Supporters of Seattle’s head tax rush the City Council chambers during a vote to repeal the controversial legislation at the behest of Amazon and other businesses. Behind the banner, Councilmember Kshama Sawant calls for order in this 2018 photo. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)
Amazon’s top adversary on the Seattle City Council pulled ahead late Friday in the latest ballot count, deflating the tech giant’s $1.45 million effort to elect new leadership in its hometown. The company’s involvement in Seattle’s election appears to have backfired, as just two of the seven candidates who benefited from Amazon’s record spending prevailed.
Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant came back from what looked like a defeat in early polling despite a massive financial push from the business community to elect her opponent. A member of the Socialist Alternative party, Sawant is a vocal critic of Amazon. She regularly holds demonstrations at the company’s Seattle headquarters and was a leading opponent of a big business tax that she dubbed the “Amazon Tax.”
Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant protests corporate spending in Seattle elections at Amazon’s headquarters. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)
As of Friday, five of the seven candidates backed by Amazon and the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce were trailing their opponents. The results suggest that the new Seattle City Council could be even more progressive than the one that the business community attempted to unseat.
Three weeks ago, Amazon donated $1 million to the Seattle Chamber’s political action committee, the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy. The record donation brought Amazon’s total contributions to CASE to $1.45 million, a whopping sum that politicians on the left called an attempt to buy the City Council. CASE endorsed and financially backed the following candidates, who were seen as more business-friendly and pragmatic than their opponents:
Seattle City Council Position 1: …read more