Who's paying for this year's Spokane City Council races?

We wrote this week about two increasingly testy races for Spokane City Council. Lots of money pouring in, attack ads hitting local TV, name-calling. That's politics, we guess?

To get a better grasp on who's behind all this, here's a breakdown of who's funding each candidate and the TV spots on the air so far. (All of the campaign finance information came from the state's Public Disclosure Commission. You can find candidates and every donor who supports them by visiting this site. Peruse the PACs here.)

Total raised: $82,776.80
Total spent: $54,146.94

Top donors: Mumm has gotten much of her support from unions, both local and statewide: elevator constructors, painters, carpenters, fire fighters, healthcare workers, teachers, county and city employees, truck drivers and the regional chapter of union federation AFL-CIO. (She points to this as broad support from Spokane's working class. Her opponent, Michael Cannon, says this means she'll be unable to make tough decisions about union contracts if she's on the council.) Also among those who've donated at least $900: the Spokane Tribe and Planned Parenthood Votes. (Donors can give up to $900 in the primary and another $900 for the general.)

Other local notables:

  • Party support from the 6th Legislative District Democratic Committee ($200), the Third Legislative District Democrats ($250) and the Washington State Democratic Central Committee ($250). 
  • Former County Commissioner and Democrat Bonnie Mager: $250
  • Former Democratic State Rep. Dennis Dellwo: $225
  • Democrat Rich Cowan, who challenged Cathy McMorris Rodgers last year: $200
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane Rev. Todd Eklof: $125
  • Developer Ron Wells: $125
  • Democratic State Sen. Andy Billig: $100
  • Former mayor John Powers: $100
  • City Council President Ben Stuckart and his wife Ann: $50 each
  • Center for Justice Communications Director Tim Connor: $50

Total raised: $59,398.19
Total spent: $45,840.51

Top donors: Cannon's big givers include the "Build East PAC," which is funded primarily by local construction firms; City Administrator Theresa Sanders and her husband Mark Smathers, who each donated $1800; the Spokane Homebuilders Association; and the Washington Association of Realtors. Cannon has also loaned himself $2,000 for the race.

Other local notables:

  • Councilman Steve Salvatori: $590
  • Avista: $545.75
  • Mayor David Condon: $500
  • Former Spokane City Councilman Steve Corker: $500
  • Councilman Mike Allen: $150
  • Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin and her husband Dave: $50 each
  • Laverne Biel, who challenged Jon Snyder, but lost in the primary: $50
  • Republican State Rep. Kevin Parker: $50

Total raised: $64,901.55
Total spent: $34,684.81

Top donors: Snyder, like Mumm, has seen broad support from unions among his top contributions: fire fighters, healthcare workers, county and city employees, truck drivers and the regional AFL-CIO group. Planned Parenthood's PAC also contributed $900.

Other local notables:

  • Realtor Stephen Barbieri: $500
  • Developer Gerry Dicker: $500
  • Spokane Tribe: $500
  • Democratic State Sen. Andy Billig: $500
  • Former Mayor Mary Verner: $350
  • Council President Ben Stuckart: $300
  • Former State Senate Democratic Majority Leader Lisa Brown: $250
  • Former Democratic state senator, who now works for the state Liquor Control Board, Chris Marr: $250
  • Democratic State Rep. Marcus Riccelli: $250
  • Developer Ron Wells: $250
  • Dennis Delllwo: $175
  • Former County Commissioner and Democrat Bonnie Mager: $125
  • Rich Cowan: $100
  • Merlyn's owner John Waite: $100
  • Former councilman Richard Rush: $75
  • Former Spokane County Commissioner and Democrat John Roskelley and his wife Joyce: $50 each
  • Councilwoman Amber Waldref: $50

Total raised: $22,911.84
Total spent: $16,926.42

Top donors: Ahern, who's raised less than half of Snyder's war chest, has seen $900 contributions from the National Association of Realtors and the Spokane Homebuilders Association.

Other local notables:

  • House Republican Organizational Committee: $667.90
  • Republican Party of Spokane: $100
  • Spokane Entrepreneurial Center, owned by Councilman Steve Salvatori: $100
  • Republican State Sen. Mike Padden: $50

And in the plenty-of-money-to-go-around category, local restaurant and pie mogul Vaughn Cyrus has given $1,000 each to Ahern, Mumm and Cannon.

Councilwoman AMBER WALDREF, who is running unopposed, has raised $30,800, with big contributions from Avista and unions like the healthcare workers, county and city employees, firefighters and the local AFL-CIO group.


One sign the races were getting ugly came when the PAC JOBS AND PROSPERITY FOR SPOKANE paid for an ad targeting Mumm and Snyder for their union support.

That group is funded by:

  • Build East PAC, which gets most of its donations from local contractors
  • Spokane Homebuilders (A representative from local development company Greenstone, which has given $2,000 to the Spokane Homebuilders PAC, criticized the negative ads at Monday's city council meeting, saying the company does not want to be associated with them.) 
  • Inland Pacific Associated Builders and Contractors
  • Eastern Washington PAC, for which Mayor David Condon helps fundraise and which is funded largely by auto auction company DAA Northwest and its president and vice president; Wanda Cowles, a member of the family that publishes the Spokesman Review; developer Gerry Dicker and his wife; and City Administrator Theresa Sanders and her husband.

Other groups are looking to sway the race in the other direction. The INLAND NORTHWEST LEADERSHIP PAC has given $900 each to Mumm, Snyder and Waldref.

Its contributors include:

  • Former State Senate Democratic Majority Leader Lisa Brown: $500
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho CEO Karl Eastlund: $400
  • Roast House: $300
  • Spokane Tribe: $300
  • The regional AFL-CIO group: $300
  • River City Brewing owner Gage Stromberg: $300
  • Washington State County and City Employees: $300
  • Local civil rights attorney Breean Beggs: $250
  • Democratic State Rep. Timm Ormsby: $100

CITIZENS FOR HONEST GOVERNMENT recently spent $20,000 to buy air time for an ad in support of Mumm and Snyder.

Contributors include:

  • Washington State Council of County and City Employees: $15,000
  • IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters): $22,500
  • AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees): $7,500
  • Regional AFL-CIO group: $5,000
  • Washington State Council of Firefighters Support Team: $5,000

(UPDATE Oct. 19: This showed up in my mailbox today, paid for by Citizens for Honest Government. Have you gotten any PAC-funded mailers? Send me a photo: [email protected])

The candidates have also produced their own ads, and those have been a little friendlier.

(Updated Oct. 25 to include Snyder's ad)

Sure, it's getting interesting, but we're still holding out for something this good.