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Port commissioner getting donations from executives involved in Shell deal

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 09.41.05Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 17.06.48Port commissioner getting donations from executives involved in Shell deal

By Joseph O’SullivanSeattle Times Olympia bureau: June 11, 2015

As Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant raises money for his gubernatorial campaign, he’s getting help from executives in companies involved in the deal to bring Shell Oil drilling equipment to a Seattle port terminal.

Bryant, a Republican who declared his run last month to challenge Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, has received $2,500 in campaign donations from Paul Stevens, CEO of Foss Maritime, according to campaign filings.

Records also show that Mark Tabbutt, listed as the chairman of Saltchuk Resources, the maritime conglomerate that owns Foss, has given $1,500.

Environmentalists have strongly opposed the Port’s Terminal 5 lease with Foss, which is Shell’s contractor, and have staged demonstrations against it.

Bryant was the only Port commissioner to vote against a May resolution asking Shell to delay bringing its vessels to Seattle.

Such campaign donations shouldn’t be considered unusual, said Alex Hays, a spokesman for Bryant’s campaign.

Given that Bryant is a Port commissioner, “You’re going to see from the donor filings that there’s a lot of support from the maritime industry,” Hays said.

“It would be unusual if they were absent,” he added.

And Hays pointed to Bryant’s fundraising total — $229,094 so far, according to campaign records — and donations from fruit growers and other agricultural producers as proof the commissioner is building a statewide campaign.

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