July 19, 2003
Strip ClubsCity Council's best friends
The Seattle Times uncovered a fascinating link between a recent surge in Seattle City Council fundraising and a rezoning agreement with a shady strip-club owner.
The whole article is an entertaining read, as some of the contributors keep shifting their stories to keep ahead of the reporter's questions.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the three council members (who all supportedin a 5-4 decisionthe rezoning draft, over the recommendations of the city land-use department) received an amazing $34,500 from people who all have ties to Frank Colacurio Jr.
Most of the contributions went to Councilwoman Judy Nicastro, who has received at least $19,400 in donations from Colacurcio and his associates for her re-election bid. Much of that came in last month, when Nicastro raised almost $52,000 — an amount she touted as a single-month council fund-raising record. Contributors include more than 20 Colacurcio-affiliated attorneys, bookkeepers, business partners, strip-club managers, and longtime friends and their relatives. One donation even came from an El Paso, Texas, strip-club owner who could not recall Nicastro's name.
One of my favorite sections in the article comes near the end, but I wonder if it's a cheap shot:
In an interview at Talents West, his Lake City agency that hires nude dancers, Colacurcio Jr., contended that his recent surge in political donations isn't so strange. He said he's always been a strong supporter of Democrats.
"I've always told everyone, including strangers on the street, you should vote — vote Democrat," said Colacurcio Jr., sitting Wednesday afternoon at a massive desk littered with a wad of cash and a plate of steak and eggs.
It's amusing, and totally unbelievable. But it is a smear on the Democratic Party? I try hard to see bias from both sides, and I wonder if I am being a little too open-minded here. It really doesn't fit in well with the rest of the article.