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Amazon gives $1.05 million to group aiming to tip Seattle elections

Amazon has donated $1.05 million to a business group that has endorsed just one Seattle City Council incumbent.

SEATTLE — Amazon has donated $1.45 million to the political arm of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce so far this election cycle.

The tech giant filed an additional $1.05 million donation Tuesday with the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE), which represents local businesses. As of Tuesday, Amazon is the largest donor to CASE this election cycle, according to Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission filings.

An Amazon spokesperson said they were donating to CASE, because they “care deeply about the future of Seattle.”

“We believe it is critical that our hometown has a city council that is focused on pragmatic solutions to our shared challenges in transportation, homelessness, climate change and public safety,” Amazon spokesperson Aaron Toso said in a statement.

RELATED: Big money flowing in from outside Seattle to influence city council elections

During this election cycle, Amazon contributed $200,000 to CASE in April and again in August.

As of Oct. 15, Vulcan Inc., which was Paul Allen's investment company, has donated $80,000 , and Expedia has donated $50,000 to CASE this year.

CASE has endorsed just one Seattle City Council incumbent who’s running for re-election – Deborah Juarez, who represents North Seattle.

“The status quo isn’t working: we have a dysfunctional, toxic environment at City Council and employers, including our city’s largest private employer, want a return to good government,” CASE Executive Director Markham McIntyre said in a statement.

CASE isn’t the only group to raise big money in an effort to change up Seattle City Council. People for Seattle, which is led by former Councilmember Tim Burgess, has raised $585,755 as of Oct. 15, according to filings.

Civic Alliance for a Progressive Economy (CAPE), a political organization founded by Working Washington, OneAmerica Votes, and Civic Action, chastised Amazon for its contribution, claiming it was an attempt to "buy our democracy."

“One of the richest corporations in the world just invested an unprecedented amount of money to attempt a hostile takeover of Seattle’s local government," Working Washington Executive Director Rachel Lauter said in a statement. "Amazon knows it can’t win by fighting Seattle’s record of helping working families with a $15 minimum wage, paid sick days, and secure scheduling, especially since it just cut health coverage promised to all of its Seattle grocery workers, and paid $0.00 in federal income tax last year."

Amazon has also donated $400,000 to the NO on I-976 campaign, which seeks to squash an initiative that would cap car-tab taxes at $30.

RELATED: Seattle City Council rejects Tim Eyman’s $30 car-tab Initiative 976 to his face

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