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June 11, 2013 at 10:01 AM
State Sen. Ed Murray led the field in fundraising for the Seattle mayor’s race in May, pulling in more than $100,000 despite being shut down for much of the month by a legislative fundraising freeze.
Murray also outspent his rivals, dropping nearly $60,000 on expenses including campaign staff salaries, posters, consulting and $30,000 for a poll.
To put that in perspective, Murray’s campaign spent more on that single poll (conducted by EMC Research of Oakland, Calif.) than the $17,000 Mayor Mike McGinn’s campaign spent during the entire month.
City Councilmember Bruce Harrell brought in the second largest cash haul in May, raising $71,000, according to the new round of monthly campaign-finance reports filed with the Seattle Ethics & Elections Commission. He was followed by McGinn at $47,000, former Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck at $36,000, and businessman Charlie Staadecker at $20,000.
Murray’s big month shows he may become a major fundraising force — if he can get free of the ongoing gridlock in the state Legislature. Due to ethics laws, state lawmakers cannot raise money while the legislature is in session. And with the first special session set to end Tuesday, it’s a good bet that a second special session will begin as soon as Wednesday.
Murray has now raised a total of $224,000 through May, nearly even with McGinn’s $228,000.
But McGinn has more cash in the bank ($126,000) than his challengers, largely because he’s been frugal with his campaign spending, reporting zero spending on campaign staff, for example.
That has led to grumbling from some rivals, as McGinn simultaneously has upped his public-relations game from the mayor’s office via a daily stream of press releases and news conferences touting city initiatives (on Monday it was a street paving project in north Seattle, Tuesday’s subject is pedestrian safety in school zones).
Corrected post to reflect total cost of Murray poll was $30,000, not $21,000 as originally reported.
February 12, 2013 at 12:34 PM
City Councilmember Tim Burgess raised the most money among Seattle mayoral candidates in January, bringing in about $32,000, for a total of $133,000 since he declared in late November. Charlie Staadecker, a real estate broker and arts patron, raised $23,000 to bring his total to $94,000.
Mayor Mike McGinn brought in about $16,000 for January, for a total of about $120,000. State senator Ed Murray raised just $578 in January because of the restrictions on fundraising during the legislative session. But back in December when he could raise money, Murray trounced all the candidates by collecting more than $124,000, including donations from groups not usually associated with city elections — the Washington Hospital Political Action Committee, The Washington State Dental PAC and the Washington Health Care Association PAC.
Murray also had to return $6,500 to his senate campaign account because of rules that govern how that money can be moved around. His campaign spokesman, Sandeep Kaushik, said Murray will likely move the money back to his mayoral campaign after the fundraising freeze has ended.
Peter Steinbrueck raised almost $14,000 in January to bring his total to almost $18,000. Bruce Harrell, who didn’t enter the race until mid-January, reported almost $11,000 in contributions, but has a debt of about $23,000. Harrell has hired Argo Strategies as campaign consultant. The same group ran Joe Mallahan’s race against McGinn in 2009.
Greenwood activist Kate Martin hadn’t yet filed her January disclosure reports, but for December declared a total of $133.
December 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Remember that Super PAC that popped up in Redmond last year with hopes of raising $1 million to promote Republican Mitt Romney in Washington state?
It turns out Pivot Point Washington raised $24,465 according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month — about 1/50th of its goal.
Oh yeah, and Romney lost.
“I guess from that standpoint, it didn’t go that well,” said the group’s founder, Redmond entrepreneur David Shemwell.
Shemwell, a 60-year-old technology firm owner who told The Seattle Times in August his Super PAC had already raised “tens of thousands of dollars,” said Wednesday that the group’s fundraising suffered mostly because Romney’s campaign gobbled up all the money from potential donors.
“We had a great kick off,” he said. “It just didn’t quite pan out.”
Romney raised about $7 million from Washington state, according to the FEC. Obama raised $16.7 million.
Obama won the state 55.8 percent to 41.7 percent.
Shemwell said that Pivot Point Washington printed 6,000 Romney yard signs and ran two different commercials on Black Entertainment Television in Washington and Ohio. Shemwell, who is white, said he chose BET because he saw that Republicans were not targeting African Americans.
