SEATTLE TAKES AIM AT AMAZON
The Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote Monday on new campaign finance restrictions that would prevent companies like Amazon from spending money on city elections.
The move comes just months after the tech giant, which is headquartered in Seattle, spent millions trying to oust incumbents who wanted to increase its taxes.
A City Council committee voted Wednesday to advance a bill that would prohibit corporations from contributing to candidates or political action committees spending on local elections if foreign investors own a substantial stake in those companies.
The legislation passed on a 6-0 vote, making it all but certain that the measure would pass through the full nine-member council.
“What we are doing here is addressing corruption and the appearance and perception of corruption in our elections, and that is a worthy challenge to take up as a City Council,” said Lorena Gonzalez (D), the City Council president and the bill’s lead author.
The bill is a direct response to the 2019 elections, in which Amazon and several other large corporations dumped more than $4 million into independent expenditure groups led by the local Chamber of Commerce, an unheard of sum in usually low-budget city elections. Amazon alone was responsible for $1.5 million in spending.