Edmonds City Councilmember DJ Wilson notified the media Wednesday that the National Association of Realtors has made a $16,000-plus independent expenditure on behalf of Cooper’s opponent, Dave Earling.
Wilson says the expenditure filed Wednesday morning with the state Public Disclosure Commission is “the largest independent expenditure for any candidate in Washington State to date for the 2011 elections,” and “the largest amount of any independent expenditure ever in the City of Edmonds for as long as the Public Disclosure Commission has been keeping records.”
Like the name implies, independent expenditures are done independently of the candidates, who have no control over the groups who are supporting them. They also are not subject to campaign donation limits (in Edmonds, the limit is $500 for city council and mayoral races.)
In this case, the expenditure is paying for direct mailings to voters and polling and consultant expenses, for a total of $16,963.05, according to the PDC report.
Eric Earling, Dave Earling’s campaign manager (and also his son), said via email Wednesday that the Earling campaign became aware of the National Association of Realtors’ expenditure “earlier this week when reviewing the PDC website’s data for this race. While it’s not something that we might prefer to have happen, that’s the right of any such interested group under Edmonds campaign finance laws and no individual campaign can control it,” Earling said.
“We’re focused on running our own, very strong campaign through November 8th and feel very good about the response from Edmonds citizens interested in new leadership in City Hall based on Dave Earling’s strong victory in the primary and the public’s continued dissatisfaction with the status quo,” he said. “Beyond that, we view any independent expenditures that might occur in this race, on our side or Mike Cooper’s, about the same as we view Mike Cooper’s own campaign activity: we can’t control it so are staying focused on running the best possible campaign for Dave Earling.”
Dave Earling spent 12 years on the Edmonds City Council, including five years as president. He previously owned and operated Edmonds Realty.
Wilson, who is running for re-election, is also supporting Mayor Mike Cooper’s efforts to retain his position as Edmonds mayor,