New PAC forms amid bid to recall Kshama Sawant, petitions for release from spending limits

Nov 20, 2021, 7:59 AM | Updated: Nov 22, 2021, 8:42 am

Sawant recall...

Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

A new political action committee has entered the fray in the bid to recall Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, and is petitioning to be released from spending limits.

Sawant, recall manager spar over charges laid out by campaign

The committee — which supports the recall effort — is registered as “A Better Seattle,” with Phillip Lloyd serving as its treasurer. Lloyd has served in that same position on several other PACs supporting Bruce Harrell, Ann Davison, and Compassion Seattle, among others.

Known at the city level as independent expenditure committees (IECs), local PACs are typically allowed to raise large sums of money with no limits on maximum donations. Because “A Better Seattle” was formed to support a recall effort for a city official, though, state law limits supporters to a $1,000 cap on individual contributions.

An attorney representing the committee sent a letter to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission this week, asking that it be released from those limits. The letter argues that “A Better Seattle” functions similarly to a standard PAC, and therefore should be permitted to operate under similar rules related to fundraising limits (or lack thereof).

As of Friday, the committee has brought in nearly $80,000. A large portion of contributors manage either local real estate companies or investment firms.

Sawant recall decision looms for District 3 voters

There are two other major fundraising entities currently raising money for and against the recall: Kshama Solidarity, and the recall campaign itself. The former has raised over $844,000 across 9,000-plus donors, while the latter has brought in nearly $746,000 from roughly 5,000 contributors.

Ballots were sent out to District 3 voters this week, ahead of a Dec. 7 vote. If Sawant is recalled, it would fall to city council to appoint a replacement to serve out the remainder of her term.

The recall campaign alleges that Sawant abused her role as a councilmember, while she claims the effort is a “racist, right wing” attack.

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New PAC forms amid bid to recall Kshama Sawant, petitions for release from spending limits