Amazon's million-dollar donation to city hall races is helping Sawant, indirectly: Council Member Kshama Sawant earned endorsements from current city council members Lorena González and Teresa Mosqueda, State Rep. Nicole Macris, and UFCW 21 today. Those are some big names to get behind the socialist on Capitol Hill. González and Mosqueda had previously endorsed against Sawant, coordinating a double endorsement of Zachary DeWolf, but they did not support Sawant after DeWolf lost miserably in the primary. Now it looks like Amazon’s Super PAC donation—which now totals $1.5 million, and is being used to fight against Sawant—changed their opinion.
More than $880,000 is going towards electing Heidi Wills in her District 6 race against Dan Strauss in Ballard. The Amazon-backed Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE) Super PAC has spent an incredible $645,591 to get Wills into office, according to today’s figures from the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC). Wills's own campaign has raised $225,620, meaning over $880,000 has been raised and spent so far to get Wills into office. Her campaign could exceed $1 million before election day.
And as for her opponent, Dan Strauss? Without Amazon’s fat cash, he has raised only $186,453 and seen a mere $64,950 in Super PAC support.
However, Wills and Strauss can’t stop smiling: That massive financial disparity between the two candidates hasn’t apparently caused any hard feelings. The Times is calling this the “polite” council race in their recent profile of District 6. The two candidates have many similar policy positions but diverge when it comes to progressive taxes. Strauss thinks the city needs new sources of progressive revenue to solve our most pressing issues; Wills thinks the city has enough money and just needs to spend it more effectively. So there’s no mystery why the city’s ultra-rich are spending so much on Wills.
But speaking of Wills: She has a mini-controversy brewing after a progressive activist filed complaint against her campaign for allegedly misrepresenting the cost of a fundraising at a swanky Ballard hotel. My colleague Nathalie Graham has all of the details in her scoop this morning.
Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, in a race that no one would call polite, District 3 candidate Egan Orion has received over $480,000 in support from Amazon-backed CASE, while socialist city council member Kshama Sawant has received essentially no Super PAC support. CASE still has $1.4 million in the bank, according to today’s PDC figures, so expect these CASE spending figures to only increase as we make our way through the final 11 days of the campaign.
On Monday alone, the Amazon-backed Seattle Chamber of Commerce PAC reported spending more than $402,000 on City Council elections.
That's more than almost any candidate has raised over the entire duration of their campaigns. https://t.co/r5M8HeptPA
— David Gutman (@davidlgutman) October 23, 2019
Labor backs Shaun Scott: District 4 candidate Shaun Scott announced the support of some major labor unions today in his fight against anti-Sound-Transit-3 candidate Alex Pedersen. Seattle's labor leaders have been slow to support Scott, a socialist. This labor endorsement comes after former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich announced his support for Scott as well as six other candidates who have not been Amazon-approved.
Seattle city council races:
1 Lisa Herbold (Non-Amazon), Phil Tavel (Amazon)
2 Tammy Morales (Non-A), Mark Solomon (A)
3 Kshama Sawant (Non-A), Egan Orion (A)
4 Shaun Scott (Non-A), Alex Pedersen (A)
6 Dan Strauss (Non-A), Heidi Wills (A)
7 Andrew Lewis (Non-A), Jim Pugel (A)
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) October 23, 2019
More money, more problems: Orion’s campaign might be flush with Amazon money but that hasn’t stopped him from apparently violating campaign laws. Orion has been failing to report rent expenditures for his office at the Shell Station on 21st Avenue, which is owned by Ian Eisenberg (who also owns Uncle Ike’s pot shops). In a separate matter, Orion has agreed to pay $1,000 for failing to disclose sponsorship information in ad he ran on the cover of The Stranger.
If you’re tired of all of this Super PAC cash... then you should support City Council Member Lorena Gonzalez’s proposed law that would limit Super PAC donations to $5,000 and block multinational companies from spending in our elections entirely. The law would bar Amazon from making donations, like their $1.5 million donation to CASE, and there’s actually a strong argument that Gonzalez’s law could survive a court challenge.
Bernie weighs in and says we should vote for Lisa Herbold (District 1), Tammy Morales (District 2), Kshama Sawant (District 3), and Shaun Scott (District 4). We’ll see if the BERN can counteract the BEZOS cash.
Bezos and Amazon dumped over $1 million into Seattle’s elections to defeat @d1forLisa, @TammyMoralesSEA, @VoteSawant, and @ElectScott2019—progressives who want corporations like Amazon to pay their fair share and end the city’s homelessness crisis.
We must defeat this greed. https://t.co/wzppnpk0i0
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 24, 2019
Tucker Carlson attacked Lisa Herbold on Fox News in a segment this week that elevated West Seattle’s council race to prime time. Carlson invited local conservative talk radio personality Jason Rantz on his show so Rantz could continue his odd obsession with misrepresenting Lisa Herbold’s record. Rantz claims Herbold is trying to cut funding for the city’s Navigation Team, despite the fact that Herbold is actually only trying to put accountability measures on the city’s homelessness-sweeps police force. Rantz keeps spinning these accountability measures (I thought conservatives like government accountability??) as a funding cut. He’s so proud of his spin that he’s calling it an “expose” on his website.
Seattle City Councilmembers Kshama Sawant & Lisa Herbold want to gut the Navigation Team, a specialized group of police officers and social workers who connect the homeless with shelter and other resources. This move will not just hurt some homeless — it will kill them. pic.twitter.com/1Q1AI3Hxkh
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) October 23, 2019
ICYMI: Egan Orion’s search for an egg donor got some attention this week because of an unfortunately worded Facebook post Orion made in 2018, asking for an egg donor based on racial preferences. Slog had two takes on Orion’s Facebook post this week: you can either read Charles Mudede’s take or Katie Herzog’s take, or you can buy access to both takes for the splendid price of free. Our newspaper is always free. It’s great. We’re the last affordable thing left in Seattle.