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Monday, May 19, 2008

This Year’s Local Races: By the Numbers

posted by on May 19 at 18:20 PM

The latest statewide political fundraising numbers are out, and they include a few surprises and an intriguing hint or two about the political future of some of the region’s political leaders.

Surprise One: Despite arguing vociferously for a spending cap at the (hotly contested) 46th District Democrats’ nominating convention, former anti-Hanford activist Gerry Pollet is actually outraising his “establishment” opponent, Scott White—so called because he used to chair the 46th District Dems and has the endorsement of most elected officials in the city. Last month, Pollet raised $8,000 to White’s $6,300, leaving Pollet (with around $11,000) less than $5,000 shy of the $15,800 White has on hand. (Less surprisingly, well-funded business candidate Reuven Carlyle continued to clobber his opponent, John Burbank, in the 36th, raising $25,000 in April to Burbank’s $6,600. Burbank, also not surprisingly, has also called for a spending cap)

King County Council member Larry Phillips, rumored to be mulling a challenge to King County Executive Ron Sims, has more than $135,000 on hand. If Phillips does run, the incumbent has a lot of catching up to do—Sims has just $16,000 in the bank, and he didn’t raise a single penny in April. Meanwhile, King County Council member Bob Ferguson, also rumored to be considering a run for County Exec, has just $8,000 on hand.

On the local front, neither of the Seattle City Council members who are reportedly planning to retire this year—Richard McIver or Jan Drago—have raised any money to speak of, and Nick Licata, about whose plans nobody is certain, has just over $11,000 in the bank. While Richard Conlin, rumored to be considering a run against Mayor Greg Nickels, has a paltry $14,800, Tom Rasmussen, another potential contender, has $109,000 on hand.

(Thanks to JR for crunching the data).

RSS icon Comments


"Last month, Pollet raised $8,000 to Polletís $6,300, leaving him (with around $11,000) less than $5,000 shy of the $15,800 White has on hand."

Damn you, Pollet! Daaammmnn youuuu!!!

Posted by oops | May 19, 2008 6:38 PM

Is that $10,900 for Rasmussen or $100,900?

Posted by Ozymandias | May 19, 2008 6:45 PM

The world would be a better place if political journalists banished the term "war chest" from their vocabulary.

Posted by Trevor | May 19, 2008 6:46 PM


I've heard nickels has $2,1,30,232.00,23!!

Posted by Andrew | May 19, 2008 6:49 PM

White and Pollet are in the 46th, Erica, not the 36th.

Posted by ivan | May 19, 2008 6:57 PM

@4 -- Uproarious. Thanks for the funniest post of the day! :-)

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | May 19, 2008 7:16 PM

Did they ever get the illegal vote-counting sorted out? That was White's guy, right? Why hasn't White been booted off the ticket? Is the guy who "found another vote" after taking them all home (!!!) still a member of the party? If so, why?

Posted by Fnarf | May 19, 2008 9:18 PM

yeah, but rasmussen's keeping park's projects on hold because cleaner and safer parks means he can't go cruising.

Posted by mike | May 19, 2008 9:23 PM

You know what, Fnarf? You're a fucking asshole, that's what.

No one but you has questioned the integrity of Dean Fournier, who says he found the extra ballot. Dean is so clean he squeaks.

If Dean says he found the extra ballot, then he found the extra fucking ballot. But you know what? Dean also says that no matter what he found, he knows it's not official, and he told that to me right up front.

So nobody in the 46th is trying to put anything over on anyone else as far as I can see. I was up there Thursday for the whole meeting, and I have talked to all the players about what happened, and you most assuredly have not.

So shut the fuck up, get the fuck on out of here, and quit trying to throw shit at good people. They work their asses off for the Democratic Party and for our communities, and you're just some asshole who posts shit on some blog.

Posted by ivan | May 19, 2008 9:32 PM

Ivan--please, just calm the fuck down. We all know you don't like ECB. We all know you like the Democratic party. And we all know you have no right to judge Fnarf or anyone else for how they live their life.

