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Lester Black
Who will survive and what will be left of them? It’s almost time for Candidate Survivor 2019: the best show in Seattle politics. On Wednesday night, The Stranger and the Washington Bus will yet again present this battle royale of policy, talent, and ridiculousness. In years past, audience members at Candidate Survivor have seen Sen. Bob Hasegawa vape while playing a flute and Mayor Jenny Durkan throw tequila into an all-ages crowd. It’s wild, it’s fun, and it’s all ages with a cash bar upstairs.

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It’s like "Candidate Survivor," but more boring: The Seattle CityClub has announced dates for seven new city council debates. All 14 candidates will face off head-to-head at venues across the city in September and October. Journalists from the Seattle Times and KUOW will moderate.

Woah, like, what if we regulated campaign donations?? This year we’ve already seen $2.179 million donated to local PACs, and we still have over two months of campaigning left. 2015’s district elections saw only $784,644 spent, total. Right now it seems like nothing can stop the flow of millions of dollars into local PACs, but there might be a way to regulate these donations.

Council Member Lorena González is floating legislation that would create $5,000 donation limits to local PACs. The law would also bar any corporation who has foreign ownership (defined as five percent aggregate foreign ownership or a single foreign owner with at least one percent ownership). That means Amazon, which has donated $250,000 to a PAC this year, would not be able to play in local politics.

The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission seemed very supportive of the legislation’s intent at their meeting this week, but they held off on formally endorsing the proposal. The law will almost certainly receive a legal challenge, so the commissioners want to better understand if it can hold up in court. For what it's worth, González’s legislation already has support from some top law professors, and even someone on the Federal Elections Commission.

Burgess attacks council candidates to fundraise for his "People for Seattle PAC": Former interim Mayor and Council Member Tim Burgess strangely emailed his donors a photo of him sitting at an executive desk at City Hall, staring at an empty board room table, with an accompanying list of his goals. In the email, Burgess takes credit for the primary wins of more conservative-leaning candidates and for how he “blocked Zach DeWolf… and blocked Emily Meyers (sic) from advancing…”

I wonder why someone who says he wants to bring accountability back to city hall feels comfortable waging an unaccountable, deceptive, deeply negative, possibly illegal electioneering campaign? I'd ask, but he won't pick up his phone. You can read his thoughts over at Crosscut, an outlet that lets Burgess define what negative means:

Asked if People for Seattle was going negative, Burgess said, “I would say that our messaging was very direct, very blunt and painted strong contrasts between the candidates we supported and those we did not. So in that sense, yes, we were very clear in our messaging and very focused and that messaging worked.”

Speaking of Crosscut: The online newspaper has embarked on a new initiative to keep tabs on Seattle City Council election coverage for any gender bias, calling their laudable endeavor the city’s new “Public Gender Editor.”


We're all for getting the news to cover people of all genders and backgrounds with equal care, but something about "public gender editor" feels... Well, I'll defer to Jasmyne Keimig on this one:

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Let’s check in on your neighbors: The Seattle Times used precinct-level data from the primary election to illustrate how the top-two vote-getters in the primary election did on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis. One thing to notice is that areas of the city dominated by renters preferred progressive candidates, while home-owner areas leaned toward more conservative, pro-big-business candidates.

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