Jolt: Contributions and cab rates

Friday's winners and losers.
Crosscut archive image.
Friday's winners and losers.

Today's winner: Seattle City Council member Mike O'Brien. 

Defying our prediction that he would struggle to raise $10,000 in $10 contributions from 1,000 campaign donors by the end of May (his pledge, specifically, was to raise his first $10,000 exclusively from $10 donations), city council member Mike O'Brien told Jolt last night that he had exceeded his goal, raising around $10,100 by midnight. (The official campaign number was 1,042 donors, but O'Brien returned contributions to donors who had already given $10, telling them in an email, "You are too generous as you already contributed ... It is important to me to honor my pledge to not accept more than $10 from anyone at this point, so I will refund the contribution." 

The successful small-donation drive does have one major potential financial benefit for O'Brien: He now has more than 1,000 contributors to hit up for more money as the campaign moves forward. In the extremely unlikely possibility that each $10 contributor maxed out to O'Brien's campaign, that would amount to nearly $700,000 in contributions. O'Brien is seeking to cap the amount of money any candidate can carry forward from a previous campaign; currently, he does not have an opponent. 

Today's loser: Taxi customers. 

The city council's finance committee got a briefing yesterday on a proposal that would increase taxi fares by nearly 6 percent — the first increase since late 2008. The city's consumer price index has risen about 2.7 percent since then. The flat rate to get from downtown to the airport will also go up 25 percent — from $32 to $40. 


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