I thought you Vashon Islanders were supposed to be all zen and shit, what happened?

Posted by tiptoe tommy | May 19, 2008 9:54 PM

Fixed the crazy typos; thanks for pointing them out.

Posted by ECB | May 19, 2008 10:02 PM

Tommy @ 10:

Hey, buddy, Maybe *you* let people walk all over *your* friends. I don't.

Posted by ivan | May 19, 2008 10:24 PM

Reuven Carlyle is the "business" candidate? Reuven is one of the most progressive and intelligent candidates I've ever met. He's been successful in a couple of different tech and telecommunication businesses, worked for Scoop Jackson, Tip O'Neil and Warren Magnussen in DC, etc, etc, his website. He's a big Obama supporter, endorsed by Ed Murray, Peter Steinbrueck, Thomas Goldstein, NARAL, Allied Arts, among a ton of other.

Referring to him as just the "business" candidate really belittles his progressive agenda. He's raised the money by getting a lot of people excited about his campaign early on. This guys is for real and it's be great to have someone as capable as him in the State House. Might actually help the Dems get something done there.

Posted by Meinert | May 19, 2008 10:26 PM

Meinert: Dude, calm down. All I meant is that he's going to have more money than his opponent, and a LOT of that is gonna come from business. That's not bad or good--hell, you're a businessman, right?--it's just a financial fact. Go back and read my story on this race.

Posted by ECB | May 19, 2008 10:37 PM

Maybe Reuven can give Josh Feit a job.

Posted by Just asking! | May 19, 2008 10:38 PM

EB- buy me a drink and I'll be calm.

Didn't mean to sound too excited, just wanted to point out he's more than a bizness man. As am I, I hope.

Nice story on the race btw. And sort of funny. I think the Democratic party establishment is going to see some big changes this year - lots of new blood. Obama leading that wave. Reuven following that trend on a local level.

Posted by Meinert | May 19, 2008 11:00 PM


To me it sounds like you've got a good ol boys club there where everybody is supposed to go along because of what good friends they are. Good friends should go hang out at the bar together and maybe hug a lot. Being friends does not add legitimacy to a vote. When your feelings prevent you from seeing that you are presenting the people with an apparently corrupt process, you have a problem. Don't expect this to boost the fund raising. I know I wouldn't give money to anybody who says "Stop asking questions; just trust us."

Posted by elenchos | May 20, 2008 8:10 AM

mr chos and mr narf - the action at the 46th only involved the endorsement of the district - it has nothing to do with who is on the ballot.

this is a club that has no public funding and should not be controlled by the government. ECB is doing exactly what should be done about this by reporting it.

Usually the districts require 60% or more to get an endorsement so really with a vote so close a dual endorsement would be the solution.

Ivan - as for the name calling by TT - not to worry that's what he does. You have committed the sin of not supporting his rail meal ticket.

Posted by bobby | May 20, 2008 8:44 AM

Well, elenchos @ 17:

Maybe if you got off your smug, know-it-all -- but really ignorant -- high horse and became a participant instead of just being a pontificator, you'd come to find out that it's not at all what you have concluded.

Shit happened Thursday night in the 46th District just like shit happens everyehere else and to everyone else, almost certainly including *you.*

Their verification process for the original ballot count was slipshod and did not include extra procedures that would have made it airtight. All players have confirmed this to me in person and have accepted responsibility.

I stick my nose into this so as to forestall anything like that happening in the District where I preside for now, the 34th. It is my responsibility to understand these procedures and master them. Fortunately, we nominated our unopposed candidates by acclamation and didn't have to face these problems this time.

The process was not and is not "apparently corrupt," and the 46th District, in particular, is anything *but* a "good old boys club."

But you just stay in your little ignorant bubble, OK, and believe what you want to believe, OK? Just don't expect to run your shit past those of us who practice local politics every day and, uh, know the facts.

