With three weeks to go before the 2017 general election, a group supporting mayoral candidate Jenny Durkan received more than half a million in donations from a coalition of businesses and corporations. The former U.S. attorney's opponent, Cary Moon, trails in funding, but she got a boost today from her own pocket. If you're sick of these names, too bad. Expect to see them everywhere and every day leading up to November 8.
The political arm of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce recently poured more $525,000 into an independent expenditure (IE) campaign supporting Jenny Durkan for Mayor, according to the latest public disclosure reports. Combined, the group has given Durkan's IE more $600,000. IEs, the Super PACs of Seattle politics, don't have a cap on how much they're allowed to accept, making them the main channel for big donors to make their voice heard in local elections. The groups aren't allowed to coordinate with candidates or campaigns, but they often explicitly back a candidate or ballot measure. For instance, the IE supporting Durkan is called People for Jenny Durkan.
The business group, which calls itself Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE), receives significant backing from some of corporate Seattle's biggest names, including Amazon ($325,000), Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc. ($75,000), Starbucks ($25,000), and interim mayor Tim Burgess ($5,000).
CASE's support for Durkan is no secret. The group endorsed the former U.S. Attorney in May before the primary elections, saying she is the best candidate to address traffic, homelessness and jobs, as well as expanding values that "make Seattle great."
Independent of her IE, Durkan has also raised more than $800,000 in official campaign funds. Candidate Cary Moon, meanwhile, has raised about $278,000. As of Monday, when she donated $35,000 to her own campaign, more than half of Moon's campaign chest comes from her own pocket.
Correction: A previous version of this post said Moon donated $35,000 to her own campaign on Tuesday. In fact, she made the donation on Monday.