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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Coming Weds. in the paper: I-1043

A group pushing an initiative to change immigration law in Washington state is paying to insert 77,000 petitions in Wednesday's Spokesman-Review.

They’ve used a similar tactic to distribute copies of the I-1043 petitions in Yakima, Ellensburg, Republic and the Olympic Penninsula as the July 2 deadline for signatures draws near, Craig Feller of Respect Washington said Tuesday.

The group is pushing an initiative that requires extra steps by the state to verify citizenship for things like drivers licenses and government services, and by employers who are hiring new workers. Respect Washington sponsored a similar measure as an initiative to the Legislature last year, but didn’t get enough signatures to turn in.

Feller said the initiative organization spent $8,000 to print and distribute the petitions in the S-R, and about $20,000 statewide for the newspaper blitz, which started around Memorial Day.

The group listed only $100 in its Public Disclosure Commission reports as of June 10, but Feller said those reports are being corrected. The group needs about 241,000 signatures of registered voters by July 2, and Feller declined to say how many it had to date. But he didn’t dispute a suggestion that initiative groups that distribute petitions via newspaper usually have a big gap to close.

“We wouldn’t spend the money if it weren’t necessary,” Feller said. “Our success will depend on the response.”

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.