“Both political parties have gotten too comfortable just focusing on their base,” he said. “Most of the PACs are simply run by people that are campaign people that don’t happen to be on the campaign, and they’re wasting their money repeating the same ads as the candidates.”
So, Shemwell said, “we thought we would take a hack at it.”
October 16, 2012 at 5:53 PM
One day after reporting $1.25 million more in their independent campaign in support of Rob McKenna, the Republican Governor’s Association on Tuesday announced another nearly $3 million.
The RGA, a national group funded by party loyalists like the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, has now put $11.38 million to support McKenna against his Democratic opponent, Jay Inslee.
That dwarfes the $7.9 million raised by Our Washington, a coalition of the Democratic Governor’s Association and labor groups supporting Inslee.
By law, the independent groups are not allowed to coordinate with the campaigns, which have each raised about $10 million. The independent groups so far have spent most of their money on negative advertising against the opponent of their preferred candidate.
October 15, 2012 at 7:20 PM
National groups helping fund independent campaigns supporting the candidates for Washington governor put another $2 million-plus into the race last week, according to campaign finance reports.
The Republican Governor’s Association, which is supporting Rob McKenna, donated an additional $1.25 million, bringing the group’s total contribution to more than $8.5 million.
The Democratic Governor’s Association, which is supporting Jay Inslee, put in $500,000, while other pro-Inslee national and state labor groups kicked in another $675,000. The coalition of Democratic groups, called Our Washington, has raised $7.9 million overall, according to the documents.
The money, significantly more than either side spent on independent campaigns in the state’s last governor’s race, should help fuel more TV ads attacking McKenna and Inslee as the race enters the home stretch.
Inslee, a former congressman from Bainbridge Island, and McKenna, the state’s attorney general are locked in a tight race that’s being watched nationally.
By law, the independent groups are not allowed to coordinate with the Inslee and McKenna campaigns, which each has raised nearly $10 million. Both independent groups have been using their money to attack the opponent of their preferred candidate.
During the state’s last gubernatorial race, in 2008, the RGA raised $5.5 million while a Democrat-leaning group, Evergreen Progress, raised $6.3 million.
The RGA and DGA are each funded by individual donors and companies across the country.
September 19, 2012 at 3:09 PM
In one of his more memorable lines during a rally in Bellevue last month, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie urged attendees to get Rob McKenna elected governor… or else.
“I’ve been really nice and friendly tonight, haven’t I?” Christie said. “I haven’t said anything bad about anybody. Haven’t gotten angry. I haven’t, you know, gone Jersey on anybody tonight. And I want to tell you something, if I don’t see this thing going well, and I mean really well, I’m going to hold the people in this room responsible first. Don’t make me come back here.”
Well, he’s coming back here — although the McKenna campaign says it’s not because things aren’t going well.
Christie will be holding events for McKenna in Kennewick and Lynnwood on Thursday, Oct. 4, said Charles McCray, a campaign spokesman. The specifics haven’t yet been worked out, but his visit will include fundraising and rallying volunteers, McCray said.
According to a website created for the event, McKenna supporters who volunteer for 10 hours in the next two weeks will get to meet Christie.
“The governor is incredibly enthusiastic about doing all he can to make sure Rob will be a colleague of his in January,” McCray said.
McKenna, a Republican and the state’s attorney general, is in a tight race with former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, a Democrat.
Christie, a popular governor who was discussed as a potential vice-presidential nominee for Mitt Romney, keynoted the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., late last month — to mixed reviews.
The Washington state governor’s race hasn’t changed much since his last visit to Washington.
The most recent poll in the race, released last week by Elway Research, Inc., found Inslee leading McKenna 44 percent to 41 percent.
June 29, 2012 at 8:41 PM
The Associated Press
The King County ombudsman has decided not to pursue an investigation of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna.
Ombudsman director Amy Calderwood said in a letter to McKenna released Friday that too much time has passed since he worked on the Metropolitan King County County Council about a decade ago. She says memories have surely dimmed, and witnesses may be unavailable.
Two people had filed complaints against McKenna in May after an Associated Press report found that his office discussed political issues during staff meetings and used a county fax machine to send an invitation on behalf of the state Republican Party. McKenna’s government files contained hundreds of campaign documents, including fundraising lists.
Ethics laws prohibit government workers from using government facilities for “personal convenience” or political campaigns.
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