Neighbors for Banks group could pour even more cash into District 3 race — UPDATE x2

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 3.43.32 PMAlready the richest City Council race in Seattle, the run for District 3 will apparently also include what could be a giant financial thrust from — of all places — Puyallup.

Neighbors for Banks, a Puyallup, Pierce County-based independent-expenditure committee, filed paperwork Friday night with an officer roster including some surprising names for a political action committee apparently seeking to boost the fortunes of a Central Seattle Democratic candidate.

Committee officer Bob Ratliffe is the managing director at downtown investment firm Silver Creek Capital Management while Tom Perry also serves as the treasurer for the Chris Vance campaign — a Republican challenge to unseat longtime Washington Senator Patty Murray. Vance, by the way, has been a frequent contributor to the news and commentary site Crosscut but appears not to have written about the D3 race. None of the listed officers nor Vance are currently listed as having contributed to the Banks campaign as individuals. UPDATE: Ratliffe is on the Board of Trustees at Seattle U, according to his Linkedin profile:

Bob serves on the Board of Trustees of Seattle University where he is Chairman and the Behind the Badge Foundation which supports the families of officers killed in the line of duty.

Representatives for Neighbors for Banks have not yet responded to CHS inquiries about the committee’s plans and we have also not yet heard back from the Pamela Banks campaign.

UPDATE 10/19/15 8:30 AM: A representative from the Banks campaign said she was not aware of the group until contacted by CHS. According to the representative, Banks was first notified of the group by her opponent, City Council member Kshama Sawant.

UPDATE 10/19/15 1:05 PM: The Banks camp has upped the war of words surround the PAC with a statement further separating the candidate from the committee and calling on her opponent’s campaign to join in the condemnation of independent expenditure committees:

“I deplore the creation of an Independent Expenditure committee which recently registered with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission. And I call on Kshama Sawant to join me in repudiating all Independent Expenditure committees, including those assisting her re-election. My campaign has attracted incredible support from across District 3. We have wonderful volunteers, and voters are responding to our message of progressive values and strong neighborhood representation. Forty six percent of my contributions come from District 3, compared to only 19 percent of Sawant’s. That’s a groundswell of support that continues to grow.”

“Independent Expenditure committees are a product of a completely broken campaign finance system in desperate need of reform,” the statement concludes. “I ask Sawant to join me in being absolutely clear that they have no place in this election.”

UPDATE 10/19/15 3:55 PM: In a Monday afternoon statement on the new committee, Sawant predicts the PAC will bring “a torrent of corporate cash” to the District 3 race.

“We don’t know yet how much money will be poured into the PAC,” Sawant is quoted as saying in the statement, “but if other recent PACs are any indication, we can expect a torrent of corporate cash.”

“Apparently it wasn’t enough that over $140,000 in big-business backed money has gone to our opponent, now Republicans are weighing in with their anti-$15, anti-environment, anti-women’s rights, anti-renter’s rights, pro-corporate cash,” Sawant said.

So-called independent expenditure committees have become a big deal in Seattle politics. In the primary, spending from the committees soared as the groups are not subject to the same $700 per individual contribution caps that limit giving direct to campaigns. The independent committees are also just that — independent — meaning campaigns have no direct say in the advertising and messages that the groups create.

An independent expenditure committee was also at the center of the shakedown at-large City Council candidate Jon Grant said he was threatened with.

Neighbors for Banks, meanwhile, isn’t the first committee active in the District 3 race. Banks has the backing of several groups including the Washington Restaurant Association Hospitality PAC, Rental Housing Association PAC, the Seattle Police Officers Guild PAC, and something called the Consumer Fireworks Safety Association PAC, while Sawant is supported by several unions and the 46 Electrical Workers PAC.

While the Banks camp has so far been silent on this new filing, Sawant’s campaign spokesperson was quick to cast the event as the start of an attack on the Socialist Alternative candidate:

UPDATE 10/21/2015 9:45 AM: The first contributions to the new PAC are in. The table of the donors for the committee’s first $10,500 is below — and actually includes a few D3 neighbors… or, at least, people active around Central Seattle including Brad Augustine of Madrona Real Estate Services, the Capitol Hill-based developer who most recently built 14th Ave’s REO Flats before flipping the project to a Maryland firm for $89 million.

