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Spin Control

Another big Seattle payday for Obama?

President Barack Obama is scheduled to stop in Seattle next week, the third time in seven months he will visit the state's largest city to raise money.
His re-election campaign hasn't released many details of the trip yet. It’s a stop with two campaign fundraisers at the end of a Western swing that includes Nevada, California and Portland, Ore., then heads for New Orleans.
But if the pattern of previous trips holds, he can expect to rake in more than $1 million . . 

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… from a campaign event with tickets going for just under $18,000, and hundreds of thousands more for a more modestly priced event.
Washington is the seventh best state for Obama, when it comes to raising money. For the 2012 presidential election cycle, reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission records show he’s raised slightly less than $5 million from donors reporting Washington state ZIP codes.
That number, however, doesn’t include all of the money Obama raises in his Seattle-area stops.
On May 10 and Feb. 15 of this year, and Sept. 25 last year, Obama held high-priced events in suburban Seattle for less than 100 people, with tickets that cost $17,900 each. That’s more than the campaign can keep from a single donor, so the proceeds are split with another political entity, like the national Democratic Party.
Those three events collected more than $3.5 million, according to figures released by  the campaign at the time. Obama also visited Seattle in Aug. 18, 2010 for the re-election of Sen. Patty Murray at a similarly priced event; it raised $1.3 million that was split between Murray and the state Democratic Party.
Along with the high-priced fund-raisers, Obama usually also holds an event with a larger crowd and a lower ticket price, like a concert and speech at Seattle’s Paramount Theater in May, where the tickets went for $1,000.
Donations from Seattle-area ZIP codes also jump just before, during and after a visit, FEC records show. Those ZIP codes have provided three-fourths of the money Obama has raised in the state for his re-election, or about $3.8 million since early 2011.
By comparison, donations reported from Spokane-area ZIP codes during the same period total just under $93,000. Obama has never campaigned in the Lilac City as a candidate or president, although his wife Michelle made a stop before the 2008 precinct caucuses.
  


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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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