Seattle mayoral candidate and State Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) got a boost this past week from two independent expenditures on his behalf: a $28,000 mailer to 55,000 households funded by People for Ed Murray, and a $5,000 phone call funded by the political arm of Planned Parenthool.
The independent expenditure campaign (which is barred by law from collaborating with a candidate's official campaign) is, as we've reported, funded by groups ranging from the conservative Washington Restaurant Association to the Seattle chamber of commerce PAC, Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE) to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund (Murray was instrumental in passing gay marriage in Washington state).
The mailer (which, as as we predicted, sends a positive message about Murray—who needs to increase his name recognition citywide—instead of attacking incumbent Mike McGinn), features former Seattle mayor Charley Royer, Seattle's longest-serving mayor. Which makes sense: Since primary voters tend to be older, they're likely to be familiar with (and respect) a guy who was mayor between 1978 and 1990, elected during the Carter administration.
The mailer also hits on what has become the chief Murray campaign theme—I'm collaborative, the mayor's divisive.
The ad quotes Royer saying, "As a former Seattle Mayor, I know it takes a leader with progressive values and proven effectiveness to move our city forward. That leader is Ed Murray. For too long our elected leaders have wasted time and money on political bickering, instead of working together to find solutions. It's time for a new mayor."
Dean Nielsen, a political consultant who produced the mailer along with Moxie Media, says the pro-Murray group decided to feature Royer because he's "a well-respected former mayor of Seattle"; he said the group plans to do another mailer before the August 6 election, but declined to say whether that mailer would be another pro-Murray piece or a hit on McGinn.
"Our goal is to communicate a winning message to help Ed become the next mayor, and that's what we believe that all of our media will accomplish," Nielsen said.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood Votes NW, which endorsed Murray, spent a little more than $5,000 on an independent expenditure for phone calls supporting Murray's campaign, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission. PPVNW political director Treasure Mackley says the calls talk about Murray's "long track record of standing up for women's health care" in the legislature.