VICTORY for Washington Public Campaigns!

"How sweet it is!" Craig Salins likes to chortle at such a moment. Let's give WASHINGTON PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS a well-deserved cheer: yesterday Governor Christine Gregoire (above, seated) signed legislation that thousands of citizen activists and several champions in the WA State legislature finally pushed through. It allows cities and counties to offer public funds for campaigns for local office.

Continued below:

Tireless Executive Director Craig Salins (above, left) has crisscrossed the state for several years, building grassroots support for public campaigns  while lobbying legislators in Olympia -along with lawyer & policy wonk - er, Chair - John King, who has forgotten more than I'll ever learn about arcane state legislative maneuverings.

The volume of Craig's correspondence is legendary; his computer keyboard and cellphone have become a part of his body.

Board President Marcee Stone is another advocate with almost supernatural tactical and diplomatic skills.

I do the website, photos, displays, and stuff.

Above are the folks most responsible for enacting this public campaigns bill: Rep. Sam Hunt; Marcee Stone; Craig Salins; Senator Rosa Franklin; Senator Joe McDermott; Rep. Mark Miloscia. Obviously the former governors approve.

Mark Miloscia and Joe McDermott (MY Senator)  are special heroes to me. Here is my story from last winter, reporting a rally and testimony from Rep. Miloscia and others to the Committe on State Government:
Backbone: Guest of Honor at Olympia Clean Elections rally
And WPC's lardmark Town Hall Forum:
2007 own Hall Clean Elections Forum
By the way, we call them "Voter-Owned Campaigns" now. It's more accurate and less likely to offend legislators.  Get that? Voter-Owned Campaigns.

Statement from Craig Salins, 3-17-2008:

We applaud Governor Gregoire's signature today, enacting into law the Local Option bill recently approved by the Legislature, allowing local choice over whether public funds can be used for campaigns for local office.

This law restores the opportunity for cities, towns and counties to once again exercise their choice - at the option of local voters - to create programs offering public financing for campaigns for local office.  We have long believed that decision should be left up to local public officials and the voters they represent, rather than legislators in Olympia deciding:  "No, you can't."

...in a few areas, campaigns have become so expensive that only wealthy candidates - or
persons with wealthy backing - can afford to run for office.  In effect, special interests with mountains of cash decide the outcome of elections by choosing certain candidates to support, well before the voters even see a ballot.  

This broken campaign system is not the democracy we've bargained for nor learned about in school.  Instead of one-person, one-vote, it has become one-dollar, one-vote.  It allows undue campaign influence by special interests seeking favors with money to burn. It is time to change the system, in localities where the voters want to reclaim their voice.  Now, under the permission granted by the Local Choice, Local Option law, they can.

Under a program of Voter-Owned Elections, public financing levels the financial playing field and ends the financial arms race that we see too often in today's campaigns.  Anyone who demonstrates support from a minimum number of voters in their district can qualify for public funds to run a primary campaign.   In exchange, they agree to campaign spending ceilings, running their campaign only on the public funds provided, accepting no private funds.  

This system works well to elect legislators in Maine and Arizona, supreme court juges in North Carolina, Corporations Commissioners in New Mexico and city council members in Portland, Oregon.  New Jersey, Wisconsin, Connecticut and other states have followed suit.  The programs - called Clean Elections in Maine and Voter-Owned Elections in Portland - are popular with voters, candidates and incumbents.   They are nonpartisan in design and result.  They are affordable to the public, and they stop the spiraling costs of campaigns.  They favor neither incumbents nor challengers.  Instead, public financing means election outcomes are determined by issues and voters, not by who can raise the most money.

Washington Public Campaigns looks forward to assisting any local city or town in the design of a voter-owned, publicly-financed campaigns program.

The very same morning, public campaigns advocates presented testimony to the Seattle City Council, which is VERY interested in becoming one of the first to take advantage of this new law. I heard there were no opponents making themselves heard.

Spokane and Pullman, among other towns, are also interested in doing so.  

< Amazing differences between 2004 and 2008 | Why is Sam Reed trying to destroy the Republican Party? >


YAY washcleaners!
Good story and pictures.
Dina how come you are not in the picture with the governor? It needs some more color.

Votes: 7
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Thank you for posting this, Dina -- It is indeed sweet victory.

Those people smiling with the Governor, I've been seeing many of them, both activists and legislators, for a couple of years now - out in the community -- taking the heat, backing the cause of public financing.

by noemie maxwell on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:09:17 PM PST

* 1 none 0 *

To realize this promise, here's what must happen:  Local councils or commissioners must design a program (with WPC's help) and put it on the ballot. And then, we need to win support of local voters in a referendum - wherever the programs are put forth by local governing councils/commissioners.

Upcoming is a King County hearing:

Seattle / King County residents:
Public hearing, Thursday, March 27 - 9:30am
King County Courthouse,
516 Third Ave, Seattle - Room 1001
Several public briefings are scheduled as well in Seattle, the next 2 weeks, both day and evening hours.


by dinazina on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 07:10:51 AM PST

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corrupt, wicked heart.

Despite how completely f'ing worhtless the Dems as a party have been for weeks

(anyone remember Iraq, Katrina, health ha ha ha 'care', No School Board Left Behind, bailouts for billionair hedge fund gamblers ...)

hiding under their desks as the sold out media smear candidates over stuff which is irrelevant ...


Despite Worthless Patty, Chicken Maria, Jim-I'll-Follow-Nancy-The-Loser, Jay-D-D-D-D-Don't-Impeach, Norm-Ill-Have-A-Hearing!

(... pssst! they're not as bad as fascists, so we should be REAL grateful we've got them! )


If I ever hit the 100 million lottery, I'm going to fund primaries against EVERY incumbent till I'm dead or till they stop cowering to fascists.



by rmdSeaBos on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 12:18:12 PM PST

* 3 none 0 *

  • Ha! Thanks by dinazina, 03/22/2008 08:00:58 PM PST (none / 0)
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