Posted by: sweeneyblog | June 19, 2014

Fundraising in the 40th Legislative District

After 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 I take a look at the 40th legislative district.

First, the basics. Reps. Kris Lytton and Jeff Morris are up for reelection, Sen. Kevin Ranker is not. Morris’ challenger ran for Anacortes City Council and barely cracked 19%, and has currently listed family members as his campaign treasurer and committee, so it should be no surprise that he has not raised any funds. UPDATE: Morris’ challenger did not file for election. I covered Lytton’s challenger earlier this year, but the former radio jockey has yet to raise any funds either.

With relatively underwhelming opposition (on paper), you would expect very little funds would be raised, but the power of incumbency is a mighty thing. Morris has almost $37,000 in the bank while Lytton clocks in at around $23,000. A majority of this money was raised last year, before either Morris or Lytton’s challengers had appeared, and already Morris has moved $10,000 to a surplus funds account where it could be mobilized for other elections. Neither candidate has spent money on anything beyond a few consulting fees and their campaign kickoff.

Rep. Kris Lytton

Reps. Lytton and Morris while John Oliver looks on

So where do their donations come from? For Lytton, tribes, unions and teachers. Here are the highlights from her donor list:

  • $3,200 from local and non-local tribes (Puyallup, Swinomish, Squaxin)
  • $2,550 from education groups (WA Association of Principals, WWU’s PAC)
  • $2,950 from unions (SEIU,  PNW Regional Council of Carpenters, etc.)
  • $1,450 from the telecommunications industry (Centurylink, AT&T)

Beyond that, her list has a smattering of other donations. Local philanthropist and movie buff Jim Swift kicked in $900, as did the Anacortes version of Jim Swift named Samish Tyee. Phillips 66 and Delta Dental also each gave $900, and the WA Optometrists kicked in $600.

For Morris, the donations lean a bit more corporate, reflecting his long history of work on energy issues. Here are some of the highlights:

  • $3,200 from the telecommunications industry (Centurylink, AT&T, Sprint)
  • $4,350 from the energy industry (PSE, Phillips 66, Avista Corp, BP, Williams Company, etc.)
  • $2,150 from the technology industry (Microsoft, tech trade groups, Paul Allen)
  • $1,900 from the insurance industry (Pemco, Premera Blue Cross, etc.)

The WA Restaurant Association and WA Car Dealers Association each cut him a check for $900, as did the WA Indian Gaming Association. Incumbency is a powerful thing, and yes, many of these donation are the same people who gave to Sen. Doug Ericksen, although Morris has received much less overall.

I am holding off on covering Joy Monjure, Satpal Sidhu and Nick Kunkel’s fundraising simply because it hasn’t happened yet. Once there is something significant to report, I’ll cover it.




    • Why do you think that companies that focus heavily on science and technology tend to back democrats more often than republicans?

      • Why?

      • yes, I was wondering why you think that is.

  2. Riley, I don’t think Brandon Robinson is running against Jeff Morris. He filed his C-1 in May 2013, and he didn’t file to be on the ballot during filing week in May of this year. -RS

    • You are quite right – the PDC has his paperwork but the Secretary of State does not. Thank you!

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