Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Which candidates are taking the most out-of-town campaign money?

Posted By on Tue, Nov 3, 2015 at 11:11 AM


Throughout the election season candidates and campaigns have hinted on Facebook, mailers and elsewhere that their opponents are taking money from far away places like Seattle, with the implication that they won’t be able to truly represent Spokane. Others have joked that more conservative-leaning politicians draw much, if not most, of their support form Spokane Valley.

The Inlander crunched the numbers to find out how much outside money is coming into Spokane elections and where it’s being directed.

Also, today is election day. Be sure to get your ballots in by 8 pm if you want them counted.

Randy Ramos
click to enlarge Randy Ramos
  • Randy Ramos


Raised: $19,654.49
Spent: $18,292.89

Money from Spokane: 29 percent.

Second biggest city: Seattle, 20 percent.

Political newcomer Ramos received the smallest amount of donations from Spokane out of any campaign, according to an analysis by the Inlander. Running in a poor district, Ramos has received most of his money from outside the city, 20 percent of which came from unions and progressive political groups, such a Fuse Votes (an arm of Fuse Washington). He also received another combined 20 percent from unions headquartered in Renton and Kent. Ramos, a descendant of the Colville Tribe, received $1,600 (8 percent of his campaign contributions) from the Nespelem-based tribe.

Mike Fagan

Raised: $22,732.08
click to enlarge Mike Fagan
  • Mike Fagan

Spent: $15,339.00

Money from Spokane: 77 percent

Second biggest city: Olympia, 7 percent

Ramos’ opponent, Councilman Mike Fagan, is the most conservative member on the council, which has lead his critics to joke that he draws almost as much support from Spokane Valley as he does his district.

However, when it comes to money, Olympia was the second biggest fan of Fagan, specifically the Washington Association of Realtors who contributed $1,450 to his campaign. Just 4 percent of Fagan’s contributions come from Spokane Valley.

Karen Stratton

Raised: $49,210.23
click to enlarge Karen Stratton
  • Karen Stratton

Spent: $43,670.70

Money from Spokane: 55 percent

Second: Seattle, 16 percent

Stratton, who was appointed to the council last year to finish the term of Steve Salvatori, is hoping to keep her seat. She has deep roots in Spokane, with both of her parents having held political office, but just over half of her campaign contributions came from people in the city. Sixteen percent ($7,450) of her donations came from unions and progressive political groups, such as Fuse Votes, based in Seattle. She also received $1,700 from Planned Parenthood. Stratton is considered part of the council’s so-called liberal supermajority.

Evan Verduin

Raised: $63,655.00
Spent: $58,994.62
click to enlarge Evan Verduin
  • Evan Verduin

Money from Spokane: 66 percent
Second biggest city: Liberty Lake, 13 percent

Verduin, an architect and vice president of the Plan Commission, is seeking to topple Stratton from her council seat. His biggest out-of-town donation came from Christopher and Brittany Arkoosh, who own Wake Up Coffee, with locations in Spokane, Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake.

John Ahern


Money raised: $8,080.00
John Ahern
  • John Ahern

Money spent: $7,077.9

Money from Spokane: 55 percent

Second biggest city: Spokane Valley, 19 percent

Ahern, a former state rep, is running against incumbent Council President Ben Stuckart, arguing that he is too liberal for the city. Ahern has taken a larger percentage of his campaign funds from Spokane Valley than any other candidate.

Ben Stuckart
click to enlarge Ben Stuckart
  • Ben Stuckart


Money raised: $103,921.35
Money spent: $89,051.79

Money from Spokane: 70 percent

Second biggest city: Seattle, 8 percent

Stuckart has received $7,980 from Seattle from unions, relatives and some businesses.


Lori Kinnear


Money raised: $41,363.15
click to enlarge Lori Kinnear
  • Lori Kinnear

Money spent: $35,969.82

Money from Spokane: 56 percent

Second biggest city: Seattle, 23 percent

Kinnear, a council legislative aid, is seeking to replace the outgoing Councilman Mike Allen. Like Stratton, she’s also received money from unions and progressive political groups based in Seattle, as well as money from friends and business owners in the Emerald City.




LaVerne Biel

click to enlarge LaVerne Biel
  • LaVerne Biel

Money raised: $65,023.95
Money spent: $61,043

Money from Spokane: 76 percent
Second biggest city: Spokane Valley, 12 percent

Biel, a business owner, is also vying for Allen’s seat. Most of her other donations from Spokane Valley come from the Spokane Home Builders Association and from the Associated Builders and Contractors, as well as other business interests.


Envision Worker Rights

Total Raised: $26,795.00
Total Spent: $23,678.33

Money from Spokane: 97 percent

Second biggest: South Seattle. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker Local 77 kicked in $500, about 2 percent of the campaign’s funds.

The Alliance to Protect Local Jobs, the campaign opposing the Worker Bill of Rights, has complained that the measure is being backed by a Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit law firm that has backed other far-reaching measures in other communities.

However, the vast majority of the campaign’s money has come from Spokane. James Sheehan, who helped found the Center for Justice, contributed $11,450 of the money. Envision Spokane’s political committee also directed $10,300 in its accounts to the initiative.

Alliance to Protect Local Jobs

Total Raised: $244,421.15
Total Spent: $190,127.76

Money from Spokane: 59 percent

Second biggest: Olympia, 18 percent

The Washington Realtors, Washington Retail Association, Washington Restaurant Association, the Retail Action Council all contributed a combined $34,500 to the campaign.

Other contributions:
The Spokane Valley-based Spokane Home Builders Association contributed $7,000 and a number of Zips and Arby’s (businesses that would be affected by the initiative’s family wage provision) also contributed.

click to enlarge David Condon
  • David Condon
David Condon

Total raised: $391,461.50
Total spent: $357,111.12

Money from Spokane: 73 percent

Second biggest: Spokane Valley, 3 percent.

Condon received money from far away as New York, Philadelphia and Omaha. But Spokanites made up his biggest base of support.


Shar Lichty

click to enlarge Shar Lichty
  • Shar Lichty
Total raised: $34,387.62
Total spent: $33,366.03

Money from Spokane: 73 percent

Second biggest: A $950 check from the Renton-based SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, which made up 3 percent of her total campaign contributions. A $900 check from the Spokane Tribe was the second biggest out of town contribution.


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