An initiative petition has been created in Seattle, Washington to help usher in more honest elections. More and more it seems our government is influenced by wealthy citizens, corporate campaign donors, and those involved in Super PACs. Our Government should be of, by, and for the people. Initiative-122 goes a long way towards reducing the impact of these big donors, while making sure that the people have their voice heard. The initiative was submitted earlier this summer with 32,000 signatures. This means Seattle citizens will vote on this initiative in November.
Initiative-122 could also set nationwide standards for honest elections and public financing for political campaigns. The initiative contains innovative ideas that have never been seen before, such as voters receiving $25 vouchers to give to the candidates of their choice. They can give to one candidate or several. Either way I-122 could reign in big money and pave the way for more honest elections all over the country.
If you live in the Seattle area, this is what it means to vote yes on I-122:
LIMIT CORPORATE AND WEALTHY INTERESTS’ INFLUENCE ON OUR ELECTIONS
- Limits campaign contributions from interests that spend significant funds ($5,000+) lobbying the city and corporations with large ($250,000+) city contracts.
SET STRICT LIMITS ON BIG MONEY CONTRIBUTIONS AND CAMPAIGN SPENDING
- Sets strict contribution limits to no more than $500 in all city races (similar to San Francisco), and limits spending by candidates who voluntarily participate in Democracy Voucher program.
INCREASE TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND FINES ON RULE BREAKERS
- Tightens campaign reporting deadlines and increases transparency with electronic disclosure requirements.
Each paid signature gatherer must show a badge stating “PAID SIGNATURE GATHERER.”
Increase fines & penalties on those breaking election rules.
INCREASE PARTICIPATION IN THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS
- Allows everyday people to support candidates of their choice with four $25 Democracy Vouchers each election cycle.
Enables more candidates, including women, young people and minority candidates, to run viable campaigns against big money candidates.
KEEP OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS HONEST
- Makes it illegal for city officials and their top aides to take lobbying jobs immediately after leaving office.
Requires elected officials to fully disclose possible conflicts of interest.
PROVIDE ITS OWN FUNDING MECHANISMS
- Allows City to pay for I-122’s $3 million/year costs either from the general or from a levy, estimated at $0.019 per $1,000 of assessed property value, about $0.65/month for a $400,000 property.
Source: Honest Elections Seattle.
About the author: Will Long is the Marketing Manager of Follow My Vote.