Morning Fizz

Morning Fizz: Despite the Fundraising Freeze

Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring mayoral money, mayoral endorsements, and more forums.

By Morning Fizz July 16, 2013

1. The weekly fundraising reports have been filed in the mayor's race and—whoa—state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) raised $36, 574.

Former City Council member Peter Steinbrueck was the only other candidate who even cracked $10,000, raising $10,610.

City Council member Bruce Harrell has slowed down on the fundraising trail, taking in $5,835 this week. And incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn (who had his best week to date last week at $12,000) dropped off to $3,390 this week.

Murray's big numbers follow his $27,000 haul last week and coincide with a pro-Murray independent expenditure group that brought in about $25,000 this week, bringing that committee's total to nearly $45,000. (An independent expenditure group has also formed to aid McGinn. UNITE HERE, the hotel and restaurant employees union that endorsed McGinn earlier this year, is putting $50,000 behind the mayor.)

The monthly expenditure reports aren't due until tonight, so we'll have a clearer picture of how much money the candidates actually have on hand to spend as we head into the final weeks of the primary, but Murray, despite the fundraising freeze he was under during the extended legislative session in Olympia, appears to be in a competitive position now. 

Some notable contributors: Dwight Pelz, the rambunctious chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, contributed $100 to Murray. Other Murray contributors include: Steve Mullin ($150), head of the Washington Round Table, the CEO lobby; Rebecca Aue ($100), head of the Seattle Parks Foundation; and Deborah Nicholson ($700 total), an SPD Sergeant.

With SPD reform front-and-center in this race, Nicholson's donation is worth noting because COMPAS, the umbrella group for the local police guilds, including Seattle's own SPOG, named Murray its legislator of the year today. In tandem with Murray's endorsement from Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes (a lefty on police reform issues), the approval from police union types is good news for Murray. (The only other candidate who's gotten a donation from an SPD officer is McGinn—$75 in May from Lin Thach, the SPD's Asian Community Liaison.)

The donation from parks foundation head Aue is also big for Murray; McGinn hypes the fact that he headed up the parks levy.

King County Council Member Larry Phillips contributed $250 to Peter Steinbrueck and Cascade Bicycle Club Deputy Executive Director Katharine McCabe has now donated $225 to McGinn.

2. With Steinbrueck (and now evidently Murray), increasingly looking like the most likely to go through the primary against McGinn (Fizz is assuming McGinn is going through), which candidate do you think team McGinn would rather run against?

Fizz's guess is Steinbrueck. That's based on this: Yesterday, McGinn campaign staffer Aaron Pickus (most recently the mayor's office spokesman), linked a Seattle Weekly article that quoted Steinbrueck criticizing Murray as the "darling of the city's downtown establishment."

"Steinbrueck goes after Murray," Pickus wrote, generously hyping Steinbrueck's earned media and clearly loving that Steinbrueck was A) doing McGinn's bidding for him and, specifically, B) hyping the anti-Murray frame that Murray is the establishment candidate.

Watch for the UNITE HERE pro-McGinn PAC, which isn't allowed to coordinate with the official campaign, follow team McGinn's lead, though, and do McGinn's attack dog work by doing an anti-Murray ad. (Meanwhile, it'll be interesting to see if Murray's PAC promotes Murray—he needs help in the name ID department—or if they go negative. Moreover: Will they attack McGinn or Steinbrueck?)

3. Speaking of Steinbrueck. No big surprise here, but John Fox, head of the Seattle Displacement Coalition, the populist group that fights for 1 for 1 replacement of low-income housing developments to offset gentrification, came out strong for Steinbrueck in his regular neighborhood news paper column this week, while trashing the other candidates, most notably McGinn ("the most zealously pro-developer, pro-density mayor our city has seen") and Murray ("embraced by corporate and downtown elites"). 

As for Steinbrueck:

Throughout this campaign, Steinbrueck has criticized the city’s misallocation of resources to downtown and South Lake Union at the expense of needed street and bridge repairs and sidewalks in our neighborhoods.

He’s the only candidate to actively oppose a new sports arena in SODO.

He’s called on developers to pay impact fees and replace low-cost housing they remove.

While not opposing growth he promotes managed and responsible levels with mitigation to protect tree canopy, urban streams and especially low-income and minority residents in the path of growth.

He’s fond of saying, “The neighborhoods are the solution, not the problem.”

Read the whole thing, co-written by Fox's ally Carolee Colter, here.

 4. Paula Hammond, former head of the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has joined engineering consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff as a Senior Vice President and National Transportation Market Leader. 

As WSDOT director Hammond led the push for the waterfront tunnel. Parsons Brinkerhoff, in addition to being the firm behind the "big dig" in Boston, was a WSDOT consultant on the tunnel project, doing the design, managing the EIS, and issuing the final glowing report.   

5. And a PubliCalendar reminder:

It's a big day for mayoral forums. First, at 5:30, the mayoral candidates face off at a City Club debate at the downtown library (our own Erica C. Barnett is on the journalist panel) and then, at 8:00, the candidates are off to the Showbox for Candidate Survivor, the zany Washington Bus/Stranger gauntlet where audience members vote candidates off stage one by one as the contenders get tasked with playful assignments and get asked hot-seat questions.


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