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Contribution of the Day

By Erica C. Barnett October 20, 2009

Many of the folks who're contributing to Jessie Israel—the King County Parks manager who's running against the city council's resident old-school lefty, Nick Licata—are predictable. Vulcan? They're no fans of Licata, who's opposed city giveaways to the company as well as expensive infrastructure projects in South Lake Union. Chamber of Commerce president Tayloe Washburn? A no-brainer: The Chamber's been a huge backer of the downtown tunnel (which Licata has opposed), wants to repeal the head tax (a position Licata opposes), and he's advising conservative mayoral candidate Joe Mallahan. Joe Quintana, founder of Forward Seattle? The group is funded primarily by developers and business interests, whose political views Licata has frequently opposed.

But Democratic consultant Christian Sinderman's $200 contribution to Israel comes as a bit of a surprise. Sinderman, who did consulting work for Licata's failed primary opponent, Marty Kaplan, rarely gives money to local political campaigns, and has never had an acrimonious relationship with Licata. Sinderman's most recent donations include $150 to council member Sally Clark in 2006 and $250 to council member Jan Drago in 2005. Both women were Sinderman clients. Sinderman has never before given money to someone challenging a sitting council member.

Licata said he and Sinderman have always been "friendly," but jokes, "I guess consultants don't have friends, they have clients." He says the Israel contribution came as a surprise.

Sinderman has not yet returned a call for comment.
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