Amazon faces a new round of heavy criticism after it spent $1.5 million on a slate of candidates for the Seattle City Council and lost, as Reuters reports.
The tech giant spent the one-and-a-half million dollars on a super PAC “run by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce,” which backed a handful of city council candidates that ran on a pro-business platform viewed as friendlier to big businesses like Amazon. They unsuccessfully challenged the city’s majority of incumbent progressives, who are anti-big business.
After several days of the results being too close to call, it was confirmed that the progressives had won five of the seven seats that were up for election this year, with two of them being incumbents. Only two candidates backed by Amazon, including one incumbent, won their races. The other two seats on the nine-seat council won’t be up for re-election until 2021.
The previous council had passed a “head tax” in May of last year that targeted Seattle’s 500 biggest companies, ostensibly to raise more funds for public projects. That tax was repealed by the council just a few weeks later after Amazon and other businesses began campaigning for a referendum to overturn the tax.
Now, with these elections seen as a broader referendum on the battle between big businesses and the progressive council, the victorious progressives have suggested that they will pursue the tax, and other taxes against Amazon, in the near future.