We are pleased to announce our endorsements of the following candidates:
Mayor – Victoria Woodards
City Council, Position 2 – Robert Thoms
City Council, Position 4 – Kevin Grossman
City Council, Position 5 – Brian Arnold
City Council, Position 6 – Meredith Neal
Port Commissioner -1 – John McCarthy
Port Commissioner – 2 – Dick Marzano
More information coming soon!
The TPC Business Alliance PAC will hold its next board meeting on July 6, 2017.
Endorsement interviews are currently underway; follow the PAC on Facebook for the most up-to-date information about fundraising events, endorsements and more.
The Tacoma Rainiers provided an excellent venue for our TPC Business Alliance PAC supporters to rally together for a great kick off to the 2017 Election Year! We are pleased to announce that this event raised $15,000 for the PAC.
Thank you all for your support and for joining in the fun! Special thanks to the Tacoma Rainiers, and also to our Dessert Sponsor, Celebrity Cake Studios.
Denny Heck has been a great member of Congress and led a host of major efforts to enhance our national defense (JBLM and Madigan), spearheaded the effort to build SR 167, advocated for the new mental health hospital and has been a voice of reason in D.C. It was a pleasure to see the local support for him at a fundraising event hosted by Thompson Consulting.
The Tacoma Pierce County Business Alliance PAC sponsored the opening night of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Wa 2 WA D.C. trip. PAC Chair/President Joanna Monroe and Executive Director Tara Doyle-Enneking promoted the PAC to 50 Puget Sound leaders and delegates in Washington, D.C. Paving the way to make the South Sound the best place to do business in Washington State!
The Tacoma Pierce County Business Alliance PAC has expanded its Board of Directors to 12 members with the addition of the following new members: Tara Doyle-Enneking (February 2017), Loren Cohen (April 2017), Lane Smith (April 2017), Samantha Louderbeck (May 2017), Matt Perry (May 2017), and Brent Hall (June 2017).
Former City Council Candidate and Local Business Owner Tara Doyle-Enneking is hired as the Executive Director of the Tacoma-Pierce County Business Alliance PAC. Tara also serves on the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce Board and is a strong advocate for improving the business climate in Pierce County.
Board Chair Joanna Monroe announces that the TPC Business Alliance PAC has a fundraising goal of $300,000 for the 2017 city-wide elections. Follow the PAC on Facebook for the most up-to-date information about fundraising events, endorsements and more.
Last November PAC endorsed Tacoma City Council Candidates, Conor McCarthy and Keith Blocker, were elected into office. Tonight both will be sworn in and ready to begin representing the City of Tacoma. Take a closer look at who these two Council Members are and how they are preparing for their responsibilities.
Smell Test: Anders Ibsen talks chamber money and ‘wealthy special interests’
As the Aug. 4 primary election approaches, last-minute spending by a political action committee drew the attention of Tacoma City Council incumbent Anders Ibsen.
On a post to his campaign’s Facebook account, Ibsen remarked on recent campaign-related expenditures:
Ibsen seeks reelection to the District 1 seat against business owner Tara Doyle-Enneking and high school teacher John Hines.
CLAIM 1: The Chamber of Commerce is spending nearly $10,000 on Ibsen’s opponents.
Fact: Let’s first look at terminology. When Ibsen mentions the chamber, he’s actually referring to the Tacoma-Pierce County Business Alliance Political Action Committee. The PAC and the Chamber have many of the same members, said the PAC’s president, Toby Murray of Murray Pacific Corp.
“Because the PAC is relatively new, it’s a mistake a lot of people could make,” said Murray, a former chairman of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber board.
The PAC has donated money to both Hines and Doyle-Enneking — $950 each. Candidates get to choose how to spend this money.
Then there is money that the PAC has spent on its own supporting candidates. It has reported spending $7,219 on mailers for Hines and $2,650 on mailers for Doyle-Enneking — a total of $9,869. PACs are not supposed to coordinate with campaigns on how to spend this money.
These efforts show up as independent expenditures for each candidate’s campaign. The PAC has also paid for mailers in the crowded District 3 race — $3,510 for Peace Community Center’s director of middle school programs Keith Blocker and $2,078 for restauranteur Kris Blondin.
The Chamber lists in its paperwork that it spent the money on July 28. The mailers are already hitting mailboxes in those districts.
True or false?: We rate this claim as true. The chamber and the PAC include many of the same members and promote the same interests.
CLAIM 2: “We can’t allow wealthy special interests to buy elections.”
Fact: With this statement, Ibsen seems to imply that he has not taken money from “wealthy special interests.”
That $60,495 amount includes about $14,875 from an alphabet soup of unions, from city police and firefighters to service workers, as well as known union activists. Rank-and-file workers generally donate small amounts to their union’s related political action committees.
Ibsen was asked if developers count as a wealthy special interest.
“I know what you’re pointing to, there. I think my campaign records speak for themselves,” he said. “… I think I’ve been a consistent advocate for smart growth and urban density. The contributions are a representation of our shared values.”
Ibsen said most of his donations are for $100 or less. Of the 300 donations, 201 are for $100 or less. His average donation is $190. The total includes $1,246 in small contributions.
Bottom line: Are unions and developers “wealthy special interests?” It depends on your definition of the term.
