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Politics Northwest

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

October 6, 2014 at 6:19 PM

More money rolls in for gun background-check initiative

The piggy banks of political committees promoting Initiative 594, which would expand gun purchase background checks to private sales and transfers, continue to grow.

Steve and Connie Ballmer have contributed another $250,000 between them to Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a group backing I-594, which is on November’s ballot. The contributions are dated Oct. 2, according to public campaign filings. Steve Ballmer is the former CEO of Microsoft.

If you are experiencing déjà vu, here’s why: the Ballmers donated $250,000 to the group in early September. The couple between them has now donated more than $1 million to the alliance, which has raised more than $7.6 million and still has nearly $5 million in the bank to spend on campaign commercials mailings or other election spending.

And the state political committee for Everytown for Gun Safety — former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s advocacy organization — is also reporting an infusion of $216,000 from the group’s national committee, dated Sept. 30 in campaign filings. That constitutes the bulk of the $260,000 that the political committee has reported taking in so far.

Meanwhile, the numbers haven’t moved much recently for the three groups that either oppose I-594 or support I-591, a competing measure on the November ballot that would prevent Washington state from enacting background checks on gun purchases beyond federal requirements.

The National Rifle Association’s political committee, Washingtonians Opposed to I-594, hasn’t reported taking in any money since we wrote about them in early September. That committee has reported spending all of the $191,000 it has so far raised, according to campaign filings.

Another group opposing I-594, Washington Citizens Against Regulatory Excess (WECARE), which is largely funded by Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms , has raised about $104,000. Of that, WECARE has spent about $96,000, according to campaign filings.

There’s also a political spending committee to promote I-591 that is run and partly funded by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Known as Protect Our Gun Rights, it has raised $1.1 million, of which it has so far spent about $830,000.

Comments | More in 2014 elections, Gun initiative | Topics: Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Everytown for gun safety, i-594

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