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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

September 12, 2013 at 5:39 PM

More union money for McGinn; Chamber PAC files tardy disclosures

A union representing grocery workers has put another $50,000 into a political action committee backing Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s reelection campaign.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union gave $50,000 to Working Families for Mayor McGinn, according to a report filed  today with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC). UFCW Local 21 has strongly backed McGinn’s effort to block a proposed Whole Foods in West Seattle.

With the latest check, the Working Families PAC has raised more than $69,000 to back McGinn’s reelection, with most of that coming from UFCW. Another PAC run by the hotel workers union, UNITE HERE Local 8, spent another $45,000 on McGinn’s behalf before the primary.

Meanwhile, a PAC backing McGinn’s challenger, state Sen. Ed Murray, filed dozens of late campaign disclosure reports with the city today.

Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s PAC, had been filing its paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission. But the reports were not also filed with the city ethics commission, as required by law.

Terri Hiroshima, a chamber spokeswoman, said the error was inadvertent and corrected as soon as it was brought to the attention of the organization. The chamber PAC gave $52,500 before the primary to People for Ed Murray, the independent committee backing Murray’s bid for mayor.

The SEEC has at times taken a hard line against tardy filings. In 2009 a PAC run by Seattle’s firefighter union was hit with a $5,000 penalty for late filings it said were inadvertent.

But it doesn’t appear the chamber will face similar punishment.

Wayne Barnett, executive director of the ethics commission, said given what he knows about the error, he’s not inclined to recommend a fine. However, Barnett stressed that any final decision will rest with the seven members of the commission.

Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: ed murray, mike mcginn

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