Morning Fizz: Mystery Donors
Caffeinated news and gossip featuring Citizens United and Socialists united.
1. Maybe it was bad karma for the left?
Last month's initial minimum wage victory in SeaTac got slammed by a King County Superior Court ruling this holiday season when the judge invalidated much of the $15 minimum wage law, cutting those whose wages will increase from 6,300 workers at the airport and surrounding businesses to just 1,600 workers at parking lots and hotels around the airport. Ouch.
Judge Andrea Darvis ruled that the Port of Seattle has exclusive jurisdiction over the the airport, so the city vote to increase wages doesn't apply to the contract workers there who were initially part of the minimum wage campaign win.
Why bad karma?
Lefties, and PubliCola too, are perpetually demonizing 2009's Citizens United ruling, but in SeaTac this year, the minimum wage campaign took more than $250,000 from a nonprofit called Working Washington. Working Washington, like one of those pablum-named nonprofits that Citizens United unleashed—allowing mystery donors to fund electioneering—didn't have to disclose its funders.
Fizz found this out the hard way yesterday afternoon doing a routine year-end campaign finance check in; we ran into a brick wall trying to find out who was contributing to Working Washington. We quickly brought our frustrations to the Public Disclosure Commission, but they were stumped too, saying all they knew was that Working Washington was affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, and said they'd get back to us. (SEIU tells us simply Working Washington is registered as a nonprofit. Working Washington is funded in part by SEIU, but good luck to the public trying to figure that out or trying to identify other donors to the group.)
You'll remember, liberals were able to use campaign disclosure enforcement to their advantage during the campaign season this year in the GMO-labeling fight. The Grocery Manufacturers Association was shielding its donors until activists sued and the Washington State AG stepped in on the pro-labeling side's behalf. AG Bob Ferguson used his subpeona power to prove that the Grocery Manufacturers Association were directly soliciting money to defeat the GMO-labeling initiative (which undid the GMA's nonprofit exemption for purposes of the GMO campaign) forcing them to disclose their donors.
File this under: Just Sayin'.
2. Socialist City Council Member-Elect Kshama Sawant is hoping to turn next week's swearing-in ceremony into a rally for her lefty agenda, including raising Seattle's minimum wage to $15.
In an email to supporters yesterday, inviting them to Monday's 3:30 pm inaguration ceremony (600 4th Ave—1st Floor Lobby) she said:
I need you—and your friends, family, co-workers—there to show your support for a new type of politics, one that represents the interests of working people rather than corporate greed. Make your presence known by wearing your Vote Sawant $15/hr t-shirts (or the t-shirt of your union or progressive organization) and bringing signs for $15/hr, taxing the rich or rent control.