Isn't It Weird That

Isn't It Weird That ...

Some weird things we noticed about the mayor's race and the mayor's gun violence initiative.

By Erica C. Barnett August 27, 2013

IIW That

Isn't It Weird That ... Both candidates for Seattle mayor—incumbent Mike McGinn and his challenger, state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill)—have received their largest chunk of campaign money from contributors outside Seattle?

According to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, both McGinn and Murray have received 28 percent of their total campaign contributions from out of town. After "out of Seattle," the commission breaks down contributions by neighborhood.

The top three neighborhoods of McGinn contributors, in order, are Capitol Hill/Madrona (17 percent); Mount Baker/Rainier Valley (10 percent); and Belltown/Downtown (9 percent). For Murray, the top three neighborhoods are Capitol Hill/Madrona (24 percent); Queen Anne/Magnolia (12 percent); and Downtown/Belltown (9 percent). 

Murray's recent out-of-town money includes maxed-out contributions from Gilmore Strategies, a consulting firm in Hollywood; Cox Communications in New York; and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund in Washington, D.C. McGinn's include financial consultant Daryl Demos with Novantas in Massachusetts; James Christian, a managing director with the Denver investment company Benolivia; and NYC film director Stacy Cochran.

In addition, both McGinn and Murray have support from independent-expenditure political action committees. McGinn is supported by Working Families for McGinn, which is primarily funded by UFCW Local 21, the local grocery workers' union; he also has backing from UNITE HERE TIP, which is funded by the national hotel workers' union out of New York.

Murray is backed by People for Ed Murray, which is primarily funded by the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE), the political arm of the Seattle/King County Chamber of Commerce, and NAIOP, the commercial real-estate developers group; he's also backed by Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest. 

Isn't It Weird That ... Mayor McGinn's recent "gun-free zone" initiative focused primarily on Capitol Hill—and not Southeast Seattle, where most of the city's gun violene actually occurs?

McGinn's program, announced at Oddfellows on Capitol Hill earlier this month, encourages businesses to put decals on the doors proclaiming themselves "gun-free zones." 

Shirley will have a longer post on this later, but PubliCola's analysis of gun violence data in Seattle shows that assaults and robberies involving firearms were most common over the past three months in three sectors of Seattle's South Precinct.

Yet none of the businesses that the mayor recruited to declare themselves off-limits to guns is in Southeast Seattle. (Yes, we get that violence at businesses is different than the gang violence endemic in Southeast Seattle. But that raises another question about the initiative: If gun violence is predominantly happening in the streets and not at businesses, we're not sure the decal campaign is on point.)

Capitol Hill's sector was sixth (out of 17) in gun violence overall. 

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