Morning Fizz

Morning Fizz: Both Mayoral Candidates

Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring McGinn's coal money?; paid sick leave; districts; and more

By Morning Fizz September 11, 2013

1. Both mayoral candidates released their latest fundraising and expenditure reports for August yesterday. Challenger Ed Murray continues to out-raise incumbent Mike McGinn, bringing in $75,963 in August, compared to McGinn's $40,201. Overall, McGinn has raised a total of $325,456 and has $10,693 on hand; Murray has raised a total of $464,002, and has a negative balance of $22,839.

Murray's notable expenditures include  around $14,000 for cable ads and $9,000 for polling from EMC Research (funny, Murray's polling results don't seem to have made the rounds); McGinn's include $10,000 for ads and more than $1,000 for mileage for a single campaign staffer (presumably these weren't bike miles.)

2.  The McGinn campaign is intent on tying Murray to coal money, sometimes with pretty goofed up results, (though as PubliCola first reported: Murray does have tangential ties to a coal consultant  and has gotten a $700 contribution from BNSF, the  rail company that would haul coal through Seattle as part of the proposed Gateway Pacific coal terminal at Cherry Point outside Bellingham.) Murray's spokesman Sandeep Kushik tells us: "In capital letters, Murray opposes coal trains coming through Seattle. And as mayor he will actively oppose coal going through Seattle."

Undeterred, McGinn's campaign spokesman John Wyble tried again yesterday to link Murray with coal, pointing out on his Facebook page that Murray was holding a fundraiser at K&L Gates, the global law firm founded in Seattle.

According to campaign finance reports, coal advocate Ginsberg has contributed $500 to McGinn. The firm's D.C. office lobbies on behalf of the Gateway Pacific coal train. The fundraiser was not, according to the Murray campaing, an official K&L Gates fundraiser for Murray; it was hosted by a few attorneys who work at K&L Gates and support Murray.

Candidly, Team McGinn's coal accusation seemed like a real stretch ... sort of like this one? Another law firm that is lobbying on behalf of running coal through Washington state is Stoel Rives; particularly Stoel Rives partner Beth Ginsberg.

Local environmental group Sightline reported earlier this year:

[Stoel Rives] Partner Beth Ginsberg ... works for Millennium Bulk Terminals, the group backed by Ambre Energy and Arch Coal, aiming to ship 44 million tons of coal annually from Longview, Washington, on the Columbia River. She is helping coal companies attempt to avoid a full review of the cumulative impacts from many proposed export terminals.

Hmmm, according to campaign finance reports, coal advocate Ginsberg has contributed $500 to McGinn.

And Donald Stark, whose consulting firm Smith & Stark is promoting the controversial Gateway Pacific coal terminal at Cherry Point for coal partner SSA Marine, contributed $350 to McGinn; Stark is also running the campaign against SeaTac's minimum wage increase proposal. (Stark also contributed $200 to Murray this year. Ginsberg has only given to McGinn.)

3. A new report from the the Mainstreet Alliance of Washington on the city's paid sick leave law concludes that the new regulations—which require all employers with 50 or more workers to provide paid sick leave—haven't negatively impacted the economy, and that business activity in Seattle has actually grown.

Although the study points out that the results are still "preliminary," it concludes that the number of retail firms in Seattle grew 1.7 percent between 2012 and 2013; that food and drink establishments grew 0.5 percent; and that the number of jobs in King County overall grew 3.3 percent.

Read the study's conclusions here.

4. Faye Garneau, the North Seattle business owner who has contributed more than $172,000 of her own money toward the campaign for Seattle district elections, will have to list her name as the campaign's sponsor on any campaign materials in the future under state Public Disclosure Commission rules. Lori Anderson, spokeswoman for the PDC, confirms that under rules adopted in 2012, any individual or group that pays for more than 80 percent of a campaign has to list their name on all campaign materials as part of the official name of the campaign; Garneau's contributions make up 89 percent of the $193,265 the districts campaign has raised. 

"Sixty days out from each election, [a political committee is] supposed to look at its contributors, review them, and then decide at that point whether they have a sponsor," Anderson says.



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