Itemized Contributions – Required for Contributors of more than $25.00
Receipt DateName & AddressEmployer & OccupationAmountAggregate
10/20/15BRADFORD AUGUSTINE
Seattle, WA
Madrona Real Estate
Seattle, WA
PROPERTY MANAGER
$500.00$500.00
10/20/15LINDA AUGUSTINE
Seattle, WA
Self Employed
Seattle, WA
CHEF
$500.00$500.00
10/20/15CHARLES POLLNOW IV
Seattle, WA
Sansome Partners
Seattle, WA
INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
$250.00$250.00
10/20/15ELEANOR POLLNOW
Seattle, WA
Self Employed
Seattle, WA
ACTRESS
$250.00$250.00
10/20/15ROBERT BURKHEIMER
Seattle, WA
Burkheimer Management Company
Seattle, WA
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
$1,500.00$1,500.00
10/20/15MARK BLOOME
Seattle, WA
  RETIRED
$1,000.00$1,000.00
10/20/15LOUISE WHITLATCH
Seattle, WA
  RETIRED
$1,000.00$1,000.00
10/20/15JERROLD BAILET
Seattle, WA
Self Employed
Seattle, WA
REAL ESTATE
$1,000.00$1,000.00
10/20/15JOSEPH SCHOCKEN
Seattle, WA
Broadmark Capital
Seattle, WA
INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
$1,000.00$1,000.00
10/20/15JUDITH SCHOCKEN
Seattle, WA
  HOMEMAKER
$1,000.00$1,000.00
10/20/15ROBERT RATLIFFE
Seattle, WA
Silver Creek Capital
Seattle, WA
INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
$1,250.00$1,250.00
10/20/15LISA RATLIFFE
Seattle, WA
  HOMEMAKER
$1,250.00$1,250.00
Subtotal – Itemized Contributions$10,500.00

Meanwhile, the Banks camp has announced a new endorsement:

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle CEO and District 3 candidate Pamela Banks today earned the endorsement from Equal Rights Washington, a statewide political advocacy organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

In its notification to the Banks campaign, Equal Rights Washington wrote:

“Equal Rights Washington is excited and honored to endorse you for Seattle City Council, District 3. We appreciate your commitment to justice and equity for the full LGBTQ community, and to demonstrating your abilities to work for the entire district from the Central Area to Madison to Capitol Hill. Thank you for engaging us as a part of your stewardship to our City. We look forward to working with you to ensure all LGBTQ voices have a seat at the table.”

UPDATE 10/22/2015 2:00 PM: One element lost in the shuffle is that an IEC is already active in the D3 race. The Progressive Seattle PAC has raised $37,000 “on mailers supporting Kshama Sawant and Lisa Herbold,” according to this Stranger examination of the impact from the committees on the 2015 races. That money has come from PACs representing UFCW, SEIU, and the Teamsters, according to disclosure filings.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Neighbors for Banks group could pour even more cash into District 3 race — UPDATE x2

  1. It appears that Locker doesn’t understand what slander is. A PAC is not a person; it cannot speak with its mouth to denigrate a person. If it engaged in anything, it would be libel, but given American libel law it’s hard to imagine it doing anything that constituted libel against Sawant (a public figure if there ever was one).

    Or, you know, he’s a PR guy and being sincere isn’t exactly at the top of his list.

    • Yes, it seems quite premature to say that this PAC will commit “slander” and run “attack ads.” But it’s the way Sawant and her supporters operate….grandstanding and exaggerating to get attention, just like a two year old.

  2. All the media talks about is the money from campaigns, which feeds the notion that the person earning the most money is the frontrunner and everyone else is behind. Voters inevitable fall into line as well, because they all follow the narrative.

    Issues? Who needs issues? It’s a money race! It’s the most overly simplistic method to cover politics, and it’s disappointing, to say the least.