Seattle Might Try to Block Amazon from Spending in City Elections



Ken. You can't speak.


@1 Money isn't speech, SPENDING is (a form of) speech (and a highly restricted one).

I say we outlaw corporate spending in Seattle elections entirely, but also add a Corporate Seat or two to the City Council.

The corporate seat would be decided not by election but by highest contribution to the City's general fund. All companies interested in holding the seat give the City money in private, the City cashes all the checks and reveals all the names and contribution amounts, and the company who wrote the biggest one gets the seat for the next 2 years.

If we're going to have corporations meddling in local politics, we might as well profit from it.


Scalia said it best - the constitution is not a suicide pact


As a shareholder in AMZN (bought in 2006), will they also then ban SEIU and other union money?


Another Seattle City Council move that will last 30 seconds in court.


Came here to post what @ 7 said. This is dead in the water.


@4 There are still a few businesses out there so small that they have to pay taxes.

Come on, just think of the fun it could add to everyday proceedings. "I yield the remainder of my time to Yum! Brands Incorporated."


It might be a good idea if the cap was realistic. Instead of $5K, it should be $100K.



A union is not a corporation. Unions are not-for-profit democratic institutions where the members elect their leadership and representatives, and vote on collective bargaining agreements as well as on internal policies. Once corporations meet those same standards maybe we'll then consider not singling them out.


@6, @11 - just read the article. Its a regulation on PACs. If SEIU is operating through a PAC, then it will also be constrained. If its not, it won't.


@12 You're still clinging to that dead narrative?

The primaries killed it. There will be no centrist council. Hobo-loathing will not drive out the socialists. The left won. Incumbents won. The airy-fairy right-wing fantasy is over.


But how will Russia and China and Iran and Pakistan and the Saudis affect our elections if we don't allow them to subvert our Democratic Republic elections?

Think of the Totalitarian Regimes who will lose their voices!



Yeah, because, to paraphrase Yogi Berra, "nobody wants to come to Seattle - it's too crowded."


“But Seattle City Council member Lorena Gonzalez might have a way to stop this influx of unaccountable spending.”

In other words, she’s seen her fellow incumbents spend lavishly to obtain scarily mediocre results in our recent primary election, and she doesn’t want to face any well-funded opposition herself, so she’s trying to outlaw it. Criminalizing opposition and stifling dissent are not proper uses of government powers or funds. As other commenters have already noted, this legislation would most likely become an expensive failure in court. (Given how we’ve seen absolutely zero contrition from our Council Members for their extravagant waste of our money on the Showbox, it’s safe to say none of them, including Gonzalez, actually care how much of our money they waste on persuing their agendas.)

Oh, and Lester, as a writer you should know that words mean things. Our state’s Public Disclosure Commission requires an accounting of all monies spent on our elections. The word you’re looking for is “uncontrollable,” as in by current incumbents.


Unions are democratic? Only in right-to-work states where the union bosses don’t force you to join and pay fees in exchange for a job.


How considerate of Lorena to phone in her legal absurdities from charming Copenhagen where's she's thoroughly enjoying yet another junket.

And this person thinks she should be state Attorney General. Maybe in a Nikkita Oliver administration.



Yeah, even as I type this I can literally feel the hurricane-level gale of all that money just rushing out of Seattle...


Actually, they register as a 501(c)(5) tax-exempt labor organization (BTW, nowhere in the U.S. tax code are such organizations referred to as "corporations"


Just as an exercise in absurdity, it would be amusing to read this law, to discover how Seattle-founded, Seattle-HQ Amazon is a scary foreign entity, absolutely banned from spending money on Seattle elections, while at the very same time, Brooklyn-based Socialist Alternative is 100% Seattle local and can spend as much as it wants to influence our elections in whatever ways it secretly decides to do so.

(Such allowed spending could, of course, continue providing travel packages and other things of monetary value to the spouse of a current Council Member. Nothing to see here folks, move along and shut up...)


Paying union dues is bad but paying a monthly premium for healthcare that you aren't allowed to use is good.


Perhaps Lorena Gonzalez should work on following existing campaign-financing rules before she proposes anything new.

