Morning Fizz

City Recount Rules Differ from State Rules, Ethics Director Says

The District One recount and the Sound Transit Three alternative.

By Josh Feit December 1, 2015

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1. Wayne Barnett, the head of the Seattle Ethics and Election Commission, is breaking with the state Public Disclosure Commission on rules that govern election recounts.

In an email to the campaigns last week, Barnett wrote, “I don’t chart a path different from that charted by the PDC and its former general counsel lightly,” but then went on to determine while state law exempts recounts from campaign finance guidelines that limit individual campaign contributions, “there is no similar exception to the contribution limit in city law.”

With a recount cued up for this Thursday, December 3, in the District One (West Seattle) city council standoff between Shannon Braddock and Lisa Herbold (Herbold won by just 39 votes out of nearly 25,000 votes cast), Barnett’s ruling means Braddock, who finished the campaign $14,000 in the red, may have to rethink bringing in any fancy lawyers during the recount battle.

Perkins Coie lawyer Kevin Hamilton has been seen representing Braddock at canvass board meetings and Braddock has been sending out urgent fundraising emails to raise money for the “long, drawn out” recount. Braddock, an aide to liberal King County council member Joe McDermott, sent out her latest email yesterday that said: “We are still dealing with legal fees and want to make sure we have people at King County Elections to make sure every vote gets counted.” 

Herbold finished the campaign about $12,000 in the black and hasn’t hired a lawyer.

Results will be finalized on December 7.

2. As Sound Transit begins to take up the specifics of its ST3 package—$15 billion in local money to expand light rail to Everett and Tacoma and Redmond—the grassroots pro-transit group Seattle Subway is urging an even bigger investment, though one that would come with the same tax rate.

The Seattle Subway plan simply extends ST's 15-year payment plan for a more comprehensive 30-year payment plan.





 3. After council member Bruce Harrell raised eyebrows by missing the final budget committee vote on Monday, November 16 (I have a message in to his office asking where he was), council member Kshama Sawant took yesterday's meeting off—and also got permission to miss next Monday's full council meeting. 

The big difference, of course, is that Harrell missed a set of controversial budget votes on things like paid sick leave. Sawant is missing end-of-the-year odds and ends.

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