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Rantz: Seattle Progressives desperately attack Amazon over council races

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (File, Associated Press)

Amazon announced this week that they’re donating just over $1 million to the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE), in their fight against inept and dangerous Seattle City Council candidates, including socialists Kshama Sawant, Lisa Herbold, Shaun Scott and Tammy Morales. These candidates and their allies are terrified.

Amazon contributes over $1 million in bid to shape Seattle council races

Sawant will speak at an event tomorrow to condemn Amazon spending, while raking his big dollar donations from people who don’t live in her district (or even WA) and using out-of-state Socialist Alternative supporters to canvass on her behalf.

Scott and Morales will join Sawant at the event. Herbold sent out a desperate email asking for rich West Seattle residents pony up $500 to her campaign.

Heather Weiner, a local political consultant behind the failed Cary Moon campaign, hastily released a statement paid for by the Civic Alliance for a Progressive Economy (CAPE). She bizarrely claimed legally donating money to candidates she doesn’t like was an attempt at a “hostile takeover of Seattle’s local government” and tried to tie it to the 2020 election. Her statement read (in part):

Now a huge corporation is funneling exorbitant amounts of money to the Chamber of Commerce to buy our democracy. This isn’t just about Seattle, it’s about the 2020 national elections. Amazon is warning presidential candidates who say they share Seattle’s values that it will stop at nothing to protect its power and profits.

Pitting the Council incumbents and Socialist candidates against Amazon is, of course, a big mistake. Weiner, who tried to make an issue out of a candidates speeding tickets that blew up in her face, is grasping here. And it plays into candidates trying to be reasonable on city issues.

Activists took this same fight over the job killing Amazon head tax. Amazon won that fight, bruising the Council — and incumbents like Herbold and Sawant — badly. The council caved because the public was on Amazon’s side. We understand the importance of companies, big and small, and even progressive Seattle doesn’t want to lean that far into socialism.

And I suppose Weiner and her ilk can pretend this kind of big money is trying to “buy our democracy” but it seems hypocritical. At the bottom of her paid email press statement, it notes who donates to CAPE: “Top 5 Contributors: SEIU 775 Quality Care Committee, UFCW 21 PAC, Nick Hanauer, SEIU Local 925 Public Service PAC, UNITE HERE Local 8. Top 3 donors to PAC contributors: UFCW 21, SEIU 925, Service Employees International Union Political Education and Action Fund.”

Business, labor groups dump big money to flip Seattle council

Amazon may be putting in a lot of money, but union interests are putting in way more. As CASE points out, SEIU Political Education and Action Fund has poured in $855,000, UNITE HERE Local 8 (while using professional canvassers from out of state) donated $350,000, SEIU 775 adds $150,000, the IAFF Local 27 pitched in $145,000, and UFCW 21 added $100,000.

CAPE, itself, is a partner of Working Washington, a labor union front-group. And the national union dollars are pouring in, too, with UNITE HERE pouring funds into the races.

That’s not even all the union money — it’s already more than what Amazon is donating. Who’s buying the election exactly? Using the logic of the candidates screaming the loudest, they’re the ones buying the election and these socialists are ticked off that they’re not able to easily spend other people’s money to put themselves in positions of power.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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