Sphere of influence (Image: Amazon)
Remember that time when we reported that independent spending from Political Action Committees had soared to unprecedented heights? That was a week ago.
Campaign finance has become even more, um, unprecedented this week with the announcement Tuesday that Amazon is pouring an additional $1.05 million into CASE, the political arm of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, right when ballots are sent to voters this week.
That brings the local corporation’s spending on this year’s local elections to $1.45 million, more than any other union or Political Action Committee.
With $241,257 already spent on his behalf by CASE (mostly on mail and canvassing), D3 candidate Egan Orion is its largest beneficiary.
To give you a sense of the magnitude of this week’s contribution: Amazon’s total contribution to the PAC now adds up to more than the combined $1.27 million City Council candidates opposed by the PAC have raised. That group includes incumbent Kshama Sawant in D3, who has raised the most of any council candidate — $387,730.
“The money CASE has raised is from local companies who care about the future of this city,” Markham McIntyre, executive director of CASE, said in a statement. “The status quo isn’t working: we have a dysfunctional, toxic environment at City Council, and employers, including our city’s largest private employer, want a return to good government.”
The contribution brings CASE’s total spending power for this election up to $2.68 million, of which it has spent $1.3 million.
In a statement, Orion called the influx of PAC money in city politics this year “completely out of scale with the grassroots campaign myself and many others are trying to run and is proving to be a distraction from the real issues.” Continue reading