Contribution of the Day

By Erica C. Barnett August 28, 2009

[Editor's Note: This is actually yesterday's "Contribution of the Day," which we originally posted yesterday afternoon. However,  star contributor, state Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-37), called us back this morning, and we've added his comments.]

[caption id="attachment_12943" align="alignleft" width="219" caption="State Rep Eric Pettigrew (D-37)"]State Rep Eric Pettigrew (D-37) [/caption]

UPDATE: Just heard back from Pettigrew (Friday morning at 10:00). He says he's known Bloom for more than 20 years through his work on the Church Council and the Children's Alliance, an advocacy group for children. "In these tough times we're going into and what we went through in the legislature"—dealing with a $9 billion budget deficit—"I think we could use [a social-justice and poverty activist] like David on the council."

He adds, "I don't get involved in local politics unless it's based on personal relationships": Pettigrew knew Della when he worked as deputy chief of staff for Mayor Norm Rice; Rosencrantz's mother was one of his first supporters in his bid for office; and Harrell is a cousin by marriage. "I couldn't go to Thanksgiving dinner if I didn't support him," Pettigrew jokes.

State Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-37)—widely viewed as an establishment Democrat—gave $100 to city council Position 4 candidate David Bloom, who's running against Sally Bagshaw for the seat being vacated by Jan Drago.

The contribution is intriguing for several reasons. First, Pettigrew is seen as far more politically moderate than lefty Bloom, a longtime social-justice and housing activist who helped found the Seattle Displacement Coalition. Pettigrew was an early supporter of tax increment financing—a taxing scheme in which a government invests in a "blighted" area and skims off "excess" sales taxes to pay itself back. The Displacement Coalition has vocally opposed TIFs because they see it as a giveaway to big developers. They've also opposed Pettigrew specifically in the past.

Finally, Pettigrew doesn't contribute to candidates in local races very frequently. This year, for example, he has only given to Bloom and (somewhat incongruously) landlord Robert Rosencrantz, running against Mike O'Brien for City Council Position 8. The last time he gave to candidates was in 2007, when he maxed out to council member David Della (who lost to Tim Burgess) and then-council candidate Bruce Harrell (who won).
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