Afternoon Jolt

Today's winner: Fair Elections Seattle. 

The local public-finance campaign, Fair Elections Seattle—which is lobbying for public financing of campaigns, through local tax dollars—has received the stamp of approval of two powerful unions, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, which has contributed $2,500, and the state Service Employees International Union, which has also given $2,500.

Seattle public campaign finance, which city council member Mike O'Brien has championed, would provide candidateswho raise at least 600 contributions of $10 or more, with a six-to-one match of contributions up to $50.  

Although consulting fees (to Christian Sinderman's Northwest Passage Consulting, for $7,500) and polling (to Patinkin Research Strategies, an Oregon firm, for $18,000) have put the campaign about $10,000 the red, the unions' endorsements make it clear that the push for public financing is serious, not a political trifle.   

We have calls out to both unions to find out why they're supporting the public financing effort. 

In other local and statewide initiative news, the public-finance effort has so far been dwarfed by the campaign for district city council elections (total raised as of the end of April: $156,338, although the group's debt puts them more than $120,000 in the red). 

And in a statewide initiative push, the effort to require labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs) has raised $5,000 and scored the backing of Target, which (along with 60 other corporations) has agreed not to sell GE salmon in its stores. 

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