SAMMAMISH, WA – Republican Dino Rossi has raised the most money of all the candidates vying to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, according to campaign finance filings released this week. Donors from across the U.S. are giving to Rossi, including political committees funded by groups like the NRA and large corporations, including Microsoft and Amazon.
Rossi has raised more than $2 million since entering the race last year. He raised about $742,000 over the first three months of 2018 alone. Rossi has spent about $550,000 on campaign expenses so far, but still has over $1.5 million on hand.
Locally, Rossi has raised money from some of the region’s biggest Republican boosters: retired Seattle businessman Richard Alvord; Peter Zieve, a Mukilteo businessman and Trump supporters known for anti-Muslim activism; James and Roberta Weymouth, who own the local Silver Cloud Inn hotels; David Cutler, one of Microsoft’s most prominent software engineers; and Pierce County Executive Bruce F. Dammeier.
All except Dammeier gave the maximum donation of $5,400.
Mixed in with local donations, several major political action committees have donated to Rossi. The web of corporate and interest group donors to those committees makes it harder to see exactly which interests are appealing to Rossi.
For example, Rossi got $5,000 from Eye Of The Tiger PAC, which U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-New Orleans, helped start in 2009 (Scalise was gravely wounded in a shooting last June at a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.). Some of the biggest U.S. corporations contribute to Eye Of The Tiger, including Microsoft ($5,000), Amazon ($1,000), UPS, Ford, Verizon, and T-Mobile. The PAC has also received money from controversial interest groups like the National Rifle Association.
Scalise’s link to Rossi doesn’t end there.
The Scalise Leadership Fund, another of Scalise’s fundraising operations, has given over $500,000 to Eye Of The Tiger since January 2017. The Scalise Leadership Fund during that period received contributions from nearly every major American corporation, from Pepsi to DuPont. Microsoft ($10,000) and Amazon ($1,000) were among them – and so is the NRA ($7,000+).
The Scalise Leadership Fund also got contributions from the More Conservatives PAC, which has directly contributed to Rossi ($5,000), The Scalise Fund ($5,000), and Eye Of The Tiger ($2,500). Amazon gave More Conservatives $5,000 recently.
But most prominent among Rossi’s PAC donors: $10,000 from KochPAC, Koch Industries owners Charles and David Koch’s campaign committee. The Koch Brothers, who own a chemical empire, are often used to rile up Democratic voters.
Many political watchers are predicting that Republicans will lose seats this year because Democrats are motivated to vote against Donald Trump. The Washington State Republican Party wants to keep the 8th Congressional District (the only one in the state that crosses the Cascades) in GOP hands. The party hosted an activist training session in Issaquah over the weekend, and has sent fundraising appeals on Rossi’s behalf.
As of Monday, the Federal Election Commission had only published the most up-to-date data on one main Democratic candidate, Jason Rittereiser. The other two main Democrats in the race are Shannon Hader and Dr. Kim Schrier.
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