Developers, unions top list of donors to Seattle campaigns
Lists of the top donors to Seattle city candidates in the past five elections are dominated by two main groups: real-estate developers and labor unions.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Who is behind the big money flowing to City Council candidates that alarms public-financing advocates?
With every two-year election cycle, the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) produces a report that lists the top 20 donors to city candidates.
Over the last five election cycles those lists have been dominated by real-estate interests. Developers and builders account for one-third of the top donors in the past decade.
The next most prominent group is labor unions, which make up one-fifth of the top donors.
The rest of the biggest givers are mostly scattered among lawyers, consultants and various businesses — from the Mariners to Clear Channel.
Here’s a list of the donors who have shown up in a majority of the city’s top donor lists for the last five elections, with the total amount contributed in the past five elections:
Clise Properties: $22,450;
Nucor Steel: $22,250;
Matt Griffin: (developer) $20,100;
Local 17 International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers: $19,400;
John McCullough (land-use lawyer): $19,200;
Robert Burkheimer Management (real estate): $19,075;
John Runstad (developer): $18,275;
Rollin Fatland (consultant): $18,000;
Amalgamated Transit Union: $16,900.
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