I-1464 for state campaign finance reform fails

The majority of voters are said no to campaign finance reform statewide. 54 percent of people voted to reject Initiative 1464 as of Thursday night.

I-1464 would have tightened restrictions on lobbyists, limited their ability to contribute to campaigns, increased disclosure requirements, and created “democracy credits,” giving voters $150 in credits to spend on state legislative races.

The initiative went before voters statewide after Seattle voters passed the "democracy vouchers" campaign finance reform initiative a year ago.

The program would have been funded by repealing the sales tax credit for non-Washington residents who don’t pay sales tax in their home state.

The initiative would have repealed the non-resident sales tax exemption to generate $60 million per biennium. The majority would have funded the “democracy credits;” $10 million would go to the Public Disclosure Commission to increase enforcement of campaign finance laws.

The measure also would have expanded disclosure requirements and tightened restrictions on lobbyists, including their ability to contribute to campaigns. It would also have forced a three-year “cooling off period” before an elected official could become a paid lobbyist.

Critics, who voiced concerns last year about Seattle’s “Honest Elections” initiative, worried the plan was too experimental and could easily be manipulated.

Sponsors have pointed to the wide-ranging bi-partisan support of the new initiative, from The League of Women’s Voters to the former co-chair of the Seattle Tea Party Patriots.

Copyright 2016 KING


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