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.
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.