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González Legislation Would Cap Contributions, Amazon’s $1M+ Is Prime Example of Need for Integrity In Local Elections

Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9 // Citywide), Chair of the Gender Equity, Safe Communities, New Americans & Education Committee, issued the following statement following reports of Amazon’s ‘$1M plus into Seattle City Council races’:

“Seattle voters have the constitutional right to free and fair elections without the out-sized and unfettered influence of corporations.  Amazon’s historically-sized, financial contribution to a corporate political action committee is precisely why I proposed legislation to limit this quid-pro-quo style electioneering.

“My proposed legislation would ban foreign-influenced corporations from making any contribution to independent expenditure committees. Additionally, this legislation would cap all political contributions to $5,000, except limited contributor committees.  My legislation sends a clear message to those who seek to buy our democracy that our local elections are not for sale to the highest corporate bidder.”

“Amazon’s recent contribution of $1,000,000 is the greatest single contribution by a corporate entity  “in anyone’s memory” and is a real-time case study of why my legislation is critical to the integrity of our local elections.  I am committed to working with democracy advocates to introduce, pass and defend our corporate PAC legislation to prevent corporate interests from undermining our electoral process and the grassroots campaigning envisioned by our Democracy Voucher Program.  We must remain committed to the spirit and intent of the suite of campaign finance reform laws overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2015 via the Honest Elections Campaign. 

“Amazon’s spokesperson recently stated that this corporation truly ‘care(d) deeply about the future of Seattle.’  If this were true, they would meaningfully engage with existing local elected officials on meaningful solutions to issues related to homelessness, income inequality, transportation, and housing affordability.  They have not done so. Instead, the people of Seattle now sit in a front row seat to witness a wealthy corporation’s attempt to silence the voice of working people and their families through their unbridled corporate PAC contributions.  My proposed legislation would rein this corporate influence in, and ensure that the voices of working people, families and voters are legally protected.”     

This news release has been updated as of October 28, 2019.

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