Morning Fizz

The Latest City Council Fundraising Totals

Sawant and Banks (and Roderick) post impressive numbers

By Josh Feit July 29, 2015

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1. The latest (and last) fundraising reports, tracking the last two weeks in the city council elections, are in.

In West Seattle’s District One, Shannon Braddock and Lisa Herbold, the leading fundraisers all along, remain way ahead of the big pack, with Braddock slightly ahead: Braddock, an aide to Democratic King County council member Joe McDermott, raised $10,000 in the last two weeks to city council member Nick Licata aide Herbold’s $6,000. And Braddock has about $10,000 more cash on hand—$15,000 to Herbold’s $5,000. Overall this election season: Braddock raised $69,000 to Herbold’s $62,000. Braddock also has a $65,000 independent expenditure from the chamber and the rental housing association backing her up.

In Southeast Seattle’s District Two race, incumbent Bruce Harrell remained light-years ahead of his nearest opponent. He’s raised $188,000 total.

In District Three, the Montlake Cut south to I-90, socialist local celebrity incumbent Kshama Sawant and Urban League leader Pamela Banks continue to raise big sums of money. Banks raised a startling $43,000 in the last two weeks and Sawant raised an impressive $35,000. Banks has more cash on hand, $93,000 to Sawant’s $13,000. Sawant, with a remarkable 1,900 donors and an average contribution of $116, has raised more money overall, $236,000 to Banks’s $221,000, though 36 percent of Banks’s 830 contributors (average contribution $261) live in the district compared to just 18 percent of Sawant’s.

Sawant’s numbers are complicated by the fact that 28 percent of her donors don’t list an address because they are smaller donors; 30 percent of her donors (her biggest slice) live outside Seattle versus 16 percent of Banks’s donors.

In District Four, Eastlake northeast through Roosevelt and Sand Point to 85th, incumbent Jean Godden finished ahead of her main rival, Transportation Choices Coalition leader Rob Johnson, $96,000 total raised to $83,000 total; though, Johnson has slightly more cash on hand with $12,000 to Godden’s $10,000. Johnson is also being buttressed by some independent expenditures—about $75,000 from the chamber, the restaurant association, and the hotel industry. Johnson has also gotten a $1,500 independent expenditure from local union SEIU 925.

In North Seattle’s crowded District Five race, reverend Sandy Brown brought in $9,000 in the last two weeks, and remained well ahead of his nearest rival, former judge Debora Juraez, $85,000 total to $65,000, though the pair are neck and neck in cash on hand at $13,000 to $11,000 (advantage Brown.) Footnote here, Kris Lethin, whose own fundraising is negligible by comparison, has a $64,000 independent expenditure from the national realtors backing him. Juarez herself is being backed by an $18,000 IE from the tribes.

In District Six, Ballard and Fremont, the incumbent candidate, Mike O’Brien, remains far ahead of his main opponent Catherine Weatbrook, $65,000 to $31,000. A maritime and freight industry IE popped up in favor of Weatbrook in the last week of the campaign, but so far, it only has about $7,000 in pledges.

Incumbent Sally Bagshaw remains far ahead in District Seven, Downtown to Magnolia. She finished with $90,000. Her nominal opponent, has raised $5,000.

In Position Eight, one of two at-large seats, incumbent city council president Tim Burgess has raised $236,000 overall and has $59,000 cash on hand. However, one of his two main rivals, rock musician John Roderick, continues to ring up impressive fundraising numbers. He raised $13,000 in the past two weeks (to Burgess’s $10,000), has raised $106,000 overall (from more than 1,000 individual contributors…the only candidate besides Sawant to break 1,000 donors), and has $18,000 cash on hand. A third candidate, Jon Grant, isn’t a standout fundraiser, but he does have an $8,000 IE from SEIU 925 and a $3,500 IE from UFCW Local 21 backing him.

In Position Nine, the other at-large seat, civil rights attorney Lorena Gonzalez continues to hold a big fundraising lead over the other main candidate, neighborhood leader Bill Bradburd. Gonzalez raised $16,000 in the last two weeks to Bradburd’s $2,000, she has $50,000 cash on hand to his $13,000, and she’s raised $155,000 overall to his $70,000.

Two observations: Districted elections don't appear to have put incumbents on notice nor do they appear to have minimized the significance of corporate contributors; if anything, realtor pet Lethin, for example, has gone from an also-ran candidate into a potential spoiler. And chamber favorite Johnson, despite spirited showings from other District Four candidates such as Democratic wit Michael Maddux and neighborhood leader Tony Provine, seems guaranteed to make it through the top-two August 4 primary now. (To be fair to Johnson, though: He had been leading Godden in cash without the chamber money, and frankly, he also has strong support from progressives like UFCW Local 21, SEIU 925, the Sierra Club and progressive leaders like Sharon Maeda.)

2.  Thirty four state house Republican representatives signed a letter to Washington state AG Bob Ferguson asking him to investigate Planned Parenthood for "selling organs from aborted babies for financial gain."  (Seven Republican state reps sent a letter to governor Jay Inslee demanding that the state stop funding Planned Parenthood.)

If you've missed out on the witch hunt (um, literally), anti-choice operatives associated with the radical group Operation Rescue, have released undercover video of national Planned Parenthood officials talking about using tissue from abortions for medical research.

Abortion rights group NARAL  Pro-Choice Washington director Rachel Berkson told Fizz:

Like many other organizations that do medical procedures, Planned Parenthood donates tissue to medical research with the donor's consent. This is as legal as organ donation. Fetal-tissue research has contributed to the development of vaccines and treatments for many medical conditions.

The focus on fetal tissue research is exactly what the militant extremists behind this video smear campaign want. They're aren't concerned about women, they're seeking to ban abortion at any cost, including fraudulently smearing Planned Parenthood with heavily edited secret videos and other illicit practices. This is a coordinated attack between anti-choice extremists and right-wing Republicans to defund a popular organization and eventually ban abortion.

The reason they do this is because they don't have public support. One in five women will use Planned Parenthood's services in her lifetime. The only way they can whip up opposition to Planned Parenthood is by spreading lies and fear with tactics like these fraudulent videos.

3. A batch of city council candidates—including Lisa Herbold in District One, Tammy Morales and Joshua Farriss in District Two, Michael Maddux  in District Four, Mercedes Elizalde in District Five, and Bill Bradburd in Position Nine are holding a press conference today, along with council incumbent Sawant and at-large council candidate Jon Grant in Position Eight, to show support for Grant's plan to put more money into affordable housing than mayor Ed Murray's HALA plan.

Grant, a dissident member of the HALA committee, and Sawant, held a press conference after Murray unveiled the HALA plan two weeks ago, to hype Grant's plan, which includes: making developers pay more, a call for rent control, and a city-backed principal reduction program for strapped homeowners.

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