Money can't buy everthing, as soon-to-be-former Mayor Greg Nickels can tell you. According to recently filed campaign reports, he will leave office as the all-time City Hall fund raiser, $1.8 million in four elections. Despite the haul, he departs batting .500 - good in baseball, lousy in politics - having won in 2001 (raising $616,000) and 2005 ($537,000), and losing in 1997 ($100,000) and 2009 ($596,000, according to documents filed Oct. 3 and last week).
The Nickels machine spent everything but $335 to win the August primary, but ended up third (35,781 votes) behind political neophytes Joe Mallahan (37,933) and Mike McGinn (39,097). Perhaps most tellingly, McGinn had raised less than $100,000 by primary time, while Mallahan had banked more than four times that ($230,000 of his donations are from his own pocket). That trend continues. Contributions since the primary show more than $123,000 has rolled into Mallahan's campaign, for a total of nearly $540,000, while McGinn has collected a comparatively meager $43,000 since September, for a total of roughly $150,000. Then again, why give up on a winning strategy? Give Joe your money, honey, I just want your vote.