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Campaign Fizz: Contributions, Endorsements, and an Update on the Suburban Races

By Erica C. Barnett July 26, 2011

Your one-stop shop for today's city campaign news, gossip, and analysis.

• City council member Nick Licata has endorsed Bobby Forch, an SDOT manager who's running against Licata's council colleague Jean Godden. In his endorsement announcement, Licata says Forch has "been out connecting with every one of our neighborhoods while consistently staying true to this city’s progressive values." The endorsement is a bit of a slap at Forch's fellow Godden opponent Maurice Classen, a King County domestic violence prosecutor who will likely be battling Forch for second place in the August 16 primary.

Licata's endorsement also reads like a bit of payback for Godden's endorsement of his opponent Jessie Israel during his race for reelection in 2009.

Worth noting, though: Licata has never endorsed Godden. In 2003, he endorsed Judy Nicastro, the incumbent Godden defeated. And in 2007, when she was opposed by schoolteacher Joe Szwaja, he made no endorsement in her race.

• This morning, Classen announced three proposals he says will help the city  crack down on the sex trafficking of children. Under Classen's plan, the city would use affordable housing dollars to pay to house minors who have been victims of sex trafficking; revoke the business license of any motel (or other business) found to have allowed child prostitution on its premises more than three times in five years; and encourage the city attorney's office to use a state law barring child sex trafficking more aggressively against hotels that allow juvenile prostitution on their property.

We'll be running a Cola op/ed by Classen explaining the details of his proposal later today.

• In addition to the big contributions we reported in Fizz this morning ($25,000 each from two tunnel contractors and Microsoft; $15,000 each from the Downtown Seattle Association, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and Equity Residential, and $10,000 from PubliCola investor Greg Smith's sustainable development firm Urban Visions), the pro-tunnel campaign, Let's Move Forward, reported a few more big checks yesterday evening and this morning. (Yesterday was the deadline for any contributions above $5,000).

They include:

$10,000 from Russell Investments, which is preparing to move to downtown Seattle from Tacoma;

$10,000 from investor Nick Hanuaer and his wife, Leslie;

$10,000 from Sheraton Hotels;

$10,000 from tunnel consultant HNTB Corp., out of Kansas;

and $5,000 from Builders United in Legislative Development, the political arm of the Associated General Contractors of Washington.

• In other contribution news, city council member Tim Burgess has received a total of $350 from Terri Kimball, the former director of the city's domestic violence division. Kimball lost her job when the city's new Human Services Department director Dannette Smith, a McGinn appointee, eliminated HSD's sexual assault and domestic violence division. Burgess is widely seen as a potential McGinn opponent in 2013.

• Right in the middle of last night's King County Council meeting (the council was debating a potential $20 fee to save Metro service for two years), the Seattle Times issued a surprise endorsement for Richard Mitchell, the Mercer Island Democrat who's challenging council Position 8 incumbent Jane Hague. Hague is seen as one of two potential Republican swing votes on the Metro fee. The council remains one vote shy of the six-vote supermajority required to raise the fee without going to a public vote.

• Hague was also dissed recently by the Seattle/King County Municipal League, which released its candidate ratings yesterday, giving Hague a ranking of merely "good" while giving Mitchell its highest rating of "outstanding." Also in Hague's race, Seattle Port Commissioner John Creighton received a "good" rating, while former Bellevue City Council member Patsy Bonincontri received a ranking of "very good."

In the hotly contested Bellevue City Council races, two incumbents---light rail proponents Claudia Balducci and John Chelminiak ---received "outstanding" ratings, as did Balducci opponent Patricia Mann. Incumbent Jennifer Robertson, who is not being challenged, received a rating of "very good."

Full muni league ratings here.
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