Echohawk and Farrell each have established an independent political committee that can raise and spend as much money as they want on behalf of their favorite. Courtesy of Campaigns
A few new PACs entered the Seattle mayor’s chat, marking the inevitable expansion of a race to raise and spend record amounts of money to influence voters before the August 3 primary election deadline.
Last week, “Seattle United for Progressive Change” filed with the Seattle Elections Committee, and this week brings us “New Generation Leaders PAC”. Seattle United will fundraise on behalf of former Washington State Rep. Jessyn Farrell, and New Generations will do the same for former Seattle Club chief executive Colleen Echohawk.
State Representative David Hackney, one of Seattle United’s PAC agents, said the committee will fundraise “from anyone possible” because they believe Farrell has “the vision and political skills to that this city really works ”.
So far, the PAC has raised around $ 23,500 but has spent nothing, according to disclosure forms. The main contributors are wealthy professional progressives Nick and Leslie Hanauer, and forest conservation couple Peter Goldman and Martha Kongsgaard. Farrell works as a senior vice president for Hanauer’s think tank, Civic Ventures.
When a PAC lined up for the former Seattle City Council chairman Bruce Harrell in May, Farrell’s campaign said, “It is unfortunate that powerful special interests are trying to undermine Seattle’s public funding for our election. “
Earlier this month, the combined spending of Harrell’s campaign and the pro-Harrell PAC finally surpassed the spending cap of $ 400,000 imposed by the city’s Democracy Voucher, the public campaign finance scheme. which most of this year’s mayoral candidates participated. After Harrell broke the cap, mayoral candidates who had already reached the limit applied for and were granted a release from the program’s spending restraint, allowing them to spend a lot more money, and so here we are. now in the city of PAC.
Although it will now benefit from PAC spending, Farrell’s campaign still sings the same lamentable song about “powerful special interests”, although today they added a little blow to Essential Workers for Lorena, a union PAC which raised $ 450,000 for the president of Seattle City Council. Lorena González’s offer to lead the city: “We have no ability to lead or influence how any of these outside groups spend their money, but we certainly hope that a group that spends on our name will not drop $ 110,000 in dried fruit, “a campaign spokesperson said.
Last night on Seattle weather reported that Lorena essential workers spent over $ 110,000 on “20,345 pounds 1-ounce packages of dried cherries for shippers.” The snacks were from “Chukar Cherries in Prosser, Benton County,” and I just hope my Capitol Hill studio is in the PAC target demo because I’m feeling a bit of a nibbler.
New Generation Leaders PAC will raise and spend on behalf of Colleen Echohawk, although there is nothing in the pot yet. PAC agent Eileen Pollet said a group of Echohawk supporters started the independent spending because they “really believed in her leadership and saw her … get real results on issues. which are at the heart of the current needs of our city, in particular on the homeless “.
One of the members of this group is PAC Agent and Business Developer Steve Trainer. Trainer owns the Seneca Real Estate Group and sits on the board of directors of the nonprofit that Echohawk led, Chief Seattle Club. He also donated $ 750 to the Recall Sawant campaign and $ 1,000 to Tim Burgess’ People for Seattle PAC. If you don’t remember, People for Seattle was one of the few 2019 PACs that failed to get a bunch of business types on city council.
Pollet said she would ask Trainer if he would like to talk to me, but I got no response. She offered this, however: “Steve worked with Colleen at the Chief Seattle Club in his efforts to build housing. This is the notable reason for his involvement far more than his personal career.”
Like the Farrell campaign, the Echohawk campaign also lamented “Special interest groups… bypassing the citizen voucher program that we have put in place”.
In any case, these burgeoning PACs have a lot of work to do if they are to catch up with PACs who are raising funds for Harrell and González. As the Seattle weather noted in their Cherry Story, the pro-González PAC has already spent over $ 300,000 with about $ 130,000 in debt, and the pro-Harrell PAC has already spent nearly $ 30,000 while racking up $ 114,000 in debt. .