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Seattle Voters' Guide  

Statement For Proposition 1

Make Your Vote Count: YES on Proposition 1

Nationwide, powerful special interests are spending record amounts to influence elections. Unregulated, secretive contributions, fueled by conservative Supreme Court decisions, are eroding the power of our vote. The result: government and politicians more beholden to them than to us.

Here at home, we can do something about it. Proposition 1 is a responsible, common sense reform that restores Seattle’s tradition of fair election laws—now, when we need it most.

More Competitive, Fair Elections

Seattle campaigns are currently funded by donations from less than one percent of the population, mostly from big corporations and other wealthy interests. Proposition 1 creates accountability and transparency, giving candidates—and voters—a real choice to build true community support and campaign for the votes of people, not special interest donations.

Proposition 1 protects our democracy by offering limited matching funds to candidates who demonstrate broad, grassroots support. This will help make city council races more competitive and help us elect leaders who truly reflect the values and diversity of our city.

The Seattle Times (6/14/13) agrees: “In other places like Maine, New York City and San Francisco, matching funds have leveled the playing field for challengers against well-monied incumbents…A wider array of candidates run for office and elevate civic debates based on ideas, rather than the special interests of campaign donors...”

Affordable and Accountable

For just 50¢ a month for an average household, Proposition 1 is a small investment to ensure clean, fair elections. The funds are dedicated—safeguarding other critical programs—and are subject to rigorous independent oversight and audit.

Widely Endorsed!

34th, 36th, 37th, 43rd, & 46th Democrats; El Centro de la Raza; Japanese American Citizens League; Fuse; King County Labor Council; SEIU WA; UFCW 21; Sierra Club WA; Washington Bus; Governor Mike Lowry (ret.), Senators Bob Hasegawa, Adam Kline, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Ed Murray, & Sharon Nelson; Speaker Frank Chopp; Representatives Eileen Cody, Jessyn Farrell, Joe Fitzgibbon, Gerry Pollett, Sharon Tomiko Santos, Seth Armstrong (ret.), Phyllis Gutierrez-Kenney (ret.) & Velma Veloria (ret.); County Assessor Lloyd Hara; Mayor Mike McGinn; City Councilmembers Tim Burgess, Sally Clark, Richard Conlin, Jean Godden, Bruce Harrell, Mike O’Brien, Nick Licata, David Della (ret.) & Peter Seinbreuck (ret.); Community leaders including: Kenny Alhadeff, Juan Jose Bocanegra, Pramilla Jayapal, Vu Le, Eric Liu, Hubert G. Locke, Estella Ortega, Karma Ruder, Chio Saeteurn, Marcee Stone-Vekich & Alice Woldt.

YES on Proposition 1

Statement submitted by: Sharon Tomiko Santos, Jim Street and Estela Ortega

Rebuttal to Statement
For Proposition 1

Seattle Ethics & Elections Commissioner Bruce Carter describes public campaign financing in Seattle as "a remedy in search of a problem." The average contribution to 2011 city campaigns was $231. Now our politicians want to divert tax monies from transit, human services and other vital community to replace that. Even with subsidies, moneyed interests can enter a campaign with independent expenditures to promote their agendas for or against a subsidized candidate.

National election funding expert Professor Kenneth Mayer notes that incumbents retain offices at the same rate before and after tax subsidies are put in place. Professor Mayer's studies show that tax funding does not enhance competitiveness or diversity. This has failed to bring fresh faces into politics in other places it has been tried. Vote NO on Proposition 1.

Statement submitted by: Kirk Robbins, Nicole Franklin


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