Campaign Fizz: The Mayor Wrote a $10K Check to His Own Campaign

By Erica C. Barnett October 11, 2011

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

• Congressional candidate Laura Ruderman---running for the US House seat Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1) is vacating to run for governor---reported today that she has raised $181,000, an amount Ruderman said ensures that "we are almost certain to have the most cash on hand of any campaign right now." Full reports from all the congressional candidates are due on October 15.

Last week, another hopeful in the race, state Rep. Marko Liias (D-21, Edmonds) was hyping the number of donors he had—1,000—vs. his haul, which he said would be in the neighborhood of $50,000.

• Today in local campaign contributions:

- Two big local labor groups, the King County Labor Council and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Locals 77 and 46 kicked in $1,000, $7,000, and $500, respectively, to Streets for All, the pro-$60-car-tab fee campaign;

- Mayor Mike McGinn's 2013 reelection campaign owes the mayor himsef $10,600, for focus groups on his performance (and position on the deep-bore tunnel) by a firm called JKM Research.

The mayor wrote the campaign a check for that amount to resolve the debt on September 23 (only candidates themselves can contribute more than $750 to their own campaigns). McGinn's campaign remained more than $10,000 in the red at the end of September.

JKM is partners with (and was initially part of) a consulting firm called Gogerty Marriott, formerly Gogerty Stark Marriott. A spinoff firm, GSM Mercury—AKA the Mercury Group—is McGinn’s consulting firm.

- Among McGinn's contributions this past month: Marcus Charles, owner of the Crocodile Cafe and Local 360 restaurant, gave the mayor $250. Charles recently formed a PAC called the Progressive Conservative Coalition to combat what he sees as the domination of the political conversation by the far left and the far right.

- McGinn's other recent contributions are dominated by city employees, including deputy budget director Hall Walker ($250), mayoral advisor Nate Merrill ($700), parks special projects manager Ron Harris-White ($100), mayoral executive assistants Jennifer Cramer ($100) and Kindle Shaw ($100). Of McGinn's new (2011) contributions for his 2013 campaign, nearly half, or about $3,100, come from city employees.

• The Seattle Republican Association came out swinging today against the $231 million Families and Education Levy, calling it "a money grab by our city's politicians" that has been "scandalously ineffective" in improving graduation rates in the past. The has more.

• In a September poll, WinPower Strategies, consultant for Port Commission candidate Dean Willard, found that 88 percent of likely voters said they were less likely to back incumbent port commissioner Bill Bryant knowing that he voted to raise Port chairman Tay Yoshitani's pay by 9 percent---the highest possible raise---bringing the CEO's pay to nearly $400,000, more than twice what Gov. Chris Gregoire makes. (Meanwhile, Port staffers' pay raises have been capped at 3.5 percent).

After asking the pay raise question, WinPower asked the likely voters who they would support in the Bryant-Willard race. Twenty-one and a half percent said Bryant; 27.3 percent said Willard. The poll of 439 likely voters had a margin of error of 4.8 percent.

Bryant has raised around $331,000; Willard has raised just over $26,000.
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