Spin Control

Judge allows initiative signatures to be released

OLYMPIA -- Washington state can release the signatures on initiative and referendum petitions for all ballot measures except the one still tied up in federal court, a state judge said Friday morning.

Thurston County Superior Court Richard Hicks, dissolved an injunction that was keeping the Secretary of State's office from filling public records requests for 11 different petition drives, most of them for initiatives sponsored by Tim Eyman. The U.S. Supreme Court previously ruled in a separate case there is no basis for a blanket ban on releasing the names on initiative petitions and  has sent  that case back to federal court in Seattle on whether the sponsors of Referendum 71 can prove there are special circumstances regarding their ballot measure to block the release of names.

But the names on petitions for the other initiatives requested by Bryan Wahl, a Mountlake Terrace lobbyist, Hicks said can be released. State attorneys had argued some 2 million  names of petition signers had been released over the last six years without incident.

David Ammons, a spokesman for the Secretary of State's office, said the names would be released sometime Friday or early next week.




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