Newsletter September 2016

Updates on Initiatives, Election Integrity, Money in WA Campaigns, and more

I-735 Ramping Up before ballots go out

by Cindy Black
If I-735 passes, it will make Washington the 18th state to ask Congress to overturn Citizens United.  With only a month before ballots go out, Yes on 735 has ramped up efforts to get the word out to as many voters as possible. In a recent Elway Poll, which surveyed 500 registered Washington State voters, I-735 had 43 in favor, 21 against and 36 undecided, so there are still a lot of people who still don’t know about this initiative. Direct voter contact utilizing phone banking, canvassing, tabling at events, as well as social media and targeted online advertising will be the main tactics used to reach these undecided voters and build awareness about this issue.

Cohen, Clements, Cobb Promote I-735
On September 15th, Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and Jeff Clements, President of American Promise, were in Seattle in support of I-735. Both attended a special fundraiser event to help raise funds for the finals weeks of the campaign. They also shared the importance of this movement and going forward. It was a fun event with beautiful 360 views of the Seattle skyline!

To help promote the initiative, David Cobb, co-founder of Move to Amend, toured Washington State with Campaign Director Cindy Black, in support of I-735….. Read More

FDF and WAmend to receive Award at Upcoming American Promise National Citizen Leadership Conference

https://i2.wp.com/pbs.twimg.com/media/CmYI_-xWgAAMbUa.jpg?resize=290%2C162&ssl=1by Cindy Black
American Promise is gathering leaders together from all political viewpoints, strategic approaches, and years of engagement to celebrate progress, listen and learn in an environment of civility and patriotism. The common goal: to win the 28th Amendment, end corruption of elections, and reclaim government by the people.

The American Promise National Citizen Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. will be held from September 30 to October 2nd and will celebrate progress and convey lessons learned, listen and learn in an environment of civility and patriotism, and build energy, strategy, and unity for the work ahead.

Fix Democracy First and WAmend will be receiving an award for…. Read More

Find the Money Behind Your Ballot

by Elizabeth Walter
Local radio station KUOW has created a new database and link entitled, “Field Guide to Influence. Find the Money Behind Your Ballot”  at  https://influence.kuow.org/

The website states, “KUOW’s Field Guide to Influence lets you see the money flowing into every campaign in the state. Enter your address, or pick a spot on the map, and we’ll show you how much money has been raised and from whom for each race on your ballot. Is out-of-state money playing a big role? Big business? Unions? Click on ‘explore this race’ and we’ll show you the money in as much as detail as you want. The Field Guide to Influence updates daily, and we’ll be adding our reports and analysis as the Nov. 8 election draws closer, so you can stay informed. “

Here’s an example of what you will find at this site: top donors, both in state and out of state, including in-kind contributions; the top employers and occupations of donors; how much money has been raised, how much money has been spent.

Election Integrity news from around the country

https://i2.wp.com/www.mnmajority.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/election-integrity.gif?resize=121%2C119by Phil Harrison
Brennan Center publishes report: “Secret Spending in the States”

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU has recently published a comprehensive report on the magnitude and effects of “dark” and “gray” political contributions for state and local elections around the country.  The in-depth study finds that the increase of such spending has been dramatic since the Citizens United decision and contributors, when they can be identified, often have a strong economic interest in election outcomes.  The report can be downloaded from http://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/analysis/Secret_Spending_in_the_States.pdf

Guardian newspaper exposes secret Wisconsin fundraising by Scott Walker and allies

The Guardian obtained leaked court documents that had been ordered destroyed.  “The files open a window on a world that is very rarely glimpsed by the public, in which millions of dollars are secretly donated by major corporations and super-wealthy individuals to third-party groups in an attempt to sway elections.”  You can read the story at
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/14/corporate-cash-john-doe-files-scott-walker-wisconsin

“Democracy Lost: A Report on the Fatally Flawed 2016 Democratic Primaries”

Election Justice USA, a national, non-partisan team of election integrity experts has released an analysis of the 2016 Democratic Presidential primaries.  They report significant instances of election manipulation, including voter suppression, registration tampering, illegal voter purging, and evidence of fraudulent or erroneous voting machine tallies.  The evidence indicates a disturbing lack of election integrity in many places.  You can download the report from http://bradblog.com/Docs/Democracy_Lost_Update1_EJUSA_080216.pdf

“The ‘Shocking’ Truth About Election Rigging in the United States”

Victoria Collier is a long-time election integrity activist and communications director for the National Election Defense Coalition (http://www.electiondefense.org/).  She has studied the election system for many years and her article provides a needed broad perspective in a season dominated by news of Russian hackers interfering with US election systems.  “The nation’s 9,000 voting jurisdictions and 50 states need ironclad, uniform standards for non-partisan election oversight, ballot security and counting transparency, and a final end to paperless and privatized voting.”  Read her article at http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37486-the-shocking-truth-about-election-rigging-in-america..

I-735 and I-1464: Why they complement and strengthen each other rather than distracting from each other

by Ken Dammand
November’s ballot will include two initiatives that deal with the issue of money in politics, I-735 and I-1464. Initative-735 (see Cindy Black’s article at top) and Initiative-1464 (see Peter Zanello’s article below) address different elements of the problem of money in politics.  Both are big steps toward re-empowering the ordinary citizens of Washington State and the entire country. Fix Democracy First strongly supports both initiatives. 

Nonetheless, I have heard some concern expressed by people that are focused on I-735 that the presence of another “money in politics” initiative might interfere with the passage of I-735.   I appreciate their concerns.  No one knows for sure how things will work out. We’ve all worked hard to put I-735 on the ballot.  But their comments prompted me to examine a bit more closely just how I-1464 fits into the long term activities of Washington Public Campaigns/Fix Democracy First…. Read More

Initiative 1464 is off and running!

By Peter Zanello
This past Labor Day weekend was the official launch of The Washington Government Accountability Act or I-1464. There were house parties throughout the state to push the ballot initiative forward. In Seattle, the League of Women Voters hosted a special event whose guests included Hedrick Smith, a reporter and editor for The New York Times, a producer & correspondent for the PBS show Frontline, and author of several books including his latest work; “Who Stole the American Dream”. He is currently producing a documentary on grass roots movements throughout the country which is scheduled to be aired in the beginning of 2017. His crew filmed the event and interviewed many of the attendees…
. Read More