Burgess shows his donors: Tim Burgess's I-swear-I'm-not-the-Chamber PAC filed its first disclosures this week and—surprise!—there's some familiar names on the list. My very quick glance found four contributors to Burgess's PAC, People for Seattle (POS, ha), that also gave money to the chamber's Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE). Mark Firmani, Heather Redman, Stephen Sundquist, and Howard S. Wright gave a combined $3,150 to POS. The PAC has so far raised over $140,000 to bring "good governance" to Seattle. Meanwhile the Chamber's PAC has cleared over $830,000 in cash. These PACs are able to spend their stock market cash with reckless abandon in our local civic elections because of Citizen's United, the Supreme Court decision that opened the flood gates of outside political spending. I'm curious—how many of these fake Seattle progressives decried that court decision, only to turn around and dump a bunch of cash into local PACs?
How are campaign candidates spending their cash? My colleague Nathalie Graham looked at campaign expenditures and found some mystifying expenses. Why did Lisa Herbold spend $500 on learning how to party? Does Brendan Kolding only own one suit? And why is one candidate stocking up on hand sanitizer in advance of Speak Out Seattle forums? Find your answers here.
Meet the candidates who want to upzone the shit out of this city: My colleague Katie Herzog went out and asked every single candidate running for city council this year how they feel about allowing backyard cottages in the city. Read her story to find out who is serious about creating affordable housing in Seattle. How do they plan to pay for that housing? For the answer to that question, check out my other colleague Rich Smith's story.
What do West Seattle's candidates want to do about light rail? Sound Transit is getting ready to build light rail in West Seattle, and the agency is currently trying to decide where exactly they want to put the tracks. I asked the three people running for District 1 where they want the rail. Spoiler alert: They want to go $700 million over budget.
A new challenger approaches...: King County Council Member Larry Gossett hasn't faced a serious challenger since he was elected to his seat in 1993. Girmay Zahilay, a Seattle lawyer and education advocate, is stepping up to the plate with "bold new ideas" that everyone's heard before. He appears to be gaining momentum, though, especially among the youths, the party's grassroots activists, and star of the HBO television series Insecure, Issa Rae. Read Rich's full profile on Zahilay.
Washington is about to yell at Facebook and Google again: The two tech giants are facing new investigations from the state's regulators. Even though both companies banned the sale of local political ads here, they're both still doing it, which is causing some consternation among some Seattle City Council candidates.
Seattle Isn’t Dying But Voters Are Still Worried: Daniel Beekman and David Gutman of the Seattle Times have a new story that looks at Seattle's voter angst over homelessness and how it is likely to play into this year's council elections. It’s a measured and well reported piece and worth a read. Seattle's progressives have rightfully condemned the infamous KOMO hit piece, Seattle Is Dying, but it feels like we are also writing off a lot of the sentiment that the hit piece was trying to play into. Seattle isn’t dying, but it is suffering from a tragic and very visible housing crisis and, as this latest Seattle Times piece explores, this emergency is ripe to be taken advantage of by politicians. Progressives should be particularly worried about Ballard's 14-person primary for District 6. If the 2016 Republican presidential primary taught us anything it’s that hate speech has a way of connecting with voters in a crowded primary with no clear frontrunner.
King County Democrats endorse Lisa Herbold: The incumbent council member from West Seattle got the official endorsement of our county’s Democratic party, but we’ll have to wait to find out what the party thinks about the other six council races. Herbold’s District 1 race was the only council contest they weighed in on. Julia Reed, a spokesperson for the party, said their endorsements are delayed “largely because there are so many people running in the Seattle City Council races.”
“Our endorsement committee got a lot of endorsement questionnaires right at the last minute," Reed said. “So the endorsement committee just hasn’t had time to interview all of the candidates.”
Reed said more endorsements might be coming out at their next meeting in late June.
More news on Hoffman and his sign stealer: Neal McNamara over at Patch has a post this week taking a closer look at District 2 candidate Ari Hoffman's sign stealing woes. Hoffman was worried people were stealing his signs, so he called the cops. Then he called again, and again, and again. McNamara has all the details, including Hoffman's charge that he's the victim of anti-semitism.
Speaking of Hoffman: For some reason I can't quite understand, the bouncy house tycoon released video of him sitting in an office chair in front of a green screen. Local hiphop producer, Twitter personality, and frequent Hoffman critic @Spekulation took that video and turned it into a mildly amusing mashup of Hoffman and old episodes of The Office. It's pretty funny.
Ari Hoffman hired a production company to produce a campaign video for him a few months ago. That production company posted a behind-the-scenes video of Ari ranting in front of a blank green screen for 8 minutes.
And so I present to you: The Hoffice pic.twitter.com/1AcbBUXV0Z
— Spek (@spekulation) June 5, 2019
Is Naveed Jamali running for council or for president? The spy in Queen Anne that is running for city council may have enough twitter followers to get a prominent profile from the Seattle Times, but it doesn’t seem like he wants to use his platform to campaign for the council. Jamali has posted nearly 80 Tweets since Sunday morning and none of the messages have anything to do with Seattle's civic issues. His policy-free Twitter activity makes me think of another politico, albeit one in the other Washington. For what it’s worth, Jamali has posted a few policy proposals on his website, although he doesn’t seem interested in sharing his Seattle-centric ideas with his Twitter audience.
Today in Seattle history: Chief Seattle died in 1866; A prominent black couple are allowed to live in the Mont Baker neighborhood in 1910 after winning a Washington Supreme Court case; The maiden flight of Boeing's new Model 314 Clipper takes off on Elliot Bay in 1938 and, unlike the 737 Max, safely lands 38 minutes later.