Non-Contribution of the Day: City Employees Against Nickels

By Erica C. Barnett August 14, 2009


While hundreds of city workers have handed tens of thousands of dollars over to incumbent mayor Greg Nickels, only a tiny handful have given money to any of his opponents: Twelve gave money to Jan Drago (a somewhat underwhelming number, since she works at City Hall ) and one contributed to Mike McGinn.

Shauna Walgren, a community outreach worker in the city's transportation department, was the only city contributor to frontrunning Nickels opponent McGinn.

Walgren, who's donated $200 to McGinn's campaign, says she met the anti-tunnel candidate more than five years ago, when he was advocating for more sidewalks in Greenwood as head of the Greenwood Community Council. "I have a lot of respect for him," Walgren says. "He's one of the smartest people I've ever met, and he has a good heart."

Drago, meanwhile, has received $1,975 from city employees, most of them coworkers, including city council members Jean Godden, Bruce Harrell, and Richard McIver, as well as two current and one former member of her own legislative staff.

Whether city employees' contributions to Nickels (and lack of contributions to his rivals) are a sign of the mayor's popularity at city hall or an indication that city employees don't want to cross the mayor isn't clear.

As we've reported, city employees have given big money to Nickels—more than $64,000, according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, or more than ten percent of the $559,000 Nickels has raised so far.
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