One Reason Microsoft and Vulcan May Be Trying to Kill the Campaign Finance Reform Initiative on This Year's Ballot

Comments

1
I’d support efforts to strip companies of their rights to political speech if they also relieved them of their responsibility to pay taxes. I still believe that “no taxation without representation” is a valid stance.
2
Sabey Corp are big Republican donors, in addition to that the 3 Sabey Brothers who are the CEO's/presidents of their company also dropped 2800 into district 4 candidate Rob Johnson's campaign as well.

Don't know where Rob stands on I-122, but it's a little alarming to me as a progressive. Their State PDC file is a who's who of conservative candidates and agendas.
3
(That transition team, by the way, included Joanne Harrell, a Microsoft director and wife of Council Member Bruce Harrell.)

Jesus, the Harrell family has a finger in every pie, don't they?
4
And that senior consultant paid for in the Microsoft contract? None other than Michael Mattmiller, the City of Seattle CTO. Who is now funneling more contracts to…???
5
In today's economy, getting rich people to waste money on politics is one of the great equalizer.

Limiting the amount they have to pay to get their candidates into office (or get themselves elected) is one of the stupidest plans ever.

We should make it as expensive as possible -- fortune busting expensive. Make the bread loaves plentiful and the circuses 3-rings. But don't make it easy for Richy Rich to get votes (along with everything else he gets too cheaply).
6
@1:

Citizens United not withstanding, the idea that a corporation, which is essentially a legal construct, is equivalent to a human being has always struck me as ludicrous; it is a collection of human beings engaging in a for-profit enterprise, and all of those human beings (assuming they're U.S. citizens) already possess rights to political speech - heck, they still have some rights even if they aren't citizens. So the suggestion a corporation should somehow have access to rights separate and apart from - not to mention above - the individuals who comprise it has never made a lick of sense to me - it's basically an assertion that it gets double representation, because the corporation gets to assert rights while simultaneously every employee and officer of the corporation also get to assert rights.

A corporation cannot register to vote, nor can it be elected to or hold public office. A corporation can not be called to serve in the military; it cannot obtain a driver's license; it can't register for a Social Security card; it can't be charged with, arrested for, or tried for a crime, nor can it be incarcerated. These are all things that can happen to people associated with a corporation, but not to the corporation itself.

A corporation is not corporeal; it is not a physical being possessing qualities we normally associate with living things. It is an entity created solely out of the minds of living, breathing human beings, and as such it cannot exist independent of humans. If we all were to perish tomorrow from some major extinction-level event, go the way of the dinosaurs before us, corporations will not become the scrappy little warm-blooded ground-huggers that outlive us; they will die when we die, because they do not exist in any sense outside of us. So, where in the name of all that makes sense did the executives who run corporations get the crazy idea they deserve to be treated like people, with all the inalienable rights associated with personhood?
7
Good coverage of an important issue.

More connections: Vulcan, Microsoft, Sabey, NAIOP, and Wright Runstad are also major contributors to the Let's Move Seattle campaign (Prop 1). I suggest it's for similar reasons; get money to work on projects, but also to continue to externalize the costs of paying for the transportation related costs of growth. If we have $100 million a year coming into SDOT's slush fund, we couldn't possibly need development impact fees, right?
8
Microsoft doesn't care about a couple million in cash, let alone in city contracts. They probably just see this as a bad precedent.
9
Government expenditures for the citizenry to exercise gratuitous political contributions is immoral, unethical, and unconstitutional, and undemocratic.
10
What is the Microsoft contract for, specifically, Heidi? I have a hard time getting too angry about licensing fees for Microsoft Office on City Hall computers. And sure, CH2M and HDR Engineering are going to get a lot of big contracts - they're two of the biggest engineering firms in the city.

I'm still voting for this despite its flaws because I think it's a good model that should be expanded nationwide, and the cost and downsides are minimal. But I think the pay-for-play narrative is a bit overstated on the city level. $700 isn't enough to get you coffee with the mayor, much less get policy passed.
11
@1 Except they don't pay taxes -- or at least their fair share. Most of it is laundered or held overseas to the tune of trillions of dollars.

A large portion of tax expenditures is to create a "friendly business climate" and infrastructure to support their activities (roads, bridges, utilities, zoning preferences, etc.). With no progressive income tax in the state (the most regressive tax system IN THE COUNTRY), Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, etc. get WAY more than they pay in. Both parties see to that...