Afternoon Jolt: Murray Raises Big Bucks for Mayoral Run; Standoff Continues in State Senate
Today's Winners & Losers
Today's Winner is Ed Murray
Since declaring his mayoral "exploratory committee" just a little more than a week ago, state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) raised nearly $123,000, his campaign says.
Murray needed to get money in the door—and boy did he succeed—because he's barred from raising money during the legislative session in Olympia, which begins next month and runs through April. The fundraising freeze began on Sunday.
His campaign won't name any of contributors, but the gay rights group Equal Rights Washington did an email blast last week and Murray held a swanky fundraiser last week at political consultant Roger Nyhus' house on Capitol Hill, where he raised $20,000 from about 150 people. (State Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-43, Capitol Hill, did the money ask.)
Murray needed to get money in the door—and boy did he succeed.
His campaign says the money comes from 480 contributors. The haul confirms that Murray, coming off this year's gay marriage win, is a bit of a local hero.
As we reported last week, incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn has raised $95,000 (with $33,000 cash on hand) and the other major candidate, Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess, has raised $25,000 (in just four days of fundraising) with $16,000 cash on hand.
Murray had raised just $1,700 at that point, with a debt of $10,000.
Today's Loser is Ed Murray (Rodney Tom is kind of a loser today too)
The fact that Tom relied on Schoesler to issue a joint statement, even though Tom is the supposed leader of this new caucus, shows just how illegitimate Tom's leadership is.
In Murray's other life—as leader of the state senate Democrats—he put out statement today rejecting the proposal made by the so-called "Majority Coalition," the Republican caucus plus two alleged Democrats—Sens. Rodney Tom (D-48, Bellevue) and Tim Sheldon (D-35, Potlatch).
It was a pretty badass statement; basically, Murray said the proposal didn't jibe with senate rules and if the GOP wanted to take over they'd have to do it in a floor fight. He also made a counteroffer to stave off the battle: Instead of the GOP's proposal (six Republican-chaired committees, six Democratic-chaired committees, and three co-chaired committees), Murray proposed having all committees co-chaired.
"Support us in a true bipartisan arrangement with true sharing of power and responsibilities," Murray said in a dig at the Republicans, who spun their proposal as bipartisan while giving themselves the key committees (including Ways and Means) and giving themselves vote advantages on committees that were supposed to be bipartisan or under Democratic control, such as the Transportation Committee where dissident Sheldon would serve as a nominal Democrat.
Despite Murray's olive branch, the GOP stuck by their proposal today, issuing a joint statement from the "Majority Coalition" leader, Tom and Republican caucus leader Sen. Mark Schoesler (R-9, Ritzville):
Senator Murray has said repeatedly that in order for the Senate to function, someone has to be in charge. We agree, and as the new majority we are committed to moving forward with the Senate structure we believe best reflects the values of the people of our state.
“This is the time to put the people of Washington first rather than focus on politics. While we recognize Senate Democrats are technically in charge until the legislative session opens Jan. 14, there is a long-standing tradition that has the outgoing majority accommodate the new majority so a transition can get under way in the weeks before a session begins. It is our hope that the current majority will cooperate with us to ensure a smooth handoff of leadership and allow the Senate to tackle the many pressing needs of our state from day one of the 2013 session.
Footnote: Tom's a bit of a loser too, though. The fact that Tom relied on Schoesler to issue a joint statement, even though Tom is the supposed leader of this new caucus, shows just how illegitimate Tom's leadership is.