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

Candidate Contest Direct and indirect support
Aaron Reardon County executive $25,600.00
Brian Sullivan County Council, Position 2 $3,100.00
Bob Wilcox Edmonds City Council $2,100.00
Stephaine Wright County Council, Position 3 $1,200.00
Chris Vallo County assessor $800.00
Jon Nehring Marysville mayor $800.00
Dave Earling Edmonds mayor $500.00
DJ Wilson Edmonds 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

Contributor Count Amount
AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL 20 $34,350.00
NATIONAL ASSN OF REALTORS FUND 2 $26,720.25
SEIU HEALTHCARE 775NW QUALITY CARE COMMITTEE 5 $20,457.23
WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY 6 $16,750.00
NARAL PRO-CHOICE WASHINGTON PAC 6 $13,654.18
WA STATE DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE 3 $12,000.00
SHEET METAL WORKERS LOCAL 66 7 $9,500.00
PACIFIC NW REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS 11 $7,400.00
WA ST COUNCIL OF CO &CITY EMPLOYEES 12 $6,750.00
PLANNED PARENTHOOD VOTES! WASHINGTON 4 $6,638.85
SEIU HEALTHCARE 775NW 8 $5,800.00
IBEW LOCAL 191 8 $5,500.00
WASHINGTON MACHINISTS COUNCIL 9 $5,300.00
ROWLEY GEORGE W 1 $5,000.00
REALTORS QUALITY OF LIFE PAC 3 $5,000.00
WASHINGTON ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS PAC 9 $4,950.00
WASTE MANAGEMENT 6 $4,800.00
ROBINETT MARTIN 8 $4,500.00
CONSUMER FIREWORKS SAFETY ASSOCIATION PAC 6 $4,200.00
ECHELBARGER MICHAEL 10 $4,150.00
ROBINETT HENRY 13 $4,115.00
REPUBLIC SERVICES INC. 7 $4,100.00
STRATEGIES 360 INC. 5 $3,700.00
QUADRANT HOMES 9 $3,500.00
RUBATINO EDWARD 9 $3,450.00
WESTERN BLOWER ASSOCIATES 2 $3,300.00
TULALIP TRIBES 4 $3,200.00
BRAINERD PAUL 6 $3,200.00
ROBINETT LAUREEN 6 $3,200.00
ROBINETT DONNA 9 $3,115.00
PODANY FRANK 4 $2,900.00
BALLARD KEVIN 5 $2,900.00
NW WA BUILDING &CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL 3 $2,600.00
INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL #302 4 $2,600.00
LABORERS LOCAL 292 4 $2,550.00
FIRST SOUTH PROPERTIES LLC 1 $2,500.00
MAINSTREAM REPUB OF WA 1 $2,500.00
ROBINETT MANAGEMENT CO. LLC 4 $2,450.00
WEA PAC 3 $2,400.00
EVERETT FIREFIGHTERS I.A.F.F. #46 3 $2,400.00
BANCHERO JOHN 2 $2,400.00
BROADBAND COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION PAC 4 $2,400.00
ROULSTONE DOUGLAS 6 $2,350.00
YOUNG GARY 8 $2,350.00
CAMWEST DEVELOPMENT LLC 4 $2,350.00
WA RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION 4 $2,200.00
BENNETT TODD 4 $2,150.00
PACIFIC RIDGE HOMES 4 $2,150.00
SKOTDAL CRAIG 6 $2,100.00
BALLARD ALLISON 3 $2,100.00
ENDURANCE INVESTMENTS LLC 3 $2,100.00
WA AGGREGATE AND CONCRETE ASSOCIATION 3 $2,100.00
ROULSTONE BONNIE 5 $2,100.00
LANHAM LINDA 3 $2,000.00
LYNNWOOD RECYCLING CENTER 4 $2,000.00
BENSON BOYD H 1 $2,000.00
TOTAL 310 $298,950.51

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