1. A new independent expenditure group registered at the Seattle elections commission this week. They’re called Neighbors for District Six. Unlike other recent IEs, where contributors have openly identified who they’re spending money on (landlords, restaurants, and the chamber have put up $74,000 total for both District One candidate Shannon Braddock and District Four candidate Rob Johnson, while real estate interests ponied up $64,000 for Kris Lethin in District Five), it’s not listed on the filings who this new money, $3,500, is backing.
However, Neighbors for District Six treasurer Jason Bennett tells Fizz the money is going to support Catherine Weatbrook. Neighborhood activist Weatbrook is running against liberal council member Mike O’Brien in the Ballard District. Given the contributors—the BNSF Railway Company (“neighbors” from Texas) and the Puget Sound Pilots—it’s no surprise the IE is supporting a candidate who’s taking on O’Brien; O’Brien’s anti-big oil activism unnerves Port of Seattle interests.
O’Brien is facing minimal opposition, and as of the most recent cumulative fundraising reports, he had raised more than twice as much as Weatbrook, his nearest competitor money wise.
O’Brien noted the new IE on his FB page yesterday afternoon, saying: “The funders so far include BNSF railroad (hey—I just passed a resolution today calling on BNSF, its parent company Berkshire Hathaway, and it's largest shareholder Warren Buffet to pay for all the risks their oil trains are imposing on our communities) and the Puget Sound Pilots (who may have an interest in Shell Oil basing their arctic drilling fleet here). So far the PAC only has pledges of $3,500, but it is likely to grow if it is serious.”
2. Speaking of the latest reports, the next comprehensive fundraising numbers are due tonight at Midnight. Watch for more big numbers from Kshama Sawant and her challenger, Urban League leader Pamela Banks. Both candidates are on track to have raised at least $40,000 since the most recent cumulative reports just two weeks ago.
3. And more candidate reactions to the HALA committee recommendations to allow more development in single family zones.
In an email response to a Lake City neighborhood group, North Seattle District Five candidate Halei Watkins, reported what she’s hearing while out doorbelling:
In nearly every conversation that I've had while out knocking on doors is that our neighbors are concerned and uncomfortable with the possibility of a triplex going up in the lot next to them or down the block and I hear and feel those concerns myself. My worry is that we do not have the appropriate infrastructure to absorb that kind of growth in many of our neighborhoods. We are already lacking sidewalks and proper drainage systems and access to public transportation in many areas of District 5 and my concern is that it's difficult to welcome new neighbors while the basics continue to go overlooked by City Hall. I am also skeptical that the units that will be built to replace a single family home will actually be affordable.
And reflecting more angst: In the Fourth District, candidate Tony Provine— president of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, co-chair of the Northeast District Council of Neighborhoods, and vice chair of the City Neighborhood Council—has a new mailer featuring a bulldozer with the line “City Hall is coming our way.”
4. Speaking of campaign mailers: That impressive Sawant mailer—"Seattle's Getting a Raise"—was created in house, her ubiquitous activist consultant Philip Locker reports, quipping: "I guess you don't need Christian Sinderman." Sinderman is a veteran Democratic consultant who works for everyone from mayor Ed Murray to council president Tim Burgess to, well, Sawant-supporter state senator Pramila Jayapal (D-37, Southeast Seattle).
Locker was making fun of Sinderman's establishment-level consulting fees. Sinderman also works for Sawant's main rival, Pamela Banks.
The most recent campaign finance reports show, contrary to Locker's assessment, however, that Sawant spent $9,800 on consultants (including Locker, who claims partial credit for the mailer) last month; Banks, by comparison, spent $7,400 on consultants, including Sinderman.