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Tag: campaign contributions


Follow the Money: Outside groups spending big on Rossi

Independent groups have nearly doubled their spending in the Washington state Senate race in the past 10 days as Republicans especially realize control of the chamber could depend on the outcome of the race between Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and GOP challenger Dino Rossi.

Nearly $6.9 million in independent expenditures have now been spent in the Senate race with party committees, groups connected with GOP operative Karl Rove, the National Rifle Association and the American College of Surgeons among the recent top spenders, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan government watchdog group. (Search their database here.)

More than 60 percent of the money has been spent by groups opposing Murray. The independent expenditures have helped level the playing field for Rossi as Murray had about twice as much money in her campaign account at the end of September as her opponent.

And with the election two weeks away, the flow of independent dollars is expected to continue.

“My guess is this is not the end of it,” said Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor with the Cook Report.

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Money flows into congressional races

New federal campaign finance records have been posted and show at least a couple of congressional races in the state will be competitive, high-spending affairs. Here are some highlights:

3rd District: Not surprisingly, the seat being vacated by Vancouver Democrat Brian Baird has attracted a crowd of contenders. Leading the money-raising pack are Olympia Democrat Denny Heck, who’s raised $569,610 as of March 31 (including $250,000 of his own money), trailed by Republican state Rep. Jaime Herrera of Ridgefield, who is closing in on $200,000.

Read Brad Shannon’s recent post for more analysis of the race.

8th District: The conventional storyline so far has focused on Democrats trying to hold onto their seats this fall, but in Washington’s 8th District, Democrats have hopes of unseating GOP Congressman Dave Reichert.

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Governor signs new contribution limits for local elections

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law limits on campaign contributions in local elections Thursday that might significantly curtail contributions to City of Tacoma candidates.

The governor signed Senate Bill 6344, which imposes an $800-per-election contribution limit in campaigns for public office in county, city council and mayoral elections. Previously, there were no limits in most of those elections.

The bill is the latest twist in Washington’s history of regulating political campaign contributions.

There have been limits on contributions for statewide and legislative offices since 1992. The current limit on statewide offices is $1,600 per election from any contributor other

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Big bucks rolling into Tacoma’s mayor race

With still three-and-a-half weeks to go until Election Day, City of Tacoma mayoral candidate Marilyn Strickland has broken the $100,000 mark in campaign contributions, and her opponent, Jim Merritt, is likely to soon follow.

According to the latest figures from the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, Strickland has amassed $103,476.11 in contributions (nearly $88,000 in cash). Meanwhile, Merritt has raised contributions totaling $99,305.27 (about $80,000 in cash).

While those contribution totals are comparatively high for Tacoma municipal elections — and by far the highest totals in this year’s city races — they still have a long way to

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Firefighters, other unions are top contributors to Tacoma candidates

firefightersI’ve been looking at campaign contributions to Tacoma candidates in recent elections. One things stands out: public employee unions dominate the list of top contributors.

An analysis of state contribution records shows unions representing city employees have given more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind contributions to Tacoma candidates since the 2003 elections. Five city employee unions are among the top 10 contributors to city candidates since 2003. (See the top 10 list below).

Leading the way is the Tacoma Professional Firefighters Union, which has given nearly $30,000 to city council and mayoral candidates. The union is the top contributor to Tacoma candidates in recent elections.

The Tacoma Police Union is second among all contributors, giving $23,500. Other top contributors in recent elections include the local Master Builders Association, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Simpson Investment Co.

Several elected officials say public employee unions – especially the firefighters – are the most influential group in Tacoma politics. We’ve got calls in to the firefighter and police unions. But I’m also interested in speaking with individual Tacoma firefighters and police officers. What are the city issues you care about? What do you look for in candidates? What do you hope your contributions will accomplish? Give me a call at 253-274-7341 or e-mail me at david.wickert@thenewstribune.com.

Below is the list of top 10 contributors to Tacoma council and mayoral candidates from the 2003 election cycle through early September of this year.
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Campaign bucks, city races

Some interesting trends are emerging in the latest campaign contribution reports for Tacoma’s mayor and council races.

In the mayor’s contest, longtime architect Jim Merritt is getting good money from the building industry and private developers, while Marilyn Strickland has gotten support from the Tacoma police union and the local Master Builders’ PAC, as well as many of her colleagues at City Hall.

Money bags

The big money in the council races is being thrown at the at-large contest between Keven Rojecki, a SeaTac firefighter who lives in Tacoma, and MetroParks commissioner Victoria Woodards. Rojecki is getting aid from his brethren in the firefighting PACs and unions, while Woodards is raking in some solid dough from other labor unions.

Below are some figures I’ve compiled from the Public Disclosure Commission’s online filings. Note:  The top contributors category I’ve listed for each candidate is for one-time single donations.  I’ve yet to compile each candidate’s top donors in terms of aggregate contributions.  Stay tuned…
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