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Spin Control

Posts tagged: sponsors

Let’s get real and just sell space on the ballot

Washington voters are on track to have at least nine statewide measures on the Nov. 2 ballot, which would be a state record. While some applaud this as a triumph of direct democracy, it is, more accurately, a triumph of electoral capitalism.
Along with three referenda placed on the ballot by the Legislature, the six initiatives seemingly destined for the ballot are beneficiaries of substantial corporate sponsorship, which provided money to pay people who gather signatures on their petitions.
Relying on volunteers to gather signatures has become so 20th Century, although a seventh initiative, to legalize marijuana, might succeed if its supporters can stay motivated through July 2. Meanwhile the paid campaigns are booking dates to turn in petitions with a hundred thousand or more extra signatures.
Early contributions to some successful petition drives are so substantial it only makes sense to dispense with the alpha-numeric designations to initiatives and award naming rights…

The big wallets in the initiative campaigns

OLYMPIA — The first ballot initiative turned in its petitions today, which may be the first of about a half dozen that will be rolling in to the Secretary of State’s office between now and July 2.

Initiative 1100 collected about 390,000 signatures in 27 days, which is pretty remarkable by historic standards. Not a record, to be sure, but remarkable, considering the averaged more than 14,400 per day or 600 per hour or 10 per minute (and that’s only if they were gathering round the clock, and obviously they weren’t because Costco, a key location for their collection, has to close some time.)

Other campaigns may have similar numbers, proving that sponsors will be able to wait until late into the spring before starting a petition drive if…

…if they have enough money to pay people to gather signatures. Some people will argue that’s not what the Progressives intended when they added the initiative to the state Constitution, but that’s an argument for another day.

The point is, money is flowing into the initiative campaigns, mainly from corporations, industry association and unions who stand to gain or lose if voters pass these initiatives. Already there is one seven-figure donor and 10 six figure donors to the initiative campaigns.

For a list of the top donors, go inside the blog

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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