How Are Seattle Politicians Managing Their Money? We Checked the Receipts.

Guess which candidate spent nearly $2,000 on glamour shots.

Comments

1

This was fascinating. Well done. I have so many questions:

did Kate Martin explain how The Economist is germane to her campaign?
you mean Sawant didn’t directly address her patronage of Amazon?
did Shaun Scott explain why he supports a gig economy company (Lyft) that exploits workers? Does he tip big, at least?
Lombard is D5, right?

2

I'm beginning to think that Alex Pedersen's middle name is "Did Not Respond To Multiple Requests For Comment."

Pretty weird for a guy who's running on a platform of "accountability."

3

I feel like I deserve credit for breaking the toner-gate story:

https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2019/05/21/40264827/as-amazon-opens-the-cash-spigot-to-flip-the-council-these-candidates-say-yes-daddy/comments/3

4

@2,

If I was a candidate the Stranger was clearly opposed to and knew that no matter what I said they'd misrepresent it, I'd tell them to piss up a rope too.

5

@3: The real surprise is she didn’t just use copiers at City Hall.

6

@4: I'd prefer a councilmember with a little more backbone. Being afraid of The Stranger shows none.

7

Nathalie when I first started reading this I thought it was going to be an incongruous disaster of serious subject matter meets flippant quippiness. But after a couple paragraphs, it became clear that what's important here is that someone in the media is paying attention and therefore holding candidates to public account. The petty details of small expenditures matter very little, but the larger project is truly a service to the public.
Thank you very much for taking on this responsibility, and thanks to the Stranger's editor for continuing to support you in this reporting.

8

@7 -- I concur.
Well done, Nathalie!

9

What??? Hardcore "anti-capitalists" like Sawant and Scott are hypocrites and demagogues? Is anyone surprised? Surely, any "anti-capitalist" worth his/her/their salt would be able to call a regular cab service or get their toner cartridges from, say a local source. But it's "Do as I say, not as I do" with our local party chieftains. It looks like Lenin, devotee of Rolls-Royce limos that he was, learned them well.

10

The biggest change under vouchers so far is that some candidates seem to be taking advantage of the extra cash to pay for expenses (car, Uber, food) that used to be paid from their own pocket. Progress?

11

Piling on #9 - Scott is spending thousands of dollars on Lyft, which is a giant, multi-national corporation. Its abuse of its drivers (though not quite as bad as Uber) caused those drivers to try to form a union (Teamsters Local 117). But Lyft and Uber sued the City to stop that collective bargaining measure passed unanimously by the Seattle City Council. "Power to the People" my ass.

12

74 million per year in property taxes for democracy vouchers that see 3-11% utilization. Well done, Seattle voters.

13

@12: Bullshit. The property tax is $3 million a year.

16

"Every time his campaign uses Lyft, however, Scott said they're using "green mode," which only assigns riders to hybrids or electric vehicles. That lets Scott and his campaign "live out our values as a campaign by not actually contributing to the number of emissions pumped out into the air," Scott said."

Yeah, I smell bullshit on that. It seems like we should be able to confirm that one way or the other pretty easily. Will The Stranger follow up? Survey says, "No!"

17

@15: Yeah, "potential campaign contributions." My guess is the $43 million figure takes the number of registered voters and multiplies it by $100. This figure is irrelevant.

Does your Vox article point out that Democracy Vouchers are capped per race? Maybe read SMC 2.04.634 and get back to me.

18

@13 &@15

Ok, 72 million
$100 per person
724k living in Seattle
72 million in property taxes per year.

19

@13 and @15- I stand corrected. I was looking at population totals but the vouchers are give to 18+ population. Doesn't say anything about registered voters, though. So, @13- 3 million is completely wrong, I'm guessing @15's 43million is closer to the mark.

20

@13 wins- "Seattle voters approved a property tax of $3 million per year in 2015 to fund the Democracy Voucher Program for10 years."

21

So what if Ann Davison Sattler needs an extra SuperSonics hat? Big deal.

I appreciate however all the free advertising you have given Ari Hoffman? Do you share the same rabbi? Some of the same relatives? Gosh, you just love Ari!

22

Never gets old, trying to accuse socialists of being dogmatic ideologues while also attacking them for failing to conform to some narrow, dogmatic caricature of their what you think their ideology is. It's a two-pronged attack that cares nothing for substance, and assumes voters are interested in nothing save optics.

Like if you were making $9/hr before and now you make $15, or your landlord now is forbidden to raise your rent until they fixed your apartment's code violations, and you know what wouldn't have that without Kshama Sawant, why would you really give a crap if she uses Uber or buys capitalist chewing gum or whatever ideological shibboleth hoop she supposedly failed to jump through?

