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How Seattle’s City Council Race Became the Amazon Election

Amazon contributed more than a million dollars to a pro-business PAC in Seattle city council races. But that wasn’t the biggest tech spend in local elections.
A poster for Seattle city councilmember Kshama Sawant that reads "Tax Amazon."
A poster for Seattle city councilmember Kshama Sawant that reads "Tax Amazon."Elaine Thompson/AP

How much political power does $1.5 million buy?

That’s how much Amazon donated to a Seattle Political Action Committee that aims to swing the city council towards a more pro-business agenda. The company, which is headquartered downtown, has influenced the council successfully before, donating $25,000 to a campaign to kill a per-employee head tax that would have gone towards funding homelessness initiatives in the city.