Rich business lady Faye Garneau has just dumped another $175,000 into defeating this year's Move Seattle Levy, bringing her own donation total to $325,000.
Three. hundred. and. twenty. five. thousand. fucking. dollars.
Her total is now equal to everything raised by the yes camp, which counts Amazon and Vulcan among its top donors. Only 19 other people or companies have given to Garneau's "Keep Seattle Affordable" campaign—all of them at levels far, far below Garneau herself. (What else is Garneau, who helped bankroll the 2013 city council district elections measure, spending on this year? Oh, just $55,000 to Tim Eyman's latest initiative.)
The $930 million Move Seattle levy is being backed by the mayor and city leadership, who say it's necessary to make sure the city's infrastructure keeps pace with its growth. It's opposed by a group claiming it's too expensive and the project list is too broad.
The pro-levy group has raised about $325,900, with the biggest contributions coming from Amazon ($25,000) and the developer Vulcan ($20,000). So, for all the talk about Amazon and Vulcan's dominance of local elections, Garneau is lapping them on this front. Close behind Vulcan and Amazon on the pro side donor list: Maryanne Tagney, the Cascade Bicycle Club, the Downtown Seattle Association, the Seattle Mariners, unions, and developers.
Today, the pro side is going on the defensive against Garneau's money with something called "The Truth about Faye Press Conference" at 1:30 pm. The headline of an announcement about the event sent out today: "Seattle Progressive Leaders Will Call Out Wealthy Anti-Tax, Anti-Transit Zealot Faye Garneau for Almost Single-Handedly Trying to Kill Let’s Move Seattle Transportation Levy."
The Seattle Times' Bob Young had a good story about Garneau's deep pockets earlier this week—when her total was a mere $150,755.
From that piece:
She opposes the levy, she said, because of its burdensome taxes for basic government services and misguided priorities promoting buses and bikes at the expense of cars. Never mind, she said, that the levy proposes a list of “illustrative” but not mandatory projects.
“I’m trying to do what’s right. I’m blessed that I have finances enough to do something about it,” Garneau said. “I’m only against buses when they take away parking from small businesses.”
Garneau said she’s not against the levy because it would impose higher taxes on her properties. She said she would just pass those costs on to tenants.
And it’s not about her ego or legacy, she said. “I don’t have to have a legacy. I’ve been having a good life. I built a school for our parish because the old one was falling down around the kids, not because I wanted a legacy. My ego is fine,” she said.
Ha-ha-ha. OK, Faye. The Stranger has endorsed the levy.