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Thursday, October 30, 2008

The BIAW and Your Vote

posted by on October 30 at 11:55 AM

Stranger reader Andrew writes:

While I’d like to vote a straight Stranger ticket, I’ve decided to make sure that I don’t vote for any candidate that’s been endorsed by the BIAW. Can you either ensure Stranger readers that the paper hasn’t endorsed any BIAW-endorsed candidates, or at least provide pointers to their endorsements (which don’t seem to be readily visible from their web page, or on a Google search)?

Andrew’s referring to the Building Industry Association of Washington—the industry group that that state Dems have accused of illegally colluding with Rossi to support the Republican’s campaign against Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire.

While the BIAW doesn’t endorse candidates directly, it does donate to and spend money on behalf of candidates through its PACs, which include the Affordable Housing Council of Washington (the BIAW-affiliated local PAC for the King County Master Builders Association), the Washington Affordable Housing Council, It’s Time for a Change, Walking for Washington, and ChangePAC. Those groups have indeed given to (and spent money on behalf of) some Stranger-endorsed candidates (as well as many Democrats outside the Stranger’s distribution area, and a majority of the Seattle City Council). In the interest of full disclosure, here’s a (probably non-comprehensive) list.

Mary Margaret Haugen, D-36: $1,600 in direct contributions from the Affordable Housing Council.

Scott White, $1,600 in direct contributions from the Affordable Housing Council.

Reuven Carlyle, $800 in direct contributions from the Affordable Housing Council.

Speaking of Carlyle: In the last two weeks, the 36th District Dem has received more than $26,000. Among his recent donors: AT&T, Bank of America, Eli Lilly, Regence Blue Shield, former mayor Charlie Royer, the Washington Beer and Wine Wholesalers PAC, Merck & Co., the Washington Aggregates & Concrete Association PAC, and Builders United in Legislative Development, a construction-industry PAC. And two more groups have done independent expenditures on Carlyle’s behalf—the Washington State Dental PAC sent out a generic pro-Carlyle mailer that cost $9,900 (tagline: “Our Town. Our Time. Our Choice for Change); and the Washington Restaurant Association-backed Responsible Leadership 2008, which added a $7,600 education-themed mailer to its earlier $7,000 environmental mailing.

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If I had known that about White, I never would have voted for him. So much for being efficient and getting my ballot in the mail early.

Posted by I Got Nuthin' | October 30, 2008 12:01 PM

But you endorsed Carlyle . . . maybe here would be a good place to add a comment or two as to why it's OK to vote for the guy despite these donations?

Posted by Levislade | October 30, 2008 12:02 PM

Personally, I care more where candidates spend their money (our donations).

Scott White, Mary Margaret Haugen, and Reuven Carlyle have made all their campaign expenditures WITHIN Washington State.

John Burbank's minion keep whispering, "Follow the money." Suggest you follow his money. Burbank has sent a cool 56% of what he's raised to out of state vendors. Speaks volumes about how he views Washington jobs and businesses.

Posted by Farina | October 30, 2008 12:15 PM

Your information, while somewhat accruate, is not entirely correct. The Affordable Housing Council, affiliated with the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, has no affiliation with the Washington Affordable Housing Council in this election cycle. Althouth BIAW is the state affiliate and MBA is the local affiliate of the National Association of Homebuilders, the MBA has made no financial contribution to the WAHC. Contributions to Haugen, White and Carlyle were, in no way, coordinated with, approved by or otherwise involve BIAW.

To confuse the issue is inaccurate at best.

Posted by Scott | October 30, 2008 12:35 PM

Erica, I've defended you for a long time, but you are quite simply a lazy journalist. If people don't vote for these DEMOCRATS because of your misinformation, you should feel really fucking bad.

Posted by sad | October 30, 2008 12:48 PM

Reuven Carlyle is better-looking than John Burbank, so Reuven Carlyle gets my vote. Moving on.

Posted by hohoho green giant | October 30, 2008 1:24 PM

Um, the BIAW may not "endorse" candidates, but they send "paycheck stuffers" to all their members, listing which candidates are "builder friendly." These mailers sure look like an endorsement sheet to me. As someone who works in a construction office, I was amazed at how many packets the BIAW kept sending to us, with tons of fliers and handouts we were encouraged to distribute to our employees (we didn't).

Posted by Tracy | October 30, 2008 1:55 PM

It just kills you that the SECB endorses by majority rule, eh?

Posted by elenchos | October 30, 2008 3:21 PM

@ 6

And Scott White is waayyy better looking than Gerry Pollett.

Posted by ho ho ho | October 30, 2008 3:59 PM

Is there a complete list of donors to the infamous 'It's Time for a Change' ad featuring a baby with an obviously loaded diaper and adults holding their noses? I can't believe that such an offensive attack is allowed on television, but 527 groups seem to get away with anything. Yet flashing Janet Jackson's exposed body part landed CBS in court.

Whatever happened to reasonable discourse?

Posted by Donna | October 31, 2008 9:32 AM

This post refers to this slog as well as the Oct 27th slog on Carlyle & Burbank.

I also don't understand this "bought and paid for" line of reasoning about Carlyle. Burbank's wife works as a VP for an a major HMO, thus the family is reliant on them not simply for a campaign donation but, at least to some extent, for their very lifestyle. Nevertheless, would it be fair to say that Burbank is beholden to them because of this? Of course not. It would be insulting and stupid. Ditto, what is said about Carlyle's contributors, who, yes, run a much wider array of of the political spectrum than his opponent.

Also, the absurd idea that Carlyle is an all-talk, do-nothing guy is refuted by his many achievements in the private and as well as public sector, most recently the bill last year to get all foster kids a free ride in college.

Won't it be nice when this election is over? All of us can go back to pretending we are nice, open-minded fair people (except of course the oft-quoted Ivan, esteemed chair of the 34th dems--he has a style that is unwavering, bless him.) Unfortunately, the internet record never dies but at least we won't be quite as insufferable at cocktail parties after Nov 4.

Posted by schoolguy | November 3, 2008 11:09 AM

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