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Saturday, November 3, 2007

State GOP Gives $81,000 to Satterberg

posted by on November 3 at 16:56 PM

Last week, in a Slog post about the tight race for KC Prosecutor—Republican Dan Satterberg v. Democrat Bill Sherman—I noted that John Hennessy, CEO of Nuprecon, had donated $5,000 to the Washington State Republican Party. I wrote:

Additionally, the KC prosecutor sets law enforcement priorities. Sherman pledges to get tougher on environmental crimes and points out that under Satterberg, a suspected environmental polluter, Nuprecon, got off the hook. (Coincidentally, Nuprecon CEO John Hennessy just donated $5000 to the state Republican Party. Gee, I wonder which race that’s going to go to?)

It looks like I got my answer. Late yesterday, the GOP made a huge contribution to Satterberberg’s campaign—$81,000. In addition to getting help from Hennessy, a KC deputy prosecutor, whose family had already maxed out to Satterberg’s campaign, suspiciously made a $10,000 contribution to the State GOP earlier this month.

I say “suspiciously” because Republican KC Council Member Jane Hague’s race is the only other high profile seat that’s up for the GOP this season. It is a violation of campaign finance rules for donations to be earmarked for a specific candidate through the State party.

The state party actually started dumping money into Satterberg’s race last month.

Sherman’s campaign tells me they’ll be filing a complaint with the State.

Footnote bitch: What’s up with the Democrats? They saw this coming. The GOP has been getting hefty donations from people with a clear interest in the Satterberg race for the past month. Sherman’s campaign has been making noise about it. Why didn’t the State Democrats download a major piece of change to Sherman? (They gave about $30,000 last week. Not enough.) The Ds are famously out-fundraising the Republicans right now. There’s a chance to re-take the KC Prosecutor’s Office for the first time in 50 plus years. Pffffttttt.

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This is the same Democratic party that was more than happy to let Jane Hague run unopposed, thereby opening the door for Richard Pope's run. If the D had put a legitimate candidate against Hague, that contest wouldn't even be close.

Hello? Dwight Petz? What's the deal???

Posted by david in wedgwood | November 3, 2007 5:32 PM

Sorry, should have been Dwight Pelz...

Posted by david in wedgwood | November 3, 2007 5:33 PM

What specifically would be the basis of Sherman's campaign's complaint? I get the inference that Nelson Lee's contribution was directed at Satterberg's campaign, but that can't be proven.

Posted by Gidge | November 3, 2007 6:11 PM

#1: The STate Dens are so weak and lame it is disgusting. They decided no primary for us, only the boring, tedious, caucus meetings.

"Proof" includes circumstial evidence. Here there are a few large lump sum contributions to the state GOP right before the State GOP gave about $80K to Satterburg.

If this is OK, we have no campaign donation limits and the whole system is busted.

You don't have to have a smoking gun to file a complaint or to prove something; lots of murder cases are proven with circumstantial evidence.

The State Dems are weenies because they are not crying to high heaven about this.

Posted by unPC | November 3, 2007 7:30 PM

@4: I'm not saying it's ok. But the obvious response from the Republicans would be that they've got a ton of money and no better race than the PAO race. It's all well and good for Sherman's campaign to file a PDC complaint, but I think the Dems need to spend their time/resources getting out the support for Sherman. I get Josh's frustration over the limited response.

My question is whether it's just another example of poor strategy on their part, or whether there's so much of a divide within the party that it's leading to this inertia.

Posted by Gidge | November 3, 2007 10:39 PM

Apparently they gave even more than $81,000 - because I just got a fundraising call from the State Dems.

That said, the active betrayal of Bill Sherman by Dem electeds is not a slight that will go unnoticed when they ask for favors for their friends.

Posted by Will in Fremont | November 3, 2007 11:33 PM

at 6-

the betrayal of Bill by the Dems is a clear sign they recognize that Dan is the more qualified candidate for this position.

Bill's a good guy, but he's in over his head running for this one. He should have run for the 43rd again, or something intermediate like that. Most of us Dems would have backed him then. Maybe even Gregoire and Sims....

Posted by Tdog | November 3, 2007 11:46 PM

Well, how many of the Dems with influence are talking "bipartisan" and "nonpartisan" behind the scenes?