She broke the rules for candidates who accept our beloved "Democracy Vouchers" during her last campaign. Fortunately for her, the toothless SEEC gave her a tap on the wrist and sent her on her way:


The longshoreman's union won't even let you join.


That's CM González, please.


@31 Turns out that's still a problem even in systems where only one guy gets to vote.


This is a do-nothing, unenforceable, unconstitutional restriction using Amazon as a scapegoat when we literally targeted the stupidest, most regressive fucking tax of all time to hurt workers against them called the Head Tax.
So... we can target Amazon with a tax aimed at them (badly aimed but still) and they can't do a fucking thing about it?
Fuck you fucking tyrants. Amazon provides a $15 minimum wage nationwide, that is better than a shit load of "evil" companies.
They are providing a valuable service that saves people time, money and delivers almost anything anywhere on the planet helping the disabled and elderly.
Fuck you all.
You think charging Amazon a $275 fee per employee, the same fee Dick's Burgers would have to pay under the law per employee is fucking fair? That's fucking equitable? Fucking over Dick's workers?
Seriously, go kill some more jobs and hurt poor people and propose rent control that reduces the number of rentals. That's what rent control does. It reduces the number of rentals. Let me ask you, what happens when you reduce the supply of something during unprecedented demand? A few lucky lottery winners get a rent control apartment and the entire city gets screwed.
Fucking idiots. There are literally a million other better solutions to affordable housing than fucking rent control.


Anything that really helps and assists working people and poor people is labeled far left by those who are terribly frightened that we might challenge them in any way. Number 17. You are blatantly lying. You know full well the tax was targeted to wealthy employers and not the workers. You could care less about workers and poor people. You just like playing games.

The real bums and hobos are the corporate elite who suck the blood of the people on the near bottom and the bottom. That means over 90% of we the people. Poverty must be stopped and the goal of human rights for all can and must be reached.


So sorry Will at 17. I meant my message for 37. Not you. Please accept my apology for this stupid error on my part. You are an all right guy in my book.


Number 15. You are so right with your comment.


@28 -- "Paying union dues is bad but paying a monthly premium for healthcare that you aren't allowed to use is good."

And if you have a "pre-existing condition" you're pretty much fucked too.
Thank God for non-living wages, eh?

@17 -- "But how will Russia and China and Iran and Pakistan and the Saudis affect our elections if we don't allow them to subvert our Democratic Republic elections?

Think of the Totalitarian Regimes who will lose their voices!"

Not to worry -- Corporate Overlords the whole World over are worshipped right here in the City by the Bay -- give us your tired, your hungry, your Peons-hating Billionaires and all shall be Right, right here in Seattle. Foreigners need A LOT of Free Speech, too.

It's a damn Shame the locals cannot afford any, though....
Oh well.


@38: You’re correct. Amazon was not a scapegoat; it was a hate-object, one of CM Sawant’s many hate-objects. Her actions are the same towards both — persecution of the innocent for the crimes of the guilty — but the purpose was different. CM Sawant offers you hate-objects for your distraction, so you won’t notice she hasn’t delivered anything for you. You’ve nicely indicated how well her transparent ruse works on you.

“Anything that really helps and assists working people and poor people is labeled far left by those who are terribly frightened that we might challenge them in any way.”

In August 2016, we voters in Seattle voted to tax ourselves $290M for affordable housing. Then-Mayor Murray campaigned for this levy, and expressed thanks when we enacted it. What did CM Sawant do to help get this levy passed?


@42 "hate-object," he sneers, in his umpteenth tirade against one particular member of the city council.

Self-awareness has never been your strong suit, has it buddy?


@43: Look who’s talking! That’s so cute!

I want CM Sawant out of office because of her failed policies. Full stop. (The EHT and Showbox are prime examples.) Once she’s gone from office, I couldn’t possibly care less about her. She can go on yelling through her bullhorn, and dupes like Ivy can keep on lapping it up. I’ll just laugh (harder).

Compare that to Sawant’s own tirades against Paul Allen, Amazon, and Bezos, or any of Ivy’s hate-filled whines against her fellow citizens.