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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Where the Local Campaign Money’s Going

posted by on September 4 at 17:43 PM

All isn’t as quiet as you might imagine on the local campaign front; in fact, money is starting to pour into local campaigns for elections as far off as 2009. Here’s a quick summary of who’s getting cash (and who isn’t) and where they’re getting it from.

First, let’s look at who isn’t raising money (yet): City council member Nick Licata, who’s up for reelection next November. Licata is widely rumored to be among at least three council members who will step down next year (Jan Drago and Richard McIver have already confirmed as much). The fact that Licata hasn’t raised any money (he does have $29,000 on hand) doesn’t necessarily mean he’s made up his mind to leave the council (this same time in 2004, one year before last time he was reelected, Licata had even less money, around $21,000, on hand); but it could be an indication that he doesn’t plan to run for mayor against Greg Nickels, despite rumors to the contrary.

On to the 2008 campaigns: The Divest From War Campaign, behind this year’s anti-war (and, arguably, anti-Israel) Initiative 97 (the initiative would bar the city of Seattle from investing in companies involved with the war in Iraq, and also would require the city to divest from companies that do business in occupied parts of Israel) has raised just over $10,500, $1,100 of it from the Palestinian Solidarity Committee. The opposition campaign, No on I-97, has not yet filed its August reports, but at the end of July had raised around $6,000.

Citizens for Pike Place Market, which is backing a proposed $73 million levy for improvements to the downtown market, had raised more than $280,000, with the vast majority of that ($166,970) coming from the Pike Place Market Foundation; other major contributors include Bruce Nordstrom ($25,000), the Safeco Corporation ($10,000), and developer William Justen ($10,000).

Stop the Bag Tax, which opposes the council-adopted 20-cent fee on disposable plastic and paper grocery bags, and Neighbors for Seattle Parks, which is backing a renewal of Seattle’s Pro Parks Levy (which Mayor Greg Nickels opposes), have not yet reported any contributions to speak of.

Meanwhile, the candidates for state legislature in the 36th district, Reuven Carlyle and John Burbank, have raised $206,000 and $157,000, respectively; the candidates for state legislature from the 46th district, Scott White and Gerry Pollet, have raised $93,000 and $47,000, respectively; and the candidates for state Senate from the 11th district, Margarita Prentice and Juan Martinez, have raised $241,000 and $48,000, respectively.

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I don't get Initiative 97. Why link Iraq and Israel (and, if you read it, Iran). This is about as targeted as some of Tim Eyman's initiatives, unless you're into Jewish Banking Conspiracy theories. Why not add something about Tibet or Georgia while we're at it? And why do we only care about this investing issue, when there are more pressing local ones, such as investing in only companies with sound Washington environmental or labor records?

Posted by Umm, yeah | September 4, 2008 6:21 PM

The Parks and Green Spaces Levy has unveiled its official website which is a great tool for neighbors to come together to support the levy, which will provide $145 million for Seattle parks over the next six years. This social media networking site also has a link to donate online! The Seattle Parks for All website is, expectedly, Check it out.

Posted by Green for Green | September 6, 2008 3:35 PM

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