Isn't It Weird That

Isn't It Weird That ...

Some weird things we noticed about mayoral fundraising and the Seattle Times.

By Erica C. Barnett August 13, 2013

Isn't It Weird That

Isn't It Weird That....

Election quiz version! 

Match the contributor to the mayoral candidate (incumbent Mike McGinn or challenger Ed Murray). Then flip your computer over to reveal the results! 

1) United Auto Workers

2) Seattle Police Officers Guild (UPDATE: SPOG says their 2010 contribution was a post-election donation to newly elected Mayor McGinn, not an endorsement of his 2013 reelection bid. The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission lists all post-election contributions as contributions to a candidate's reelection. SPOG has not endorsed any candidate in this year's mayoral race.)

3) Washington Environmental Council lobbyist Cliff Traisman 

4) Downtown developer Clise Properties

5) Suzie Burke, a Fremont business owner who fought against bike lanes in her neighborhood

6) IBEW Local 77, the construction workers' union

7) NUCOR PAC, which represents the local steel company

8) Social and economic justice lobbyist Nick Federici

9) Scott Redman, president of Sellen, a major downtown construction company

10) Tunnel design and construction firm Parsons Brinckerhoff

11) Marijuana legalization advocate Alison Holcomb 

12) Immigration reform advocate Pramila Jayapal

13) Vulcan real-estate developer Ada Healey

14) Plymouth Housing Group director Paul Lambros

15) Planned Parenthood Votes NW

1, 3, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15: Murray

2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13: McGinn

Clearly, Murray is getting money from outside his supposed "establishment" base, and McGinn is getting money from some of the "insiders" who supposedly dislike him. 

Both candidates, of course, have contributors their opponent can use to confirm the current narrative of McGinn as liberal outsider, Murray as establishment conservative.

For example, Murray has gotten contributions from the Washington State Auto Dealers, the anti-tax Washington Beverage Association, the Seattle Chamber's lobbying arm, and the conservative Associated General Contractors of Washington's BUILD PAC.

Meanwhile, McGinn has gotten money from green groups like the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, the Sierra Club, the state Teamsters, and the grocery workers' union.

However, neither man's campaign is monolithic (you can't get through a primary with just a small core of supporters; calling McGinn an "outsider" ignores his many contributions from insiders like Vulcan, and calling Murray "establishment" ignores his many contributions from lefy advocates.

Isn't It Weird That ... 

The Seattle Times headlined its story about downtown crime statistics with the sensationalistic headline, "Violent Crime Rising Downtown," and the subhead, "Downtown business leaders have complained over the past year about the rise in crime and disorder downtown"? (Emphasis mine). 

And isn't it weirder still that the story begins, "Monday’s shooting of a Metro bus driver came just two weeks after downtown business leaders urged Mayor Mike McGinn and the City Council to address increasing violence and disorder in the city’s busy retail and tourist corridor?

Why weird? Because the story itself documents violent crime rates that have flatlined, not increased—contrary to the Times' sensationalistic (and inaccurate) headline, subhead, and lead. The Times has since changed the headline to reflect the actual story, but kept the subjead and lead the same.


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