Late money pours into Seattle races
Plus a poll on those conservative initiatives and other recommended reading
With Election Day just over two weeks away, money’s really starting to fly around in the races for the Seattle City Council.
The seven districted seats on the nine-member council are on the ballot this year. Four have no incumbent, and two incumbents face stiff competition.
The biggest spending is flowing from five independent political action committees with similar sets of donors — Elliott Bay Neighbors, University Neighbors, Downtown Neighbors, Greenwood Neighbors, and Friends of Southeast Seattle. As we’ve noted before, “neighbors” is stretching things a bit. The largest donor to the PACs is the Affordable Housing Council, the political arm of the Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties. Much of the rest of the money comes from other real estate players, including Prometheus Real Estate Group.1 Collectively the PACs are on pace to spend nearly $1 million. So much for playing nice in the democracy-voucher2 sandbox.
In 2019, a late seven-figure infusion of money from Amazon largely backfired and was widely blamed for the loss of at least two members of that year’s business-backed slate.
Here’s why you should care about this: This election could produce a significant shift rightward for the left-leaning council, which has been an incubator of progressive policy in recent years. A change in campaign finance law drove out money from big corporations including Amazon, but that’s now been largely backfilled from other deep pockets.
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