“In a city struggling with homelessness, Amazon is dropping an outrageous amount of money to defeat progressive candidates fighting for working people,” Sanders wrote in a social media post sharing a report from The Nation on the company’s targeting of D3 representative Kshama Sawant. “The way Amazon conducts itself in its hometown is a perfect example of the out-of-control corporate greed we are going to end,” Sanders wrote, adding his campaign pitch.
Monday’s message from Sanders followed another over the weekend from Senator Elizabeth Warren sharing the New York Times take on the situation.
“Surprise: Amazon is trying to tilt the Seattle City Council elections in their favor,” Warren wrote. “I’m with the Seattle council members and activists who continue standing up to Amazon. Corporations aren’t people, and I have a plan to get big money out of politics.”
Neither of the candidates is into local media, apparently.
But, with a relatively huge influx of corporate cash, the D3 race is now on the national stage as campaign finance threatens to overshadow every single issue at stake in the Central Seattle election.
Sawant challenger Egan Orion, head of the Broadway Business Improvement Area and organizer of PrideFest, has called the Amazon and corporate effort to fund the downtown chamber’s PAC “a distraction from the real issues” and says he will “pursue policies to limit outside spending” if elected. But, in the meantime, Orion stands to benefit most from the spending and the paid canvassing and mailers it has powered.
His candidate in the Democratic nomination race, so far, hasn’t had anything to say about little old District 3. Orion, who has done his own social media and marketing for his small businesses over the years, created the Washington for Beto social media effort in recent months but tells CHS he is ready to back other candidates. “I’m for Beto, Pete, Kamala, and Warren,” he said. “I’d be thrilled with any of them.”
Sawant, meanwhile, has been a big backer of Sanders since his last challenge for the nomination. In 2016, Sawant wrote a plea calling on Sanders to make an independent run for president. “Your grassroots campaign that we have all worked so hard to build is too important to let its fate be decided by a rigged primary which involves only a small minority of voters,” Sawant wrote three years ago. “Running in the general election will reach tens of millions more people and can be the start of building a new political party for the 99%.” It didn’t happen. And Sawant turned her attention to Jill Stein.
Given what came next, you might forgive local big “D” Democrats for holding a grudge against Sawant and left-leaning voters who couldn’t bring themselves to back Hillary Clinton. But others have let bygones be bygones. The 43rd District Democrats have opted to back Sawant even though she is a member of the Socialist Alternative political group. They, too, have spoken out about the Amazon cash and, maybe more importantly, have organized volunteers to canvass for the Socialist Alternative candidate in neighborhoods across D3.
CHS Di$trict 3 Coverage
- 10/16/2019: Amazon pumps over $1M into Seattle elections — What it means for District 3
- 10/9/2019: Independent expenditures now total more than $1M and favor Orion. Plus: Dale Chihuly, Scott Lindsay, Lyft and Seattle Fire Fighters join the fray
- All CHS Election 2019 coverage
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