down because it was a target of vandalism, and it was also a stand-alone building with grounds to maintain, which likely meant it was far more expensive to operate than the other stores in the area

Meta
Meta
3 days ago

And I wonder if Starbucks owns that piece of land. Many of these large chains also function as real estate holding companies, as with McDonalds. If they do own it, they could turn profits in other ways.

Teresa
Teresa
6 days ago

‘weird that you would say Murray was responsible for this.

davidedgar
davidedgar
5 days ago

It was shut down because of union busting.

JCW
JCW
4 days ago
Reply to  davidedgar

Evidence?

Capitol Hill resident
Capitol Hill resident
2 days ago
Reply to  JCW

Even though I know JCW is commenting in bad faith. Here’s an article where they interviewed the employees at the olive way location.

https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/starbucks-dealing-with-pushback-amid-planned-closure-several-local-stores/JONYLCHZYFBUTAW6GLGY4IAQB4/

The fucking employees at the store, who voted to unionize a week before the closure was announced, are saying it’s retaliation.

The fun thing is that our city attorney could actually do something about this. But guess what company donated to her campaign?

JCW
JCW
2 days ago

There is no bad faith here. I legitimately want to see evidence for all the claims of union-busting I’m seeing around here. All I’m getting are “feelings”, even in the article you link to:

“Starbucks is saying it’s about safety. But we won our election May 27, and I feel like that has a lot more to do with it,” said Cosgrove.

You may be absolutely fine taking things on faith. I generally prefer to see evidence before I spout off.

Nandor
Nandor
5 days ago

People, even here in Seattle are getting tired of the squalor and excuses made for tolerating pretty much any kind of bad behavior, BUT, she’s dreaming if she 1) thinks Patty Murray, a US Senator, is responsible for it (hint.. it’s city council) or 2) that even the most fed up of us would ever vote for a MAGA head who’s parroted whacko Trump rhetoric about the last election…

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
5 days ago
Reply to  Nandor

hint.. it’s city council

Hint, it’s not that either. It’s decades of terrible social policies at the national level trickling down as promised, coupled with living in a region with a mild climate.

The people that put those policies in place very much appreciate you blaming a city council though!

Nandor
Nandor
1 day ago
Reply to  Fairly Obvious

Nope… it’s city council..They are the only one’s who have enough control of local laws to impact this. Does climate draw people here, sure (and I’m glad to see you’ve admitted it), but what happens once they are here is all on us.

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
5 days ago

Funny that she doesn’t mention the City Attorney is a Republican 🤔

Glenn
Glenn
4 days ago
Reply to  Fairly Obvious

Yawn. Sawant. You happy now Obvious?

Jasper
Jasper
5 days ago

Funny, I go to Capitol Hill on the reg and never have had a problem finding both friendly conversation and coffee. Where is she looking?

Bobson Dugnutt
Bobson Dugnutt
5 days ago

“the hometown shop” — does she mean Analog two blocks north? Ghost Note to the south? The two Vivaces and the Kitanda up the hill? Maybe Kaladi Bros or Neko or Vita over on pike/pine? One of the lesser known shops I’m sure I’m forgetting about?

“Can’t get a cup of coffee on the hill” lmao how out of touch can you be

Will
Will
3 days ago

The reason I had any issues getting coffee on Capitol Hill has been to union busting. Looking at you Starbucks.