Jeffrey Wright, chair of the company that operates the Space Needle and patriarch of the family who owns the business, has given over $50,000 to conservative Republican candidates and Republican Party organizations in the past several years. According to records held by the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission and the campaign-tracking website Open Secrets, Wright gave over $15,000 to Republican Dave Reichert, $5,000 to George W. Bush, and $4,500 to Republican Dino Rossi. He also also contributed money elect Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna.

The company behind the Space Needle is the entity that wants to build and would profit from the Chihuly glass museum. Asked if Wright would personally make money from the Chihuly museum, Space Needle spokeswoman Mary Bacarella says, “Well he’s the owner. It’s a for-profit [business].”

Here’s a list of some of his political contributions:

Republican Dave Reichert: $15,300 (2004, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09)
Washington State Republican Party: $10,000 (2004)
Republican Michael McGavick: $4,200 (2006)
Republican George Bush: $5,000 (1999, 2004)
Republican Rick White: $5,000 (1994, ‘95, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98)
Republican Jennifer Dunn: $7,000 (1996, ‘98, ‘99, ‘00, ‘02, ‘03)
Republican Christopher Bayley: $2,000 (1998)
Republican Slade Gorton: $1,000 (2000)
Republican Party of Florida: $803 (2004)
Republican Federal State Committee of Michigan: $506 (2004)
Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania: $625 (2004)
Missouri Republican State Committee: $328 (2004)
Republican Arkansas Leadership Committee: $179 (2004)
Republican Party of Ohio: $595 (2004)
Republican Party Minnesota: $253 (2004)
Republican Party of Wisconsin: $297 (2004)
Republican Daniel McDonald: $500 (2000)
Republican Bud Shuster: $500 (1998)
Republican Robert Douglas Roulstone: $4,200 (2006)
Republicrat Joe Lieberman: $1,000 (2005)
David Doud $3,000 (2009)
Republican Dino Rossi: $4,575 (2004 & 2008)

Building the Chihuly museum would help line the pockets of someone who donates heavily to political causes and candidates that clash with most Seattle residents. And now he's trying to use public land, owned by those people, to make his profits.

Wright—evidently a big supporter of conservative policymakers—also gave to nonpartisan candidates, including City Council Member Tim Burgess ($700, the maximum amount allowed for one person to give a city candidate), Port of Seattle Candidate David Doud ($3,000), and Susan Hutchison ($100). He also gave $1,500 to Democrat Christine Gregoire in 2007 (less than what he gave to her Republican challenger).

Jeffrey Wright is the son of Howard Wright, one of five founding owners of the Space Needle. (That Wright family is distinct from the other wealthy Wright family in Seattle, for which the Bagley Wright Theatre is named.)