One Question

Mayor Mike McGinn, who's trying to portray his challenger, state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) as the "establishment" candidate in the race, said at a recent campaign forum that Murray was supported by "powerful" corporations like Coke, Pepsi, Comcast, and Vulcan.

"He’s gotten over $50,000 from the Chamber and my support comes from the people because I look out for the people," McGinn said at a human-services-focused forum the other night. 

McGinn was referring to contributions from the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy, the Seattle Chamber's PAC, and the Washington Beverage Association, to a pro-Murray independent expenditure campaign, People for Ed Murray, as well as contributions from Vulcan, Vulcan employees, and Comcast to Murray's campaign. 

So our One Question for McGinn's campaign is: If the Beverage Association, Comcast, Vulcan, or the Chamber offered to support you financially, would you turn it down? 

McGinn spokesman John Wyble's short response: "No." (UPDATE: In a followup call to PubliCola, Wyble clarified that McGinn contacted him after this post went up to let Wyble know that he would refuse money from the soft-drink lobby because he believes strongly in fighting childhood obesity.) 

Wyble's longer response: 

Senator Murray has leaned heavily on the corporate world to bolster his campaign coffers. Those companies are a good example of Senator Murray's corporate contributions. The Mayor has worked to bring more voices to city hall and is backed by a more diverse group of supporters. 

Of course, the Mayor has taken donations from businesses and will continue to do so. The point he is making is that his campaign donations are much more diverse.

Although Murray and the pro-Murray IE campaign have certainly received plenty of big corporate contributions, so has McGinn—including donations from coal lobbyist Beth Ginsberg, a VP for oil drilling company West Bay Exploration, and the head of Sellen Construction. 

And while McGinn hasn't received any funding from the Beverage Association or Comcast, he did get $3,650 from employees of one of the specifi evil corporation he name-checked the other night: Vulcan. In 2009, he received $1,125 from Vulcan employees, plus a $200 in-kind contribution from Vulcan itself, in his race against then-mayor Greg Nickels.

And Vulcan helped set up McGinn's urbanist nonprofit, Great City (along with big-biz real estate developers like Lorig, Triad Development, and Harbor Properties, as well as the Master Builders Association). 

At the same time, Murray, who certainly has gotten plenty of corprate money,  has also received many contributions from unions, including the city employees' union, the auto workers' union, and the electrical workers' union; meanwhile, Planned Parenthood spent more than $5,000 on a phone-banking effort to support Murray.