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Times: Murray threw embarrassing fit over UW parking ticket

Photo from the Murray campaign
Photo from the Murray campaign

We’ve all been frustrated by an unexpected fee. I once refused to leave the desk of a Wells Fargo branch manager until she reversed a $5 fee I was charged for not having enough money in my account (a noble cause…right?).

It appears Ed Murray is no different. The mayoral challenger apparently threw a bit of an embarrassing fit about a UW parking ticket in 2010, the Seattle Times reports.

In his email to parking officials, he refuses to pay and threatens to cancel his UPASS (UW discount transit pass) and “buy parking in the area and drive to work every day” as a kind of punishment for refusing to sell him a parking pass until he pays the fee.


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And unlike the fit I threw at Wells Fargo (I bought the best latte on Earth after getting my money back), Murray’s exchange was captured in email and has now surfaced to the world. From the Seattle Times:

In an email to parking officials, Murray complained he’d been unaware of the ticket, which hadn’t come up the last time he picked up parking passes. He wrote that he only would have been on campus in 2008 “in my capacity as Washington State Senator.”

“Since I have no intention of paying for a violation I have no knowledge of and since you are unwilling to sale [sic] me parking passes, please cancel my UPASS. I will buy parking in the area and drive to work every day,” Murray wrote in the Oct. 7, 2010, email. (The U-PASS is a discounted bus and transit pass for UW staff and students.)

UW parking employees appeared nervous at the blast from a powerful state politician. In an email, one wrote there was proof that notice of the ticket had been mailed to Murray’s home in addition to being placed on his vehicle. “I can certainly waive the late fee, but I can’t erase the ticket,” the employee wrote to a coworker, adding “this one may be sensitive.”

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The Times also reports that he has three more unpaid UW parking tickets totaling $235. They are outstanding and have been sent to collections. He does not appear to have any City of Seattle parking tickets.

This revelation is certainly far less substantive than our recent posts about Murray. I don’t actually think the meat of the story reflects much on his views about important parking policy issues (though folks dinged with tickets under his leadership might have a new joke line).

But it’s an unusual view behind the scenes of how he handles a frustrating situation. It’s also interesting that it’s a parking ticket that brings it out of him.


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5 responses to “Times: Murray threw embarrassing fit over UW parking ticket”

  1. buck

    I thought this was the bike blog?
    I know you endorsed McGinn but this has NOTHING to do with biking (even tangentially). Please keep it on topic OK?

  2. Jonathan

    Are we trying to say he has the wrong temperament? That’s entirely possible, but I’ve seen some of the nicest people turn out to be road ragers too. Let’s try to stay focused on why Murray is of concern to cycling advocates, namely his waffley, contradictory statements about current and future projects.

  3. Drew

    I don’t see why this was posted in a biking blog either. But since it was, I say good for Sen. Murray. I have no intention of paying for any violation that I have no knowledge of, either! Is refusing to pay for a violation you’re not aware of any less noble than refusing to leave a banking branch until an unfair charge is reversed? I think not!

    1. Leif Espelund

      Yeah, not fessing up to your mistakes, not taking responsibility, and trying to use your power to get out of consequences to your actions are exactly the kind of traits we should be looking for in a potential mayor. Your feelings are based on the premise that he didn’t see the ticket on his windshield (possible, maybe it blew away) and he somehow also missed the notice mailed to his house (maybe he has low attention to detail, another great characteristic for a leader). Same thing probably happened to the other tickets too, right? Give me a break.

  4. Love this post. If you want more bike infrastructure, don’t vote for Murray. I’ve seen Mayor McGinn riding his bike to events in Seattle. He doesn’t seem “entitled” like State Senator Murray does.

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