Really makes you think there is no party there to want to be the party in power, just a lot of Lieberdems and isolated individuals wringing their hands hoping no one will be mean to them. Damn, the Democrats sure know how to lose.

I vow to try to do more next time.

Posted by mirror | November 3, 2007 11:51 PM

Mirror at 8-

If you (we) want to do more next time- find a candidate who has more than a D by his name as his qualifications. In this race, Bill is flat out on the practice squad.

Posted by Tdog | November 3, 2007 11:55 PM

Tdog's got a point. The fact is that Norm's death caught the Dems unprepared. When Ferguson decided not to put his name in the hat (thank god), the Dems had to scramble. Bill's a great guy, but they could have picked a stronger horse with a little more time. I think the truth is that none of the Democratic leadership is excited about Bill, and that's why we're not seeing strong, united support.

Posted by Gidge | November 4, 2007 12:11 AM

Dan is finally an out and proud Republican, so he gets the big payoff. Is it enough? I doubt it. The 60-percent Democratic electorate of King County will still have its say, Tdog and Gidge, so it's a little early for Dan's people to be gloating.

Posted by J.R. | November 4, 2007 12:37 AM

no one's gloating, JR. This D is just optimistic. When an R is ahead by 8 points in a 2 to 1 D to R county, that's reason to be hopeful that folks are begining to see both Bill and Dan for who they really are.

Posted by Tdog | November 4, 2007 12:51 AM

Josh --

You overlook a couple of HUGE things.

1) The state party has the entire state house, the senate majority and a governor's race on the ballot next year. THe Gov race alone is expected to run $14million on the dem side. Every dollar Dwight puts in Sherman's race, is money that cannot be spent protecting the democratic majorities and keeping Dino out of the gov mansion. Sorry -- but the House, Senate and Gov mansion are a hell of a lot more important than the KC Prosecutor (particularly when Satterberg is anything but a scary partisan).

2) $30k is a huge amount for a state party to spend in a local race, particularly on an untested candidate.

3) I love the GOPites using up big asks now for this race -- makes the asks for 2008 harder. Can only go to the well so many times. And you have admitted that Satterberg is a decent and honest guy, that will not be a flaming R. SO I hope he bleeds them for even more. Better use it there than save it for Dino and his fellow dinosaur troglodytes. Another vote on the canvassing board ain't a good enough trade for Chopp, Brown and Gregoire.

4) One reason the state dems cannot do more is because so many prominent dems and givers -- like Peter Goldman and Jon Bridge -- don't support Sherman.

Posted by Erick Davis | November 4, 2007 2:40 AM

Sherman will beat him, 3-4 points, and we will ALL move on.

The connect this year to next is very flawed, and every little thing this year does not impact next.

Some people here have an exaggerated sense of political wisdom. Too much not-functional chit chat at the office.

The gush of money in the Gregoire vs. Rossi duel to the death will be two sided, get ready.

Many Dems. - out in the field types - in the last two months reconsidered why they should vote for a Republican, any Republican. That is Dan's problem, I have know him for years and like him.

Dan in OK, but I voted for Sherman.

As some one said here a few days ago, Satterberg should have changed parties. His victory would have been assured.

Posted by Leyland | November 4, 2007 8:16 AM

@14 - You're probably right...problem is we'll all move on until 4 years from now when Bill leaves for higher office. Then we'll be left with a prosecutor's office in turmoil (again) and some serious wingnuts running for the position.

Are you a Democratic party loyalist who thinks Dan Satterburg is the devil? Just wait for the next Republican candidate.

And speaking of, do you really want an unqualified, but popular Dem as prosecutor (i.e., Bob "I Forgot to Renew My Bar Card" Ferguson)?

Nope...this partisan bullshit (on *both* sides judging from the campaign literature I've received from Bill) is the reason why many prosectors' offices in other jurisdictions are ripe for corruption. Does anyone remember KC during the 70s? For that matter, does the name "Gonazales" ring a bell?

I really hope everyone who is treating this race like a game (i.e., "a chance to re-take the KC Prosecutor’s Office for the first time in 50 plus years") has the opportunity to interface with the criminal justice system *after* we've collectively fucked it up.

Posted by Screw All Y'all | November 5, 2007 10:18 AM

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