PAC Throws Weight into Spokane Elections, Not All Donors Happy

By Paige Browning

The tried-and-true campaigning tools of yard signs and doorbelling were bumped aside in our region this year by the work of Political Action Committees. One PAC is advertising against two city council candidates, but some PAC supporters aren’t on board with the ads.
 
A Political Action Committee called Jobs and Prosperity for Spokane has spent about $77,000, so far, in attack ads about city council candidates Jon Snyder and Candace Mumm. The ads accuse Snyder and Mumm of being bought by unions. The $77,000 came mostly from other PACs, without easily distinguishable donors.
 
But groups like the local firefighters union spent the time to determine the donors, and this month told Davenport owner Walt Worthy it might cancel union events at the hotel because he supported anti-union ads. But, Worthy says that was not his intention, and is quoted in the Spokesman Review saying he did not contribute one dollar to the anti union endeavor.

Worthy had given money in January to the Spokane Homebuilders PAC, which this month donated to Jobs and Prosperity. He was supporting an unrelated city campaign at the time.
 
Developer Greenstone had also given money to the homebuilders PAC in January, and president Jason Wheaton already came out this month to say he didn’t want his company associated with the campaign.
 
The ads against Snyder and Mumm have aired on TV and radio since mid October. What’s at stake in the election is the polarity of city council. Snyder is a Democrat, his calendar John Ahern a Republican. Candace Mumm leans more democratic than her opponent, Michael Cannon. A Snyder-Mumm win would flip the city council from a republican lean to a democratic lean.
 
Snyder and Mumm did receive donations from unions in Washington, but insist they work for the people. The top donor to Jobs and Prosperity is the Eastern Washington PAC, run by Mayor David Condon’s campaign manager. You can see the list of donors on the state website pdc.wa.gov.

Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio
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