This Washington

Money Update on the Initiatives

By Josh Feit September 20, 2010

The PI.com has a couple of money updates on this year's ballot initiatives:

Linda Derschang, the owner of Linda's Tavern on Capitol Hill (and Oddfellows Hall and Smith on Capitol Hill, as well as King's Hardware in Ballard) gave $1,000 to I-1100, one of the two initiatives to privatize booze. (I-1100 is the more dramatic of the two liquor initiatives, because it would dismantle the walls between manufacturers, distributors, and retailers—allowing retailers like Costco to become distributors. It would also allow bulk discounts for retailers.)

They've also got the news that Safeway has contributed $300,000 to the initiative and that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos have each contributed $100,000 to defeat I-1098, the high-earners' income tax.

(The funny footnote on the Ballmer contribution is that Bill Gates, Sr., is heading up the campaign for I-1098.)

Speaking of which, lefty Seattle state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36) held a fundraiser for I-1098 at her home last week and Gates Sr. was in the house. About 100 people showed up. But evidently nobody on par with their CEO rivals: The event raised less than $5,000.

All in all, though, the pro-1098 campaign still has the money advantage. They've raised $3.5 million with $2.2 million on hand. Big contributors include the Service Employees International Union, the National Education Association, Gates, Sr., and investor Nick Hanauer, and lefty food safety attorney Bill Marler.

The anti-1098 campaign has raised $2.3 million with $2.1 million on hand, with big contributions from Bezos, Ballmer, billboard magnate Barry Ackerly, John Nordstrom, wireless mogul John Stanton, real estate busienssman Jon Runstad, Bartell Drugs, and Russell Investments.
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