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    The Daily Troll: Heaps of campaign cash. A North Korean jail visit. Lunchtime proselytizing?

    Alan Mulally staying put. Or so Ford is telling itself.
    Outgoing Ford CEO Alan Mulally may take the reins at Microsoft.

    Outgoing Ford CEO Alan Mulally may take the reins at Microsoft. Flickr: Michigan Municipal League

    Take it to the bank

    Campaign contributions in the 2013 Seattle mayor's race could become the highest of any mayoral contest that the city has seen in at least the last 25 years. As of Oct. 7, the overall amount of money donated to candidates — including primary contenders — was $1,924,125, according to Seattle Ethics and Election Commission filings. SInce 1989 (any records before that are only available in paper format), the most money raised by a field of mayoral hopefuls was $1,953,921 in 2009. The next highest total was $1,750,353 in 2001. Note that none of the numbers are adjusted for inflation.

    In recent weeks, challenger Ed Murray’s fundraising efforts have gained momentum. As of Oct. 7, Murray’s campaign reported $104,750 in September bank deposits. The amount is about 38 percent greater than the $75,963 the campaign hauled-in between July 30 and Aug. 31. Mayor Mike McGinn, meanwhile, has so far reported $30,811 in September deposits, a downtick of about 23 percent from the $40,201 the campaign raised between July 30 and Aug. 31. The contribution figures for September are tallies of individual bank deposits and could change slightly when the campaigns file their finalized financial summaries for Aug. 31 to Sept. 30.

    The money continued flowing during the first week of October, when Murray’s campaign made deposits totaling $38,823 and McGinn’s dropped another $23,730 into their account. As of Oct. 7, Murray had raised a total of $607,576 and McGinn had collected $379,997. And there’s still time before Election Day for donors to dump a few more dollars into the hopper. — B.L.

    Mom visits North Korean prisoner

    The mother of Lynnwood's Kenneth Bae is visiting him in North Korea, where he has been imprisoned for nearly a year. The Associated Press reports that Myunghee Bae had an emotional reunion with her son, who appeared to have regained weight since a hospitalization earlier this year. North Korea sentenced him to 15 years for supposed subversive activities, including a "malignant smear campaign" and setting up bases in China with the aim of bringing down the North Korea government. Huh — China is such a do-your-own-thing place that it allows Americans to come in and set up guerilla encampments? 

    Myunghee Bae made this moving video before her trip. She says she hopes to stay in the North for five days, so let's hope she is allowed several visits with her son. — J.C. 

    Bainbridge school controversy

    The Bainbridge Island School Board is looking into whether three youth pastors should be allowed to continue as lunch room volunteers at Woodward Middle School, Komonews.com reports. Some parents passed along reports from children that the pastors talked to them about religion during lunch hours. At a discussion Thursday, one youth minister said, "I come here because I know that it's important for every student to know that they each have value and a purpose." That's a laudable belief, but it doesn't take a religious degree to know what that language means in an evangelical context. — J.C.

    Mulally staying put. Or so they're telling themselves.

    After a board meeting, a Ford spokesman said there has been no change in Alan Mulally's plans to stay at the automaker through the end of next year, USA Today reports. The Ford CEO is interested in taking over at Microsoft for Steve Ballmer, who will leave by late summer. But there are reports that Microsoft wants to have his replacement picked by the end of the year. Still, Ford already has a fairly clear successor to Mulally, so it's quite plausible that the company's timetable could move forward to let a popular CEO start a new job. — J.C.  

    No state jobless data

    The state Employment Security Bureau says there will be no report on jobless rates next week, when statistics for September would normally be reported. It's because of the federal shutdown, The Seattle Times reported. No news is bad news. — J.C. 

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