Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has a problem that’s not going away. To date, since 2007, three men have come forward with strikingly similar stories about how Murray allegedly paid them for sexual encounters when they were underage teens in the 1980’s.
Seattle magazine The Stranger has covered the story from all angles and on Thursday published the responses from Seattle labor unions — 19 of which are listed by Murray’s campaign as endorsing the mayor for another term — on whether or not they will support Murray over the other left-wing candidates this election year.
The article’s author, Heidi Groover, notes that some of the unions hadn’t responded yet while others equivocated because their union hadn’t met to discuss the issue.
However, one union manager speaking on its behalf gave a truly astonishing answer. Instead of answering the question The Stranger posed, David Westberg of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 609 pointed at President Trump’s indiscretions and his continued support from Evangelicals as his rationale to continue supporting Ed Murray in spite of the sex abuse allegations.
“We have a president followed by millions of evangelicals that have not changed their support for the president based on his repeated behaviors, recorded and factual, that he flat out denies and everyone looks the other way,” said David Westberg, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 609, which represents custodial, environmental, grounds, nutrition, and security workers in Seattle Public Schools. “Certainly, the president has nowhere near the record of accomplishments Ed Murray does. I think, if in American politics, all’s fair, we need to give Ed Murray the same consideration the president has received, which involved a lot of flexibility in terms of support.”
Westberg said his union, whose endorsement of the mayor was announced by the mayor’s campaign Monday, has no plans to revisit its endorsement and plans to “give Ed Murray the same support he’s given working people in city of Seattle and that’s a lot.”
“I don’t believe the allegations impact Ed Murray’s viability as a progressive mayor of a progressive city like Seattle,” Westberg said. “I believe they’re trumped up allegations—and you can quote me on that.”
Well, that’s a fine logical fallacy of moral equivalency if I ever saw one. I’m no fan of Donald Trump’s, but pointing at the president’s objectification of women and admitted promiscuity doesn’t answer a question about Ed Murray and the mounting sex abuse case against him.
All of this will be sorted out in the courts and whether or not Murray did what he’s accused of is difficult to know in a he said/he said case, but the deflecting answer Westberg gave is, well, deplorable.