This Washington

Some Noteworthy Inslee Contributors

By Josh Feit March 14, 2012

One downside to US Rep. Jay Inslee's supposed advantage over Attorney General Rob McKenna when it comes to raising money (McKenna's not allowed to raise money right now while the state legislature is in session) is that reporters have pages and pages of Inslee finance records to comb through to look for curious donations—while there's no grist for stories on the McKenna side. (McKenna does have an expenditure report, though, and I found former Newt Gingrich consultant Terry Cooper there.)

I just went through Inslee's February donations (he filed his report earlier this week, raising a total of $460,000, bringing his total raised to $4.2 million and his cash on hand to $2.4 million) and didn't find any real headliners, though scandalized former New York governor Eliot Spitzer maxed out at $2,600. (Spitzer—who resigned in 2008 in a prostitution scandal—held a fundraiser for Inslee earlier this month.)

Otherwise: The Washington State Democratic Party kicked in another $50,000, bringing their cash infusion to $480,000—more than 10 percent of Inslee's haul; William Gates, Sr. contributed $1,800, and the Nooksack Tribe contributed $1,800.

However, in light of the Nick Hanauer flap that blew up last month after we reported that major Democratic donor Hanauer was seriously thinking of switching his allegiance to McKenna because he felt Inslee and the Democrats paled in comparison on education reform, I did notice some funny contributions on Inslee's ledger.

During the Hanauer vs. Inslee flare up: 1) Frank Higgins, a partner at Hanauer's investment firm, 2nd Ave. Partners, donated $1,100 to Inslee; 2) Jabez Blumenthal, a fellow big Democratic donor (to whom Hanauer sent his controversial email alerting his compatriot of his intentions to bail on Inslee), donated $400; and 3) Hanauer's mom, Lenore Hanauer, donated $1,000.

McKenna has raised $3.7 million with $2 million cash on hand. (McKenna raised a stunning $250,000 when the legislature was out of session for three days and he was allowed to raise money.)
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