Election 2013

Extra Fizz: Endorsements, Non-Endorsements, and Independent Expenditures

Extra election fizz from Seattle to Spokane.

By Erica C. Barnett and Josh Feit October 28, 2013

1. City council member Tim Burgess sent out an email to supporters over the weekend listing his recommendations in local races, including the mayor's race (he's endorsed Ed Murray over incumbent Mike McGinn, with whom he's clashed repeatedly, even briefly running for mayor himself this year), the school board (he's for the Microsoft-backed reform candidates, Suzanne Dale Estey and Stephan Blanford), city council positions 2 (Richard Conlin), 4 (Sally Bagshaw), and 6 (Nick Licata), and the port of Seattle races.

Noticeably absent from the list: City council position 8, where council member and frequent McGinn ally Mike O'Brien is being challenged by transportation consultant Albert Shen. 

Burgess has not made a formal endorsement in O'Brien's race. He told Fizz he's "staying neutral" on that race because while "Mike is a friend and effective colleague who I enjoy working with," Shen "is a personal friend."

Asked whether he was supporting Shen over O'Brien, Burgess responded simply, "No."

Noticeably absent from the Burgess' endorsement list: City council position 8, where council member and frequent McGinn ally Mike O'Brien is being challenged by transportation consultant Albert Shen.

2. Former Republican state attorney general and 2012 GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna is keeping his name in the political mix.

McKenna has joined the onslaught of ads and counter-ads in a Spokane city council race, doing a robocall on behalf of Republican and construction industry favorite Michael Cannon, who's running against labor-backed candidate Candace Mumm for an open seat in the contested race.   


3. McGinn fans took to Facebook today to trash Murray for, as one supporter put it, using "PAID phone bankers" to promote his campaign because "He really can't find enough supporters to dial for him?" One McGinn backer called the calls—which focused on Murray's record on reproductive choice and women's health—"Eymanesque"; another accused Murray of running an "Astroturf" campaign. 

But not so fast: The phone calls, which went out to 25,000 Seattle residents over the weekend, were actually funded by an independent expenditure group, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, not the Murray campaign. The Murray campaign reports that they have an all-volunteer phonebanking effort of their own.

Planned Parenthood endorsed Murray way back in the primary. According to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, PPVNW paid the Washington, D.C.-based firm American Directions $9,011 to make the calls.

We have a call out to Rebecca Lane, a McGinn supporter who says she got several calls from the pro-Murray camp over the weekend.

Treasure Mackley, spokeswoman for PPVNW, says the callers focused on Murray's "long track record protecting women's health care and family planning funding, and making sure that women, not their insurance companies, make their health care decisions." 

4. Speaking of pro-Murray IEs: Seattle Gay News and its owner, George Bakan, have given Murray a free ad in SGN "inviting SGN readers and friends to Ed Murray's election night party." 

Bakan had to create an IE of his own to run the ad, which is valued at $1,595.

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