Citizens of Seattle
Re: Report Of Contributions and Expenditures In The 1997 City Election
The attached report is published by the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission. It is compiled from the campaign finance disclosure reports that the candidates and ballot issue committees are required to file, under the Seattle Elections Code.
The 1997 election involved more City office candidates than ever reported in Seattle. This can be attributed to the open Mayoral race in which three sitting Council incumbents (Chow, Chong and Noland) gave up their seats to run. Thus, there were four open positions on the ballot. In addition, an “extra” Council position appeared on the ballot. In 1996, Councilmember John Manning resigned two years into his four year term. Richard McIver was appointed to serve in that position until the 1997 election results were certified. Thus, Council Position 3 was unexpectedly on the ballot in 1997, though the four year term does not expire until 1999.
The report graphically illustrates the dramatic increase in the cost of Seattle ballot issue and local office campaigns. Over $2.6 million was raised by the 1997 candidate and ballot issue campaigns, much more than the $2.2 million raised by such campaigns in 1995. Almost $1.2 million was raised in the 1997 Mayoral and City Attorney races, compared to about $450,000 in the 1993 election. City Council candidates raised over $880,000 in 1997, compared to $892,000 in 1995 and $420,000 in 1993. Ballot Issue fundraising was not as active in 1997, only $525,000 was raised by the four ballot issue committees, compared to almost $1.4 million in 1995, the year the Commons issue first appeared on the ballot. Disclosure and contribution limits have not eliminated the influence of money on elections.
We hope this report assists you in understanding and participating in City government. If we can provide more information, please call us at 206/684-8500, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or come into the office at 226 Municipal Building, 600 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, 98104. We welcome your interest.
Carolyn M. Van Noy,
Data compilation and web publishing by:
Management Systems Analyst, Sr