Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant won a race against Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos. The founder of Amazon, who is the world’s richest man, had poured $1.5 million in the races in Seattle to attempt to unseat Sawant and others. He was unsuccessful.
Sawant demanded that Amazon and other corporations based in Seattle pay their taxes. As The Nation reported, $450,000 of the donations given by Amazon were used to defeat Sawant, a member of the Socialist Alternative movement. Her campaign ran on the slogan, “What’s at stake this year is who runs Seattle—Amazon and big business and working people.”
Five other Amazon backed candidates also lost their elections in Seattle. These candidates sought to impose corporate-friendly policies in Seattle that would avoid taxing Amazon and other giants. Instead, their policies would make it even more difficult for working families in Seattle who are struggling to get by.
Political consultant Crystal Fisher told Crosscut, “It is definitely the most progressive council in many years. The amount of money that was spent and to get these results, it’s just hard to quantify how devastating that is to the people doing it.”
The majority in the Seattle City Council now supports stronger corporate taxes. Ironically, the polling in Seattle was strongly in favor of the more moderate candidates. Then Amazon dropped a $1 million check to the moderate political action committee. After that, the votes were heavily in favor of the progressive candidates.