This is pretty much purely my speculation…
Fact: Out of 16 people on the Seattle City and King County Councils, Richard Conlin was one of 2 people to oppose the proposed arena. From Wikipedia:
On October 15, 2012, both the King County Council and Seattle City Council approved a financing plan for a $490 million sports arena in the Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood, backed by venture capitalist Chris Hansen. The King County Council vote was 9-0, while the City Council vote was 7-2, with Conlin and Nick Licata as the only opposition. The new arena was intended to host the NBASeattle SuperSonics professional basketball team as well as a potential NHL ice hockey team.
Opinion: I voted against Conlin solely because of this. Didn’t even look to see who the opposition was. (Of course, the joke’s on me – the opposition is a Socialist and I’m stuck with THAT for 4 years, but anyway.)
Conlin’s only colleague in his failed anti-arena effort was Nick Licata, who keeps getting elected under the same Seattle-specific psuedo-common sense that says people should wear socks with birkenstocks, refuse to use umbrellas in the rain and improve traffic by getting rid of car lanes for bike lanes. It appears Licata was at least lucky enough to be able to wait for the election to be over before having to launch his failed initiative to derail $151,000 from funding a more formalized Seattle Startup Initiative. I breathe a little thanks that Licata has lost enough pull that he can’t completely derail common sense in the Council anymore. Still, I can’t help think that as a city, we get what we deserve as long as we continue to elect that crackpot. But it’s worth noting that he waited until his paycheck for the next 4 years was secure before trying his latest effort to hold Seattle back.
But back to the point of the story. Richard Conlin is forced out of his job of guiding a city, and headed back to a job of writing policy for non-profits, thanks in part to his refusing to help bring a privately-funded arena to life. He could have used common sense and kept his job. But he didn’t. And by refusing, he forced voters to go against common sense and elect a Socialist. All in all a wash for the voters, and a loss for him.