Posted by: sweeneyblog | June 12, 2014

Sen. Doug Ericksen Raises Thousands from Big Business

There are three things you need to do to win elections: knock on doors, raise money and not be Eric Cantor. Obviously the first metric is difficult to track, but thanks to the Public Disclosure Commission website, anyone can see how the money race is going, and yes, the money is pouring in.

"Show me the money"

“Show me the money”

In the Senate race, Sen. Doug Ericksen has raised over $60,000 for his reelection campaign. As befitting someone of his prominence in the state Legislature, most of that cash is from corporations that maxed out to his campaign. For example Ericksen received,

  • $5,600 from the pharmaceutical industry (Pfizer, Cambria Health Solutions, etc)
  • $3,600 from the energy industry (PSE, Avista Corp., etc)
  • $3,200 from the telecommunications industry (Sprint, AT&T, etc)
  • $2,700 from the oil and gas industry (Chevron, Phillips 66, etc)
  • $1,400 from the real estate industry
  • $1,200 from the insurance industry
  • and $16,200 from other corporate PACs (WA State Auto Dealers PAC, tobacco companies, etc)

Of course, the series of donations that did not surprise me at all? $4,050 from the Food and Beverage industry. Ericksen has hired Ben O’Brine, one of the field organizers from last year’s County Council races to manage his campaign.

But what about his opponent, former County and City Councilman Seth Fleetwood? Fleetwood has raised a respectable $32,000 for his campaign so far. His top contributors include Janet Alderton, an environmentalist from the San Juans, a couple of local attorneys (Fleetwood is a lawyer himself) and Jordan Weltman, a VP at Boeing Capital. A majority of his donations are under $200 at this point in the race.

Obviously this race is just beginning and thousands more will be raised and spent before November. I will continue to keep a close eye on the financial side of campaigns. Last year, I broke the story of how coal companies funnelled thousands of dollars into our council races. This year, who knows how outside groups may impact our community? Already, Pacific Terminals and a railroad PAC has given Ericksen $950 total, a paltry amount compared to his other donors, but it is early. Stay tuned for an examination of  other election fundraising this weekend.



  1. Just what we need is more attorneys in political office. That is the problem with our political system-too many adversarial attorneys (who flaunt the law: the Clinton’s and the Obama’s).

    • The plural of Clinton is Clintons. The plural of Obama is Obamas. The plural of generalization is generalizations.

    • You must not think much of the founding fathers then? Pretty sure at least half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were attorneys…

  2. Could be that lawyers are exactly what we need if incumbent non-lawyers continue to be non-doers.

    • Government shouldn’t be doing; you, the individual should be the one doing the doing. Those who favor limited government favor personal responsibility and personal growth IMO.

      • Here in America,
        government is the people and it acts as the referee, the facilitator and the protector for the shared rights, resources and responsibilities of all the citizens in our society.
        Good government frees the individual to grow within the general confines of civilization and provides a level playing field of equal opportunity.
        To view government in any other way is to disqualify yourself from being chosen as a representative since it’s clear you have no idea what your job is.
        The world is far too big and the bad actors far too many for us to pretend a Libertarian type of laissez-faire government to be of any use.
        I think Mr. Ericksen is a poor legislator whose priorities are skewed but at least he never tried to justify his inaction through the ruse of Liberty.

      • What Dave said. Nick, your simplistic message has already grown tiresome,

  3. Funny you ignored the half million or so coming ultimately from coal and oil mogul Tom Stayer last year…

  4. I took a very quick look at Kevin Ranker’s PDC and, like pretty much all of them, his list isn’t much different than Doug’s. ATS (red light camera company), PSE, Phillips66, BP, realtors, beverage industry, Airlines, Microsoft, Entertainment software industry, Auto dealers, Wastemanagement corporation, Holland America, the Realtors, etc… it’s just normal for those guys to get money like that.

  5. Riley, Great post. You are sitting at the mail circus ring for the Nov. election.

    If Ericksen looses this will be a major upset for the coal and oil corporations. Fleetwood winning could turn the Senate around!


  6. […] up on my examination of Sen. Doug Ericksen’s fundraising on Thursday, I took a closer look at the Republicans running for the 42nd legislative district. Luanne Van […]

  7. […] taking a fine-toothed comb to Sen. Doug Ericksen’s corporate contributions and how the local conservatives split their support between Van Werven and Knutzen, it is only fair […]

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