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SEATTLE (Reuters) - Seattle voters, in a rebuke to heavy corporate campaign spending by Amazon.com, have kept progressives firmly in control of their city council, reviving chances for a tax on big businesses that the tech giant helped fend off last year.
Amazon poured a record $1.5 million into a Super PAC run by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce to back a slate of candidates in the Nov. 5 council elections viewed as pro-business, or at least more corporate friendly than the incumbent council majority.
Amazon, the world’s leading online retailer whose chief executive is billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, accounted for more than half of nearly $2.7 million raised by the Super PAC, a group allowed to accept unlimited sums from wealthy donors in support of their favorite candidates. Four years ago, Amazon donated $25,000.
The unprecedented level of spending in a Seattle municipal race drew national attention, with Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders accusing Amazon of trying to buy the council.
The outcome for most of the seven council seats at stake in Tuesday’s election was too close to call until Friday night, when a tally of 97 percent of votes cast showed that progressive candidates had won five of the seats, including two incumbents.
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