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Published: Friday, November 25, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Local campaign contributions revisited

Need to Know on Sunday focused on the high-roller campaign contributors in Snohomish County's most-contested election races this year.

Numbers pulled from the database maintained by the state Public Disclosure Commission indicate about half of the more than $1 million spent bankrolling the hottest local contests came from roughly 200 contributors.

We detailed some of those big spenders in our post. Readers were hungry for more, particularly information about which local candidates got the most financial backing from the Affordable Housing Council. That's the political action committee for the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties.

Snohomish County's biggest races accounted for more than one-third of the roughly $91,500 the Affordable Housing Council reported spending this election season. Out of that money spent locally, about 75 percent went to Aaron Reardon's successful campaign for a third term as county executive.

The chart below shows the latest totals. We drilled down far enough to tally money that arrived as direct contributions and also through independent, outside groups spending as they see fit in support of the campaign.

Affordable Housing Council spending in Snohomish County races


CandidateContestDirect and indirect support
Aaron ReardonCounty executive$25,600.00
Brian SullivanCounty Council, Position 2$3,100.00
Bob WilcoxEdmonds City Council$2,100.00
Stephaine WrightCounty Council, Position 3$1,200.00
Chris ValloCounty assessor$800.00
Jon NehringMarysville mayor$800.00
Dave EarlingEdmonds mayor$500.00
DJ WilsonEdmonds City Council, Position 5$250.00
Total, Nov. 22 $34,350.00


Why did the Master Builders invest so much here?

It's about backing candidates who support building and housing, said the group's public affairs director, Allison Butcher.

"Snohomish County is an important jurisdiction for housing," she said.

Independent campaign spending was important in local races this year. Reardon (with $66,529) and Edmonds mayor-elect Dave Earling ($34,320) were the top local candidates statewide for spending by others in support of their campaigns. Moreover, Reardon's opponent, state Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, was number five on the hit list of candidates targeted for independent opposition spending. The $15,000 spent to target Hope came from abortion-rights organizations.

Sunday's post also caught the attention of Edmonds City Councilman Steve Bernheim. He correctly noted that $26,000 Earling received from the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors Fund didn't show up in our online list of top campaign spenders.

In an Oct. 28 letter to our sister paper, The Weekly Herald, Bernheim said big money could create big problems for his community. He worries it might discourage local candidates who may not be able to compete with that kind of bank.

"Outrageous spending by out-of-state big business makes a mockery of Edmonds campaign finance laws, which limit contributions to a candidate's campaign to $500," he wrote.

Here's an updated list of the top spenders:

Snohomish County campaign donors of more than $2,000


ContributorCountAmount
AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL20$34,350.00
NATIONAL ASSN OF REALTORS FUND2$26,720.25
SEIU HEALTHCARE 775NW QUALITY CARE COMMITTEE5$20,457.23
WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY6$16,750.00
NARAL PRO-CHOICE WASHINGTON PAC6$13,654.18
WA STATE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE3$12,000.00
SHEET METAL WORKERS LOCAL 667$9,500.00
PACIFIC NW REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS11$7,400.00
WA ST COUNCIL OF CO & CITY EMPLOYEES12$6,750.00
PLANNED PARENTHOOD VOTES! WASHINGTON4$6,638.85
SEIU HEALTHCARE 775NW8$5,800.00
IBEW LOCAL 1918$5,500.00
WASHINGTON MACHINISTS COUNCIL9$5,300.00
ROWLEY GEORGE W1$5,000.00
REALTORS QUALITY OF LIFE PAC3$5,000.00
WASHINGTON ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS PAC9$4,950.00
WASTE MANAGEMENT6$4,800.00
ROBINETT MARTIN8$4,500.00
CONSUMER FIREWORKS SAFETY ASSOCIATION PAC6$4,200.00
ECHELBARGER MICHAEL10$4,150.00
ROBINETT HENRY13$4,115.00
REPUBLIC SERVICES INC.7$4,100.00
STRATEGIES 360 INC.5$3,700.00
QUADRANT HOMES9$3,500.00
RUBATINO EDWARD9$3,450.00
WESTERN BLOWER ASSOCIATES2$3,300.00
TULALIP TRIBES4$3,200.00
BRAINERD PAUL6$3,200.00
ROBINETT LAUREEN6$3,200.00
ROBINETT DONNA9$3,115.00
PODANY FRANK4$2,900.00
BALLARD KEVIN5$2,900.00
NW WA BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL3$2,600.00
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL #3024$2,600.00
LABORERS LOCAL 2924$2,550.00
FIRST SOUTH PROPERTIES LLC1$2,500.00
MAINSTREAM REPUB OF WA1$2,500.00
ROBINETT MANAGEMENT CO. LLC4$2,450.00
WEA PAC3$2,400.00
EVERETT FIREFIGHTERS I.A.F.F. #463$2,400.00
BANCHERO JOHN2$2,400.00
BROADBAND COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION PAC4$2,400.00
ROULSTONE DOUGLAS6$2,350.00
YOUNG GARY8$2,350.00
CAMWEST DEVELOPMENT LLC4$2,350.00
WA RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION4$2,200.00
BENNETT TODD4$2,150.00
PACIFIC RIDGE HOMES4$2,150.00
SKOTDAL CRAIG6$2,100.00
BALLARD ALLISON3$2,100.00
ENDURANCE INVESTMENTS LLC3$2,100.00
WA AGGREGATE AND CONCRETE ASSOCIATION3$2,100.00
ROULSTONE BONNIE5$2,100.00
LANHAM LINDA3$2,000.00
LYNNWOOD RECYCLING CENTER4$2,000.00
BENSON BOYD H1$2,000.00
TOTAL310$298,950.51
Story tags » Campaign FinanceElectionsLocal elections

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