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Politics Northwest

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

July 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Obama to raise money for super PAC at former Costco CEO’s house

Update: Updated to note Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray are remaining in D.C. and will not attend fundraiser.

President Obama’s Tuesday fundraising swing through the Seattle area will include a high-priced dinner event benefiting a Democratic super PAC.

The event is scheduled at the Hunt’s Point home of former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal and his wife Jan, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by the Seattle Times. The price tag for the event is $25,000 per person, with proceeds going to the Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic group that accepts unlimited donations.

As a candidate, Obama railed against U.S. Supreme Court rulings that opened up a flood of unfettered political spending through nonprofits and super PACs. But Obama has come to embrace super PACs on his side of the political divide as he raises money for Democrats in the 2014 midterms. He headlined his first super PAC fundraiser, for the Senate Majority PAC, earlier this month in New York.

The event at Sinegal’s home is in addition to a scheduled fundraiser at the Seattle waterfront home of Bruce and Ann Blume, who were fundraising “bundlers” for Obama’s 2012 campaign. That event will benefit the Democratic National Committee.

Obama is expected to arrive in Seattle Tuesday afternoon and leave later that evening. It is not known how his two political events on opposite sides of Lake Washington will impact area traffic already affected by lane closures on I-90. But a presidential motorcade rolling across the 520 bridge could further congest the evening commute.

Both the Sinegals and Blumes hosted Obama for fundraisers during his 2012 re-election campaign.

The Sinegal event is co-hosted by Tom and Sonya Campion, also big Democratic patrons who hosted an Obama fundraiser at their Seattle home in November.

“A mere six seat shift would alter the make-up of the Senate, allowing the GOP to control everything from choice to federal judge confirmations and the Supreme Court. We cannot afford to let this happen, and we need your help,” a letter accompanying the invite says.

In a feat of legalese probably designed to appease campaign-finance regulators, the letter adds that – despite appearances – Obama, Murray and Cantwell are “not soliciting funds for this event or acknowledging your contribution at any point.”

The event invitation letter suggested U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell also might appear at the Sinegal event, however spokespersons for the senators said they’ll remain in Washington D.C. for Senate business.

No official events have been announced as part of Obama’s visit, and he’s expected to fly out to San Francisco Tuesday night to continue his West Coast fundraising tour.

Comments | More in 2014 elections, Politics Northwest | Topics: 2014 elections, former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal, fundraiser


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