Morning Fizz

Morning Fizz: Election Spin Cycle

Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring donating, bullying, and spinning.

By Morning Fizz November 1, 2013

1. Yesterday we noticed—now that the mayoral candidates have to report their fundraising daily—that Mayor Mike McGinn was having a last-minute burst of impressive fundraising. He reported depositing $20,628 in a single day, more than he'd typically been raising in a week, or even a month, during the rest of the campaign.

Murray, traditionally way out ahead of McGinn on fundraising, only reported $5,877.

Murray struck back with the latest daily report, though: He reported depositing $23,077 yesterday, which brings his running total for the week to $29,000, while McGinn, who reported $1,000 yesterday, is behind again at $21,598. However, that's still not the kind of Murray advantage we're used to seeing during this campaign, so we'll stand by our sense that McGinn is having a good closing week.

There is an impressive footnote about Murray's latest bank deposit, though: It includes a $250 check from Deputy King County Executive Fred Jarrett.

There is an impressive footnote about Murray's latest bank deposit, though: It includes a $250 check from Deputy King County Executive Fred Jarrett.

King County Executive Dow Constantine is the gold standard endorsement in this race, and neither McGinn nor Murray has managed to sign on the popular county exec. Fizz doesn't want to read too much into Jarrett's check, but having Constantine's right hand man in your corner is a big get.

However, McGinn fans should be quick to point out that Jarrett used to be a Republican. And speaking of the GOP. Former cellular exec turned investor John McCaw, who has a history of backing Republicans such as Rob McKenna and the Washington State Republican Party, showed up on Murray's list this week as well, in for $700.

Of course, the "collaborative" Murray balanced it out with a $100 check from super lefty Aaron Ostrum, the head of progressive agitators Fuse, Washington state's own

Murray also got a $100 check from a Planned Parenthood patient care staffer. (To the McGinn camp's chagrin, Planned Parenthood has endorsed Murray.) We'll keep her name private, though, lest the cyber bullying from Team McGinn begin.

2. Speaking of former Republican AG and 2012 gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna, by the way: A  robocall earlier last week—featuring McKenna's pitch for Republican Spokane City Council candidate Michael Cannon is now under investigation by the Public Disclosure Commission.

The recording oddly does not contain identification of the sponsor, nor does it show up in Cannon's most recent campaign spending report or in-kind donations.

PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson says there could be a simple explanation: the Robocall may have cost less than $900, meaning the McKenna pitch didn't meet the threshold for identifying independent spending.  However, it's not clear if the ad qualifies as independent spending or if it was coordinated by the candidate (in which case it would have to be identified at the PDC).

3. Meanwhile, the GOP has questions of its own about the Democrats. 

As we mentioned in Morning Fizz earlier this week, Republicans are skeptical about a last-minute $3 million contribution from liberal San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer who's already donated $450,000 to help reelect state Sen. Nathan Schlicher (D-26, Gig Harbor) in a defining state senate battle.

The contribution, made on October 18, went to "NextGen Climate Action Committee," Steyer's personal committee, which has directly donated $250,000 to the "She's Changed Committee," the PAC working against Schlicher's opponent, Rep. Jan Angel (R-26, Port Orchard).

The problem is that donating $3 million so close to the elections does not comply with state law; the law says contributions within 21 days of the election cannot exceed $5,000.

After the GOP filed a complaint with the PDC, NextGen retroactively sent in a correction saying they were no longer active in Washington state and the PDC dismissed the GOP complaint about the wayward check.

Not so fast. The GOP got its hands on screen shots of NextGen's website showing that the group was still at work in Washington state as late as this week, soliciting donations for Washington with "six days left to the election."


4. Speaking of defining—and close!—elections: As less than 10,000 voters in SeaTac's nationally notable minimum wage vote (Prop. 1 there would increase the wage for airport contract workers to $15 an hour), a Service Employees International Union 775-backed campaign (Yes for SeaTac) is hitting 6,000 voters with a mailer that literally dramatizes the the cycle of poverty, or as the lefty Robert Reich movie "Inequality for All" has it, the the vicious cycle of poverty vs. the virtuous cycle of better wages.

Spin the wheel one way and you see low wages equal limp consumer spending equal bad business equal low wages, or reverse the trajectory and vote for high wages.

The clever mailer (and spin) cost $11,000 and was produced by Moxie Media.

Shirley Qiu contributed to today's Morning Fizz.


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