You could get involved and learn something, and not have to depend on Erica C. Barnett's second- and third-hand "reporting." But I guess that's too much to ask.

Posted by ivan | May 20, 2008 9:55 AM

So what's wrong with the 36th and 46th, that they can conjure up only two candidates apiece for their open House seats? Two years ago, we had six excellent Democratic contenders in the 43rd.

Then again, we can pretty much guarantee that the August primary winners will pick up more than the 24% of the vote that Jamie Pedersen pulled in. OTOH, they'll have to do it again in November.

Posted by N in Seattle | May 20, 2008 9:58 AM

Speaking of Jamie Pedersen, wonder who will get nominated by the 43rd Dist Dems tonite when the PCOs elect the official State Rep candidates?

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 20, 2008 11:08 AM

I was also very impressed with Reuven Carlyle. I think he is an excellent candidate. He spoke at the 36th LD caucus early last month and was passionate and fiery. His opponent, John Burbank, also spoke. Burbank neglected to mention the dreadful 'latte' tax he proposed a few years ago.

Posted by Lloyd Cooney | May 20, 2008 12:53 PM

Oh, I wish I'd seen this earlier. You couldn't be more wrong, Ivan.

What you don't seem to grasp about basic ethics is this: it does not matter if Dean Fournier is the nicest, smartest, most committed, most honest dude in the history of the universe.

What matters is the appearance of impropriety. Taking the ballots home unsecured is a fundamentally corrupt act, EVEN IF HE'S HONEST. Counting them again at home is a fundamentally corrupt act, EVEN IF HE'S HONEST.

When money goes missing out of the safe, everyone who has the combination is a legitimate suspect. The only way to be above it is to not have the combo.

The guilty party in the 46th is not Dean Fournier. It's the Democratic Party in the 46th, who allowed this slipshod B.S. to cast a shadow on their work.

Posted by Fnarf | May 20, 2008 8:39 PM

I also think it's sad when Democrats fall back on the excuse "we work really hard" to defend against charges of incompetence. Really hard at what, exactly? Idiotic paper-shuffling rules that don't even protect against the most basic procedural problems? You work hard but you don't know where your ballots are? We're supposed to be impressed?

Posted by Fnarf | May 20, 2008 8:43 PM

One more: Ivan, by "accepted responsibility" you of course mean "absolved themselves". Right?

Posted by Fnarf | May 20, 2008 8:44 PM

Fnarf @ 23, 24, 25:

You remain full of shit, and just a bomb thrower. Fournier told the world that he knows there's nothing official about this, and everyone agrees that it is the case. The fact that he took the ballots home (which everyone agreees he should not have done) is meaningless except to conspiracy theorists.

By "accepting responsibility," I mean admitting "we fucked up," which is exactly what they copped to.

You don't know what happened and I do. you didn't talk to the people, and I did. You don't know jack shit except what "appeared" to be true.

That won't cut it. You're a fucking dilettante in local politics, and you are not credible any more.

Posted by ivan | May 21, 2008 10:48 AM

I really wish people would educate themselves about Democratic processes sometimes... before typing away.

Fnarf, you're like the folks who bitched on here about being "disenfranchised" by the caucuses.

The Democratic Party is a PRIVATE organization, not funded by any tax dollars, and bound by its own rules.

This is not a "fundamentally corrupt" act, and it is enough to admit the mistakes that were made.

The ballots weren't "unsecured." He took them home precisely to keep a record of them. They could have thrown them away in the trash afterwards, I suppose. What he did was a good thing, even if it led to catching this mistake.

If the 46th wants to take a revote, that's their business and their choice, but ultimately the rules were followed and the result was announced at the meeting. In the end, it's not all that different from discovering that someone was in the bathroom when the vote was taken and didn't get a chance to vote.

This wasn't an official election that gives anyone any right to anything having to do with the government or my tax dollars. So get over it already!

Posted by Mickymse | May 21, 2008 11:11 AM

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