Labor Money Floods in For Durkan, Trickles in for Moon

Even some unions that have endorsed Moon haven’t opened up their wallets for her yet.

It’s no secret that Jenny Durkan has outpaced Cary Moon in union endorsements this election.

Durkan has snagged the endorsements of, among many others, the M. L. King County Labor Council, SEIU 775 and 1199 NW, Teamsters Joint Council No. 28, and the Washington State Council of County and State Employees. Moon, meanwhile, has reaped a more modest haul of endorsements, the biggest being UFCW 21, which is the largest private-sector union in Washington and represents retail, grocery, and health care workers.

But where the gap really widens up between Durkan and Moon are in union contributions to the campaigns and independent expenditure committees. Durkan’s own campaign has received $500 donations (the max allowed to candidates) from the National Union of Operating Engineers, the Teamsters Legislative League, and three different SEIU locals, to name just a few. Moon has received only two such max-contributions, from SEIU Local 6 and Local 925. There are no records of any donations to Moon from UFCW, Seattle Education Association, or Unite Here Local 8, all of which endorsed Moon (After this story posted, a representative of UFCW 21 said that it has given $500 to the Moon campaign, which will be reflected soon on campaign reports; Abby Lawlor with Unite Here says that the union does plan to contribute to Moon soon).

And the gap becomes gaping when one factors in union spending to IEs. The pro-Durkan IE, People for Jenny Durkan, has become a financial juggernaut, and not without big help from organized labor. Since IEs don’t coordinate with campaigns, there is no limit to how much people, corporations, or unions can contribute to them. In just one filing period, SEIU 775, which represents health care workers, gave $60,000 to People for Jenny Durkan, and the Firefighter’s union contributed $50,000. The Teamsters have chipped in another $10,000. As has been noted widely, this union support of the Durkan PAC big labor in league with the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, whose PAC is the largest contributor to People for Jenny Durkan. People for Jenny Durkan’s swollen bank account is allowing it to flood TV with pro-Durkan ads.

Moon has criticized Durkan for her large donor list, saying that it will make her beholden to special interests as mayor (though she’s focused more on donations from corporations and developers than from unions). Durkan, meanwhile, has knocked Moon for spending her own money in the race, saying it’s a sign of privilege. On that note, paperwork filed late Monday by the Moon campaign shows she has put another $35,000 of her own money into the race, bringing her total to $174,169.

Unions aren’t only good for contributions. They bring votes via members and a bully pulpit for issues. On Tuesday, Unite Here 8 sent out a press release criticizing Durkan on her excuse for not signing a pledge of solidarity with hotel workers that called on hotel owners to drop a lawsuit challenging the recently passed I-124. Durkan says she wasn’t given a fair opportunity to sign the letter; Unite Here says she’s been given ample opportunity to sign, and suggests she is avoiding doing so on account of the hospitality industry’s large contributions to People for Jenny Durkan.

The big winner so far in the union contribution game is Teresa Mosqueda, who’s running for City Council Position 8. The Washington State Labor Council leader has snagged contributions from a wide range of local labor organizations, and an affiliated IE, Working Families for Teresa Mosqueda, has enjoyed large contributions from several unions: SEIU gave $65,000 to Working Families for Teresa Mosqueda, and the Teamsters $14,000. Mosqueda has also been supported by FUSE, which is funded by labor unions.

dperson@seattleweekly.com

This post has been updated to reflect comment from a representative at UFCW 21.

More in News & Comment

Protestors gather at SeaTac’s Families Belong Together rally. Photo by Alex Garland
Seattle’s Separated Children

A local non-profit houses several immigrant youths who were separated from their parents at the border. But for how long?

Nikkita Oliver speaks at a July 17 No New Youth Jail press conference in front of the construction site of the King County Youth Detention Center. Photo by Josh Kelety
King County Youth Detention Center Moves Forward Despite Opposition

As community criticism of the project mounts, King County tries to take a middle road.

Trouble in Tacoma

A cannabis producer has been shut down for “numerous and substantial violations.”

Between Seattle’s $15 minimum wage and the new no-poach cause agreement, Washington has been leading the nation in advancing fast food workers’ rights. Photo by Fibonacci Blue/Flickr
Washington AG’s Deal Grants Mobility to Fast Food Workers Nationwide

Seven fast food chains have agreed to end no-poaching policies that economists say cause wage stagnation.

The Carlton Complex wildfire burned in north-central Washington state in 2014. Photo by Jason Kriess/Wikimedia Commons
King County Burn Ban Starts This Weekend

Other counties across the state have already enacted similar restrictions.

Numerous complaints against King County Sheriff’s deputies for issues like excessive force and improper search and seizure weren’t investigated due to internal misclassification, a new report says. Photo by Oran Viriyincy/Flickr
Report Finds Complaints Against King County Sheriff’s Deputies Weren’t Investigated

An outside review says that allegations of excessive force and racially-biased policing weren’t pursued.

Last spring, Sarah Smith (second from left) travelled to Tennessee to meet with other Brand New Congress candidates including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (right). Photo courtesy Brand New Congress
Can Sarah Smith Be Seattle’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

The 30-year-old democratic socialist is challenging a long-serving incumbent in Washington’s 9th Congressional District.

Dianne Laurine (left) and Shaun Bickley (right), Commissioners for the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities, say that the city didn’t consult with the disabled community prior to passing the straw ban. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Straw Ban Leaves Disabled Community Feeling High and Dry

Although the city says that disabled people are exempted from the ban, the impacted community says that businesses haven’t gotten the message loud and clear.

Most Read