Temporary blog of the CWI

Amazon Spends $1 million to Try to Buy Seattle Election

On Tuesday, Oct 15, Amazon dropped a $1 million bomb on the Seattle city elections, in a flagrant attempt to blow up Seattle’s democratic process and drive out Seattle’s socialist Councilmember Kshama Sawant. This brings their total spending to a RECORD-SMASHING, totally unprecedented $1.5 million!

Only US citizens and Green card holders can donate to political parties in the US (with a maximum of $500 for ordinary donors). However, it is legal for Amazon to suck profits out of the whole world and use $1m to try to buy an election.

This election is about who runs our cities: big business or working people. Amazon is seeking revenge for last year’s Tax Amazon struggle, when Councilmember Kshama Sawant led the charge to stand up to Bezos’ corporate bullying.

Already, we’re seeing huge numbers of paid canvassers hired by the corporate PACs all over the district spreading misinformation about the race. This latest corporate money bomb will also be used to flood our neighborhoods with dishonest attack mailers, and a blitz of television, print, and online ads. Working people need to fight back!

Kshama’s campaign is conducting  an emergency donations drive to so that they can print a new round of literature and posters to reach every voter in our district with our grassroots message for rent control, taxing big business to fund affordable housing, and a Green New Deal. Unlike Kshama’s opponent, her campaign is not for sale to the highest bidder.


Kshama Sawant Re-Election Campaign Round Up

The Stranger endorses Kshama Sawant!

“Sawant’s opponents call her ‘divisive’ and ‘ineffective.’ But if being ‘divisive’ and ‘ineffective’ means…casting one of only two votes NOT to repeal the ‘head tax’ on big businesses, and being the sole vote against a bad police contract, then we could use a little bit more of that kind of ‘divisiveness’ on the council. Vote Sawant.”

10/9/2019, Stranger Election Control Board.


Small Business for Sawant

The owner of 20/20 Cycle, a small business in District 3, explains why he supports Kshama:

“Egan says he will not make large corporations pay more tax for homeless shelters and affordable housing. You know what that means, right? He will try to make you to pay it for them. He tried it before.”

Alex Kostelnik, owner of 20/20 Cycle

Read the whole op-ed, trust us it’s worth it.


Opponent Flip-Flops

In an interview with Erica Barnett several weeks ago, our opponent said that he “hadn’t thought much” about policing. But recently, at a forum hosted by the Seattle Police Officer Guild (SPOG), he argued for more police on the street. After initially supporting safe injection sites, our opponent has now rescinded support for this data-driven method for reducing drug deaths. In the same interview, he said he wasn’t aware when he applied for the Chamber of Commerce’s CASE PAC endorsement, with over $1 million in Amazon, Vulcan, and corporate developer money, that he “didn’t realize CASE had political positions.”

In contrast, as the Capitol Hill Seattle blog reports, Councilmember Kshama Sawant stood with police accountability activists and youth by casting the only vote against the SPOG contract, “arguing that it would roll back necessary provisions in the city’s new police accountability law. U.S. District Judge James Robart found the city out of compliance with a federal consent decree on police reform. He specifically cited concerns about weaknesses in Seattle’s officer accountability system, which were largely due to the contract between the city and the SPOG.”

Kshama Sawant is unfailingly a consistent fighter for working people and oppressed communities, not the corporate interests trying to buy Seattle City Council.


Fund Raising

Another inspiring fundraising update. But remember, these numbers don’t include corporate PAC expenditures – we still need to fight for every donation!

Kshama Sawant’s top five donors by profession:

  1. Teacher
  2. Software Engineer
  3. Student
  4. Barista/Bartender
  5. Nurse


Egan Orion’s top five donors by profession:

  1. CEO/Owner/Executive
  2. Attorney
  3. President/Vice-President
  4. Director/Manager
  5. Real Estate Developer/Broker


22 top executives from Amazon alone have written maxed out checks to Orion’s campaign!

In the last week of September, 137 people donated to Egan Orion’s campaign. 37% of these were cold hard max donations of $500. 3.5% OF THEM WERE FOR UNDER $100. On the other hand, we had 505 donors. 1% were max donations. 86% were for under $100. The Sawant campaign’s median donation is only $20, and her campaign has more donors in her district than Orion has altogether.


People’s Budget

Kshama Sawant’s office unveils this year’s People’s Budget priorities; strengthening tenants rights, expanding LEAD (alternatives to incarceration for drug offenses), and building permanent housing for homeless individuals. Unlike Egan Orion, she not only shows up for community candidate forums, she also fights to secure funding for things the community desperately needs!