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

Dane Scarimbolo and Dominique Torgerson run Four Horsemen Brewery in Kent. They were almost shut down in late 2017 by King County, which after years of letting them operate a brewery and taproom, decided they were in violation of county code. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Proposed winery ordinance irks King County farmers, neighbors and businesses

Concerns include more traffic, higher land prices, code enforcement and compliance.

Two Federal Way gang members charged with murder of teen dumped in Green River

Suspects allegedly brutally beat boy with a bat, chopped him with a machete before dismembering and dumping his body.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Kim Schrier held a roundtable at the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank on Oct. 3 to talk about the Trump administration’s plan to further change SNAP food benefits rules and reduce the number of people using them. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Murray, Schrier vow to fight White House restrictions on food stamps

Senator and Representative met Oct. 3 at Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank.

King County is not on track to meet its greenhouse gas emissions goals, but emissions also have not been rising with population growth. File photo
King County isn’t on track to meet emissions goals

The goals were ambitious but progress has been slow.

King County is considering ways to increase both the supply of and demand for compost to help divert organic material from the landfill. File photo
King County wants to boost composting market

In 2018, around one-third of material sent to regional landfill could have been composted.

Bellevue is the most expensive place in the region to rent an apartment, according to a new analysis. Courtesy photo
Several King County cities are among most expensive to rent in Northwest

Bellevue topped the list for highest apartment rents during the first half of 2019.

Covington man arrested for 1991 cold case murder of 16-year-old Federal Way girl

The body of Sarah Yarborough, 16, was found on the Federal Way High School campus in December 1991.

Pepper takes a drink from the new water fountain display while on a walk with his owner, Mike Williams, at the Port of Everett on Wednesday in Everett. The Boats Afloat Show, which has been held on Seattle’s South Lake Union for some 30 years, is relocating to the Port of Everett next fall. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
‘The future of boating’: Everett will be home to Boats Afloat

The annual show is leaving Seattle’s South Lake Union and will call the Port of Everett home.

Eyman cohorts fined $1M in campaign finance case

Judge says Citizen Solutions hid source of money steered to Eyman for his personal and political use

Rielley, a 7-year-old standard poodle, runs at Freeland Park on Whidbey Island. Owner Laurie Cecil, a pet groomer by trade, spends 10 hours a week doing the dog’s hair. She says it is therapeutic for both her and Rielley. He is her service dog and she takes him everywhere. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
He’s a chill dog with dreadlocks — unless Led Zeppelin’s playing

The poodle is more a pet. “He’s my service dog, marketing director and best date I’ve ever had.”

Habitat for the marbled murrelet in King County includes areas around the Middle and North Forks of the Snoqualmie River, as well as areas around the Skykomish and Upper Cedar rivers. File photo
Conservation plan for native seabird moves forward

Washington state regulations for the marbled murrelet have been in limbo since 1997.

File photo
Free printing costs King County libraries $1 million each year

The library board is considering reducing the number of free pages from 75 a week to 10.