About 40 people organized by Working Washington demonstrated at mall Monday afternoon to protest developer Kemper Freeman's contributions to Republican candidates.
The demonstration, where people held up "" signs, started at noon on the corner of Bellevue Square and Northeast Eighth Street and moved to the fifth floor landing inside The Lodge, outside Kemper Development Co.'s offices, and then moved to the main part of Bellevue Square mall on the first floor near the central Christmas tree.
With cries of, "We'll be back," demonstrators left the mall after about an hour and a half.
Freeman, whose father founded Bellevue Square in downtown Bellevue in the 1940s, is the developer of the Bellevue Collection, which includes the retail stores and restaurants, office buildings and hotels of and . Major tenants of the office buildings include Microsoft and Eddie Bauer.
Freeman did not come out to speak to the protesters, and Bellevue Square security guards did not allow them to reach the offices of Kemper Development Co. The demonstrators also held up a sign in the walkway between Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square before they were asked to remove it.
A message left with the spokesperson for Kemper Development was not returned as of Monday afternoon.
Representatives of Working Washington, which organized a demonstration in conjunction with Occupy Seattle last month and a demonstration at , said in a press release that they objected to Freeman's political contributions to Reichert, Speaker of the House John Boehner and, within the state, to contributions to a variety of campaigns for tax-cutting initiatives sponsored by Tim Eyman.
"This individual is funding the Republicans who are cutting our health care and giving tax cuts to the wealthiest people," said protester Ray Trevino, who came to the demonstration from the Tri-Cities in eastern Washington.
According to OpenSecrets.org, a nonpartisan website that keeps track of contributors to federal campaigns, Freeman has given $101,850 to federal campaigns and political action committees, including $5,100 to Reichert in the past two years, $2,600 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, $2,400 to Boehner, and $2,400 each in contributions to Republican Senate candidates who did not win, including Dino Rossi in Washington, Joe Miller in Alaska and Carly Fiorina in California.
Locally, according to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, Freeman has contributed to Republican 2012 gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna, Bellevue City Council incumbent challengers Michelle Hilhorst and Patti Mann; and .
Freeman also is one of the main contributors to a negative campaign mailing against Stokes from the Eastside Leadership Council. That PAC received $25,000 in donations from Kemper Holdings LLC, as well as $22,000 each from George Rowley of Issaquah and Robert Wallace of Bellevue, according to the Washington PDC.
That mailing drew a and a just before the elections in November.