It’s my protest against Seahawks owner Paul Allen giving $100,000 to a fund for keeping Republicans in control of the House of Representatives. This wasn’t a contribution to influence some principled, individual Republicans–it was a contribution to keep the stinky status quo.
Maybe taking off the sticker was a dumb thing to do. I still love the Seahawks, and I’m excited about Shaquille and Shaqueem Griffin–we got the House of Griffindor in the house!–but I can’t think of any other way to register my displeasure. I suppose I could boycott Allen’s MoPop, or his Upstream Festival, but I need to do something.
Doing something physical helps: when the Seahawks got intercepted at the goal line in the 2014 Superbowl, I punched a hole in a sheetrock wall. Still have a tiny scar, but, I got over the loss way faster than my friends. A Seahawks sticker is about the only point where Allen’s business interests become tangible–in my little life, anyway.
I don’t know what Paul Allen personally believes; like many CEO’s, he gives to both political parties, and the article I read says he’s supported some progressive things. Culturally, it doesn’t seem like Trump Republicans would be a good fit.
So why support keeping the House in Republican hands? I have to believe the donation is a decision to benefit his business. Maybe he thinks Republicans will win the House. Go with winners–it just makes good business sense, right? However:
He’s supporting climate change deniers. Is his business worth more than the planet?
He’s supporting those who would end Obamacare–is his business worth more than someone like me having a shot at health care?
He’s supporting those who take extreme positions on reproductive rights. The wider abortion debate aside, the Republican House probably includes people who want no abortion for rape or incest–does he agree with those who think the sperm of rapists is sacred? Or is this just another business decision?
He’s supporting those who want to protect the president from investigation. Trump could be criminal, crazy, or even treasonous. Or not at all. The point is, Allen is supporting those who are actively trying to keep the truth from coming out. Guess that tax cut was worth it!
I suppose I unconsciously sorted billionaires into cool and uncool groups–what Bill Gates became on one hand, and what David Koch will always be on the other. Maybe the point is, if you want to be a billionaire, put those business decisions first–ahead of planet, health, women, and country.
Let’s not lie about it, thanks to current campaign finance laws, Paul Allen has a much larger voice in our democracy than I do (rest in peace, McCain-Feingold). My partner and I gave money to some local public radio stations, so we’re a bit tapped out on donations. Still, we just kicked in $12 to a fund to help Democrats take over the House. (Twelve bucks, because Seahawks fans are called “12’s”. )
Know 10,000 people who might like to join us? That’s $120,000. Maybe we can beat Paul Allen at his own game.
Go Hawks–and go 12’s!
P.S. If you can’t do $12, then maybe $2? Or, if you want to give more, choose some other amount that ends in 2. I like the idea of the staff at Swing Left scratching their heads in puzzlement–“What up with all these 2’s?” (Plus we could tell if this becomes a thing.)