1. Re: Yesterday's PubliCola "One Question"—it looks like some of the candidates told us one thing, while telling a local union another.
Yesterday, we asked the mayoral candidates what their position was on the Whole Foods controversy in West Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn has said he opposes the high-end grocery store's request for an alley vacation—exclusive use of public right of way—because the chain's non-union staffing policy doesn't conform with the city's commitment to living-wage jobs.
State Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) told us he was still taking a look at the issue. And calling McGinn's move "manipulative" and potentially "illegal," former City Council member Peter Steinbrueck told us McGinn didn't understand alley vacation policy and had no authority to deny Whole Foods' request. Bruce Harrell did not return our call.
However, it turns out the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, the union that's fighting the Whole Foods development, held a members-only candidate forum late last month, and a UFCW member from West Seattle asked the candidates the following question:
When non-union workplaces open up near a union workplace this drives down wages and benefits for everyone. Currently there is a proposed development in West Seattle, which would include a Whole Foods, adding a low-road non union business to an already grocery dense area. Yes or No, as mayor will you work with us to oppose new developments that contain a low road non-union workplace as an anchor tenant?
Steinbrueck, Murray, and Harrell all answered "Yes."
2. With just two weeks to go before the August 6 deadline for mailing ballots to King County Elections, the mayoral candidates are continuing to raise money at a hectic pace—and none more hectically than state Sen. Ed Murray, who, coming off a KING5/Survey USA Poll that showed him jumping from third place to first place, brought in a stunning $46,000 last week (after raising $40,000 the week before.) So much for being handicapped by the legislative session fundraising freeze he was under for most of the campaign.
The other candidates are nowhere close: Incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn raised $7,290, council member Bruce Harrell raised $10,250, and former council mMember Peter Steinbrueck raised $9,898.
While comparatively little to Murray, those numbers do keep pace with what the candidates have been raising week-to-week, showing that their momentum has not stalled despite the emerging Murray juggernaut.
And there are some noteworthy contributors, particularly to Harrell, who got $350 from Vulcan; the kingmaker development firm already maxed out at $700 to Murray, but hasn't given to their supposed ally McGinn.
However, top employees at Vulcan have given to both McGinn (early on), and more recently, to Murray and—and at a much slighter level—to Harrell.
And surprisingly, UFCW Local 21, allied with McGinn in the fight against the Whole Foods' West Seattle development, gave $700 to Harrell this week. They have not given to McGinn.
UPDATE: Harrell's check from UFCW was a rollover contribution from his council campaign; the union gave him permission to use the check for his mayoral effort, but made it clear they have not endorsed Harrell and are fully behind McGinn and have written a maximum check to McGinn, though it has not been reported yet.
McGinn got a surprising contribution himself: Lew McMurran, the high-tech lobbyist in Olympia, contributed $100 to the mayor. Murray is supposedly the candidate with the Olympia cred. However, McMurran is an adamant opponent of the Olympia Democrats' mission to scrap tax loopholes and raise business and occupation taxes. So, no love lost with Murray.
As for Olympia connections (and beyond), Murray got $700 from Planned Parenthood Votes (which endorsed him last week as well), $100 from Sterling Clifford, Jay Inslee's former communications director, and $100 from U.S. Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA, 10).
And keeping up his reputation as the cranky candidate, Steinbrueck got another $250 from former anti-Sound Transit activist, Emory Bundy, bringing Bundy's Steinbrueck total to $500.
And finally, in the cover-your-bets category, Gene Duvernoy, director of land conservation group Forterra (formerly the Cascade Land Conservancy), contributed to both McGinn ($200) and Murray ($150) this week.
Footnote: expenditure reports aren't due until late July (meaning: a candidate who's raised a ton of money could, in reality, be in debt), contribution reports provide a peek at how candidates are faring (and who has momentum) in the days leading up to the election.