In the final runup to the election:
1. A new independent expenditure group, Neighbors for Banks, has registered with the Seattle elections office; Seattlish does a good job tracking down the GOP connections behind the group, which is backing District Three candidate Pamela Banks over city council incumbent Kshama Sawant. The group hasn’t reported any official contributions yet.
2. At-large District Eight candidate Jon Grant is calling on the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission to find out who specifically pledged to support the now disgraced independent expenditure group that registered to run ads against Grant. The group, actually called Seattle Needs Ethical Leaders, went kaput last week when it was revealed that it was using the threat of the IE to bully Grant into dropping a lawsuit against the Triad development company. Grant has said Triad cofounder John Goodman was behind the IE, though only Triad exec Brett Allen (since let go) and consultant and former deputy mayor Tim Ceis were reportedly involved in the wayward IE.
Grant is trying, through Goodman, to tie the IE to his opponent Burgess; as PubliCola reported, Goodman has contributed the max $700 directly to Burgess’s campaign and has contributed $15,000 to the Seattle chamber of commerce political committee and the real estate developers political committee combined; those groups, in turn, have contributed to the pro-Burgess IE, United for Tim. The chamber has donated $150,000 to the Burgess IE and the real estate PAC have given $22,500.
However, when it comes to Brett Allen, the only candidate he’s backed in this year’s city council candidate parade is former Burgess opponent, rock and roller John Roderick. Allen contributed $700 to Roderick, who lost out to Burgess and Grant in the primary. As for Ceis: He’s given to a range of candidates, including Lorena González and, indeed, $400 to Burgess.
3. District Four candidate Rob Johnson, who is being framed as the corporate candidate, upended that stereotype yet again last week, picking up an endorsement from the Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees (Unite HERE) Local 8 union. Unite HERE Local 8, which represents about 5,000 workers, including local hotel, hospitality, and Space Needle workers, is arguably the hardest left union in the city with the exception of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21. Johnson has received the UFCW Local 21 endorsement as well.
4. With her $100,000 contribution last week, Seattle property owner and standby antitransit campaigner Faye Garneau brought her total contributions to the anti–transportation levy campaign to more than $150,000. The group has raised about $163,000 overall. The pro-side, whose top donors are Vulcan at $20,000 and Amazon at $15,000, has raised a total of $200,000 with other contributions coming in from the Cascade Bicycle Club, Microsoft, and Weyerhaeuser among others; and its doorbelling contingent included SDOT director Scott Kubly this weekend.
5. A host of progressive groups, NARAL, Fuse, and Washington Community Action Network, kicked in some last-minute in-kind contributions to I-122, the election vouchers campaign (a public financing measure to give every voter a $100 voucher to diminish the influence of corporate dollars). The liberal groups contributed about $5,000 collectively in volunteer, field, staff, and mail help. (The groups have all kicked in to the campaign before, bringing their collective contribution to about $150,000 now.)
As I noted last week, I-122 has also gotten some big ($25,000) contributions from groups like Represent Us whose donors (ironically for an anti–Citizens United era cause) aren’t identified at the Public Disclosure Commission. However, asked to present a list of donors, the liberal organization did provide its financial backers. The $1.5 million nonprofit includes funding from big dollar liberal families and foundations.