New PAC out to change Seattle politics

Jun 8, 2011

Business banning together to influence elections in Washington is nothing new, but this group may not be the usual suspects with the usual politics.

The newly formed group, the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE), announced in a press release today that it is poised to take action in the upcoming Seattle elections with more than 40 companies already supporting it. The PAC members, it said, represent sectors that include restaurants, retail, manufacturing, construction, tourism and recreation, real estate, finance, professional services, transportation and life sciences.

Political analyst for Joel Connelly reports that this group may in fact represent a new direction in Seattle politics:

Business can still sway statewide elections, e.g. successfully turning back a 2010 initiative that proposed a modest state income tax on the state’s wealthiest citizens. And successful business figures can still squeeze out victories in Seattle Port Commission races, even after their past contributions to Republicans have been revealed.

In Seattle, however, candidates fight over the endorsements of labor unions and ultra-liberal activists in Democratic district organizations.

He writes that “Seattle became a one-party town where candidates with successful business backgrounds were sometimes denounced for fraternizing with the politically incorrect. ” The new PAC, he writes, hopes to change that.

"Now is the time for Seattle employers to come together and create a united voice around the issues that are important to creating jobs and keeping our economy thriving,” said George Allen, Executive Director for CASE. “There is already strong support for this effort and we expect that support and funding will continue to grow as we move closer to this year’s election."

The group is holding a press conference at 1:30 p.m. at 2040 15th Ave. West in Seattle. You can catch our complete coverage this afternoon on All Things Considered.