• Big employers supporting Sound Transit 3 campaign with donations

    By: Graham Johnson

    Updated:

    Mass Transit Now staged an event Tuesday in Bellevue with Eastside political and business leaders in support of Regional Proposition 1, the light rail expansion known as Sound Transit 3.

    "We think this is a quality of life issue for everyone who lives in the Puget Sound region," said Irene Plenefisch, Microsoft's Government Affairs Director.

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    State campaign finance records show Microsoft is the top donor to Mass Transit now, giving $300,000.

    "We don't have plans right now to invest more but we're very supportive of the campaign and hope it will be successful in November," Plenefisch said.

    Records show Amazon, Expedia, Vulcan and Costco have each donated $100,000.                  

    Overall, state records show Mass Transit Now has raised $2.4 million.

    By comparison, the No on ST3 campaign has raised less than $11,000.

    "The big companies, I think they're so desperate for transportation solutions they'll fund about anything," said Bellevue City Councilmember Kevin Wallace, who opposes the $54 billion ST3, saying Sound Transit should come back with a smaller package that delivers solutions faster.

    Wallace also points out the construction industry is making big contributions to Mass Transit Now.

    "People need to know there's a lot of money going into this campaign from people who expect to make a profit from the transportation projects that are proposed by it," Wallace said.

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