1. Mayor Mike McGinn and challenger Ed Murray debated at Seattle Center last night, at a forum sponsored by CityClub and Seattle Works. (City Council member Richard Conlin and proponents and opponents of district elections were also there). Erica tweeted the whole event.
2. Fizz has been tracking the week-to-week fundraising by the mayoral candidates, but it's the monthly reports—that include expenditures—that give us a clearer picture of where things stand.
In this instance, they confirm what we've been seeing in our snapshot reporting. Challenger Ed Murray is lapping Mayor Mike McGinn. Over the last month Murray has raised $186,000 to McGinn's $81,000, bringing Murray's total raised to $648,190 compared to McGinn's $405,210.
And this isn't a case of fewer big donors outweighing smaller grassroots donors. The average contribution to each candidate is about the same: around $220. Murray simply has more contributors—2,500 contributors to McGinn's 1,700 contributors.
The most important number, of course, is how much money the candidates have on hand at this point. Murray's ahead there as well: $54,482 to $2,839.
Murray has already started reporting this week's fundraising numbers and guess who gave him money: Peter Steinbrueck.
3. And speaking of contributors: Murray has already started reporting this week's fundraising numbers and guess who gave him money: Peter Steinbrueck.
It's not a big check—$50—but the former City Council president and mayoral primary race contender himself has clout with the all-important "neighborhood" vote that both Murray and McGinn have been appealing to as the campaign enters the home stretch.
4. Speaking of Steinbrueck, he was on hand last night (with his former consultant Cathy Allen) at a packed Murray campaign event at the Century Ballroom on Capitol Hill where former Gov. Chris Gregoire was the featured speaker.
The event, billed as "Winning for Women" (Murray has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood) played up Murray's support among women (the crosstabs on the latest SurveyUSA poll showed women supporting Murray over McGinn 54-29.)
The invite had a long list of sponsors, including former SPD oversite leader Kate Pflaumer, Sound Transit lobbyist Melanie Smith, and businesswoman Molly Moon.
5. Speaking of Murray's attempt to win female voters, the independent expenditure committee that's supporting Murray, People for a New Seattle Mayor (backed largely by the city Firefighters Union), released their first TV ad today—a $63,000 buy to run through the election.
The spot features Terri Kimball, the former director of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention at the Seattle Human Services Department. The ad criticizes McGinn for cutting the city's Office of Domestic Violence and cites the stat that DV aggravated assault is up 60 percent.
"To McGinn," a somber Kimball says, "domestic violence just wasn't a priority."
6. It's not all good news for Murray this morning, though.
The scandal—first reported by PubliCola—that the head of the state senate's election campaign committee, Michael King, embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars during last year's pivotal election—just won't go away.
Murray, of course, was a co-chair of the committee. The Seattle Times has more revelations on the scandal this morning including details from the King County prosecutors interviews with King that say Murray and the other Democratic state senators weren't watching him closely.
The Times reports:
Murray became a co-chair last June. Among the previous co-chairs, state Sen. Scott White died unexpectedly of a heart condition, state Sen. Lisa Brown declined to seek re-election and state Sen. Derek Kilmer was elected to Congress.
King’s embezzlement started in late 2011 under their watch. King said he had “very few conversations” with the senators about the day-to-day operations of the committee.
That didn’t change when Murray and state Sens. Sharon Nelson and David Frockt took over as co-chairs last year. “There was never any increased accountability really,” King told investigators.
However, King said the senators were never told he’d been granted the authority to write checks from the SDCC accounts without a second signature — a power that emboldened his thefts.