Money Continues to Pour in to Fight Initiative 522

Anna Minard at the Stranger reports:

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has added another $5 million to the No on 522 campaign, the campaign against the GMO-food-labeling Initiative 522. As we’ve reported, a citizen’s group is suing the no campaign over what they allege is a violation of campaign finance laws by the GMA; the no campaigncountersued last week claiming that suit was frivolous.

This newest contribution brings the No on 522′s total raised to just over $17 million. Yes on 522 has raised $4.7 million. Meanwhile, the yes side and its supporters continue to host small, friendly gatherings, usually centered around food, to get their message out. Check out tonight’s “A Conversation about 522” at Cafe Presse with chef Jim Drohman, if you like.

UPDATE: The Seattle Times has a great breakdown here on how 522 stacks up in state initiative history, noting that No on 522′s $17.2 million easily beats the record for the most money ever raised to oppose a statewide ballot measure, previously held by no side on the I-1183 campaign on privatizing liquor sales, which raised $12.4 million. This fight is huge.

Joel Connelly at the P-I brings up an interesting point in this fight in a post this morning:

The No-on-522 campaign has brought in the nation’s premier hired gun to oversee the campaign. The Beverly Hills firm of Winner & Mandabach worked in the California campaign, and has been both promoting and fighting state initiative campaigns—almost always on the side of big industry—for more than 30 years.

The firm, as Winner Wagner & Mandabach, gained initial prominence in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s by defeating a series of ballot measures designed to curb the growth of nuclear power.

Its first defeat came with Washington’s 1981 “WPPSS Initiative.” I-394 sought to curb soaring costs of the Washington Public Power Supply System’s nuclear construction program by requiring that customers of public utility districts vote to approve the issuing of bonds.

Nuclear contractors and Wall Street brokerage houses spent $1.2 million—a kingly sum at the time—to defeat it. But the measure passed on election day with 58 percent of the vote.