Voters replaced Richard Conlin with Sawant not because Conlin didn't believe in the same goals as Sawant; he very much did. Wages, rent, economic justice, all of it. But because he and Democrats like him had been beaten down into learned helplessness by the decades of Reagan, Gingrich, and Bush. I have no doubt that Conlin has a better local-organic-sustainable farmer's market shopping record than Sawant, who probably has even eaten at Dick's. GASP Who gives a shit? Conlin didn't legislate. He didn't get anything done, and didn't even really try.

It's not, "Death before Amazon!" It's "When we fight, we win!" See the difference? It's about moving the ball down the field, not being holier-than-thou because you got your Amazon boycott gold star.

The same pearl clutching clowns think they can score points on AOC because she rides in an SUV rather than, what? A fixie bicycle? Like voters will say, "fine, let's go right ahead and wreck the planet then, if the only person with the balls to take decisive action on climate change sometimes travels by a mode other than kayak or bicycle, and doesn't live in a yurt."

Voters choose Sawant and AOC because they shake things up and get shit done. Voters. don't care if they wear a hair shirt and live in a fucking yurt. That hippie lifestyle posturing is window dressing, and a poor substitute for political results.

23

@4 Totally agree. The Stranger is just as amusing as Ann Coulter. Like a train wreck, you can't take your eyes off their fringe Antifa-wannabe tactics.

The children don't like adults that make them eat vegetables or do chores; they prefer the ones that always come full of yummy goodies. Free of course. You can always tell the candidates they don't like by the laughable air quotes they put around their descriptors.

So Tammy Morrrrrrales is a community organizer, never mind that she can't point to one single tangible thing she's organized to benefit her community. But Alex Pedersen is a "community leader." Lol

If I were a candidate, I wouldn't give them the time of day. The good news is that the demographics (privileged Millenial Wypipo who nonetheless want everything free) don't vote. Remember Nikkita Oliver?

Oh, and don't forget your BLM yard signs. FIGHT THE POWER!!!

24

Given that you emphasize that the issue is important because "Democracy Vouchers"--which we all pay for, whether we support the candidate they ultimately go to or not--you should have at least mentioned that Ari Hoffman doesn't accept them. So at least the rabid Hoffman Haters, Inc. can console themselves that their tax dollars aren't paying for the campaign they reflexively describe as the spear end of nascent "Fascism" in Seattle. (Somebody didn't take PoliSci 101.) The same is true of Sawant, though she refuses vouchers explicitly to be free of DV program expenditure limits.

25

@22, I think we could be fri... Aaaaaaah, is that a sea monstag73brjiebbsmxkha

26

@23 I'll be sure to put my BLM yard signs next to my FS signs and BIA signs. Actually BIA can fo F itself, but yeah, you have no idea what I'm talking about do you, which is why we grown ups use our words. If you mean "Bureau of Land Management" use the words. If you mean something else, well, use the words.

27

I'm going put out my JOIN ARNOLD yard signs from California again.

28

Murakami has to drive because she's afraid of the undesirables that she'll have to serve if elected, and she's not talking about her Madison Park friends. In a recent interview she said "I stopped wearing my necklace that my husband gave me because necklaces are literally just snatched right off your neck. You don’t take out your electronics when you’re on the light rail." Luckily she can layer on her gold, blood diamonds, lock the doors and wave her shiny MacBook at folks through the windows of her Saab. It also means she doesn't actually have to answer questions about her fear mongering and racist views. Luckily some bus/lightrail riders, while not being mugged, can also write: https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/10/27/25525519/guest-editorial-city-council-candidate-pat-murakami-is-a-dangerous-extremist-who-spread-lies-about-casa-latina

29

Excellent article. Well-researches facts with a soupçon of snark. It’s like The Stranger actually gives a shit again.

30

22

"It's not, 'Death before Amazon!' It's 'When we fight, we win!'

See the difference? It's about moving the ball down the field,
not being holier-than-thou because you
got your Amazon boycott gold star."

P.O.T.Y.*

*good Luck, Phizzi!

31

Scott has six paid staffers for a district city council race???? This is his idea of fiscally responsible? God help us.

32

I work as a landscape gardener in districts 2 and 3, easily put on 400 miles a month in my work truck...so I don't see anything unusual about someone travelling 320 miles in their home district.

As an aside, I remember talking to Pamela Banks while she was canvassing Madrona...a very white section of Madrona, and listening to her race-baiting Sawant as "an outsider" and "not one of us". She made certain assumptions about me, based on my race and the neighborhood where I worked. I suggested to her that both she and the Urban League were "sellouts" and that she should be ashamed of portraying another woman of color in such xenophobic terms...then she and her aid walked to their car and split.

Later that day a divine windstorm pushed dozens of her yard signs into the laurel hedges in nearby Leschi along the lake...don't ever piss-off a gardener.

33

Lordy, but don't God work in Mysterious ways!

Thanks, Cavy!