Here is how the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “special interest”: “A group that tries to influence the people who run a government in order to help a particular business, cause, industry, etc.”
Kate Martin: 253-597-8542
Matt Driscoll: Is fear over a ‘Chamber Candidate’ for Tacoma City Council Warranted?
It’s not easy being the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce.
OK, I take it back. It’s easier being the Chamber than, say, a single mom struggling to support a family on minimum wage. (Zing!)
These days, “Chamber” has become a dirty word in many circles.
Yes, the 1,700-member Chamber, representing businesses in Tacoma and throughout the county, has taken a lot of grief lately. One need only remember back to last week, and the contentious, four-plus-hour City Council meeting on minimum wage, to get a taste. Commenters in favor of raising the minimum wage, one after another, strode to the podium to decry the Chamber’s influence on local politics.
As the narrative goes, the Chamber and City Council are in cahoots. Detractors paint a picture of Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Chamber CEO Tom Pierson as secret BFFs, stopping just short of suggesting the two spend time sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
First comes love, then comes collusion, then comes a $12 wage proposal as a ballot measure.
Of course, the way the minimum wage drama has played out hasn’t helped this perception. It wasn’t until Pierson and the Chamber sent a letter to the mayor asking for an alternative to the 15 Now Tacoma proposal that the Council saw fit to take up the matter. After months of nothing, they jumped into action.
And even after a majority of the Council’s handpicked task force endorsed a plan that eventually would have raised Tacoma’s minimum wage to $15, the mayor pushed forward with the more Chamber-friendly $12 approach.
In other words, for anyone inclined to subscribe to a Chamber conspiracy theory, it’s not hard to make the pieces fit.
But (cue the ESPN “30 for 30” voice): What if I told you the Chamber doesn’t feel particularly well represented by our current City Council?
As hard as it might be for some to fathom, that’s very much the case. While Pierson credits most on the Council (read: everyone but Anders Ibsen) with at least being willing to listen and consider the Chamber’s point of view, he says the current Council is lacking in real-world business experience.
“When you look at the Council … who signs the front side of the check?” Pierson told me this week, suggesting that there isn’t a lot of understanding of what it takes to run a local business.
“I think the Council has tried to be as business-friendly as they can, but without that experience it’s hard for them to understand truly what that’s like,” he continued, choosing his words carefully.
Since Pierson’s arrival four years ago, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber has taken a more active approach in local politics. As he tells it, that’s one of the main reasons the Chamber hired him.
And you don’t have to recall very far back to find examples of this activity. In 2013, the Chamber took a hands-on approach to foiling Prop 1, which would have raised money to fix Tacoma’s streets via an increased earnings tax on utilities. And that same year the Chamber came out hard against what it called a “Cadillac” paid-sick-leave proposal, which was eventually watered down and passed in 2014.
That’s just a sample.
So perhaps it’s only natural that, with three City Council races for the taking this year, there’s fear in liberal circles over the specter of a “Chamber candidate.”
Nowhere is that more true than in Tacoma’s 1st District, where incumbent Ibsen drew not one but two last-minute challengers: John Hines and Tara Doyle-Enneking. Both entered the fray on the last day of filing week, and both have now received financial contributions from the Tacoma Pierce County Business PAC, a political action committee that, while technically separate from the chamber, has strong ties to it.
Meanwhile, in the District 3 race, three candidates — Keith Blocker, Valentine Smith and Kris Blondin — have been benefactors of Tacoma Pierce County Business PAC cash.
“Unfortunately,” Ibsen wrote in an email to supporters shortly after Hines entered the race, “corporate lobbying groups and their status quo political allies … have rallied behind a challenger in my race.”
That’s a solid campaign tactic, and given the cuss-worthy view of corporate lobbying groups — and the Chamber — it might well be a winning strategy.
But, even as someone in support of the most liberal causes recently undertaken by the Council — including raising the minimum wage and paid sick leave — I also have to wonder if having a member specifically interested in representing businesses would be as scary as many suggest.
Is “business-owner,” by definition, a partisan position?
Scary, I suppose, is in the eye of the beholder.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Business Alliance PAC is pleased to announce its endorsement and support for the following candidates in contested races in the Tacoma City Council primary election.
In the 1st District, the PAC has extended its support to John Hines and Tara Doyle-Enneking.
In the 3rd District, the PAC has extended its support to Keith Blocker, Kris Blondin, and Valentine Smith.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Business Alliance will continue to support these candidates and invites anyone to contact us with questions about candidates, their rationale, or ways other individuals can support these candidates or the work of the Business Alliance.
The decision to endorse these candidates came after the Tacoma-Pierce County Business Alliance PAC interview committee met several candidates for Tacoma City Council in the 1st and 3rd districts. The committee took the opportunity to ask each candidate about several issues pertinent to local business including their stance on minimum wage, ability to advocate for business interests with fellow councilmembers, and economic development.
After much thought and consideration, the Business Alliance decided to endorse and contribute to the primary campaigns of a few candidates whom they feel will best serve the interests of the people and businesses of Tacoma.
Welcome to Latest News! This page will be used to update the Tacoma community about the efforts of the PAC as well as relevant news to Tacoma-Pierce County and the businesses that serve it.