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Who is behind the big money flowing to City Council candidates that alarms public-financing advocates?

With every two-year election cycle, the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) produces a report that lists the top 20 donors to city candidates.

Over the last five election cycles those lists have been dominated by real-estate interests. Developers and builders account for one-third of the top donors in the past decade.

The next most prominent group is labor unions, which make up one-fifth of the top donors.

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The rest of the biggest givers are mostly scattered among lawyers, consultants and various businesses — from the Mariners to Clear Channel.

Here’s a list of the donors who have shown up in a majority of the city’s top donor lists for the last five elections, with the total amount contributed in the past five elections:

Clise Properties: $22,450;

Nucor Steel: $22,250;

Matt Griffin: (developer) $20,100;

Local 17 International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers: $19,400;

John McCullough (land-use lawyer): $19,200;

Robert Burkheimer Management (real estate): $19,075;

John Runstad (developer): $18,275;

Rollin Fatland (consultant): $18,000;

Amalgamated Transit Union: $16,900.

Bob Young: 206-464-2174 or

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