Afternoon Jolt

Wednesday Jolt: Republicans Make Major Last-Minute Contributions to McKenna

By Afternoon Jolt October 17, 2012


Afternoon Jolt

Today's Loser: The Washington State Republican Party

Don't cast stones.

For a year now—and we've been reporting it diligently, making fun of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee every chance we got—the Republicans have been pointing out that the Washington State Democratic Party has been helping Inslee keep pace with his Republican opponent Rob McKenna in fundraising.

Indeed, regularly contributing loads of cash at the end of most fundraising cycles—$250,000 here, $100,000 there—the Democratic Party has contributed more than $2 million of Inslee's $10.4 million, making the Democrats Inslee's biggest donor.

“The fact that the Democrats need to subsidize Jay’s campaign so heavily speaks volumes about his candidacy," Republican Party spokeswoman Meredith Kenny told us in July when we reported on the latest Democratic download to Inslee. "Jay thinks jobs are created by using taxpayer dollars to pick winners and losers. Unfortunately for him, his Party dollars won’t make him a winner in November. That will be decided by the people of Washington and if fundraising is any indication, the voters are already speaking loud and clear.”

Well, the latest fundraising numbers are in and guess who, after sitting out all year, showed up big this last month, donating $1.7 million ($1.5 million in one shot this week) to become McKenna's top donor?

The Washignton State Republican Party.

McKenna has raised $12 million overall. Looks to Jolt like he'd be behind Inslee without the gift from the state party. 

Today's Winner: Mayor Mike McGinn.

Conventional wisdom has it that political types ought to be (and are) running away from McGinn faster than women are deserting Mitt Romney.

But according to recent campaign reports, one unlikely local political consultant, Crystal Nicole Fincher, has signed up to do McGinn's bidding. Fincher was an active supporter of McGinn's 2009 rival, Joe Mallahan. (During the mayoral campaign, for example, Fincher tweeted that McGinn would have "no elected allies" if he won the race because he opposed the downtown tunnel, and was pictured in the at a Mallahan election party.) 

Jolt asked Fincher why she'd changed her mind about McGinn. 

She told us: "Two things I'm very passionate about are education and economic empowerment of people of color, and I was surprised by and impressed with Mike's record on both. I'd previously worked on economic development initiatives with people at the county and state, and McGinn has made progress that people previously said wasn't possible. 

"It also matters that Seattle's budget and economy are doing better than regional and state budgets - and this wasn't accomplished by demonizing government or shrinking it into non-existence. It was done by operating more effectively, making wise investments, measuring outcomes, and empowering everyone. Especially in our current political climate, it's important to show that one of America's largest cities is not being held back by this, or succeeding despite this, but thriving because of this. Seattle proves that we can take the high road and win.

"So, I'm on board." 

Fincher has received $4,500 so far in consulting fees from McGinn. 

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