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Preliminary Results August 1, 2017 Primary – Washington State Special Legislative races
Legislative District 7 – State Senator
Karen Hardy (D) 7,585 32.74%
Shelly Short (R) 15,579 67.26%
Legislative District 7 – State Representative Position 1
Susan Swanson (D) 7,849 34.04%
Jacqueline Mayamber (R) 15,211 65.96%
Legislative District 31 – Senator
Michele Rylands (D) 6,331 41.45%
Phil Fortunato (R) 8,942 58.55%
Legislative District 31 – State Representative Position 2
Nate Lowry (D) 6,548 43.12%
Morgan Irwin (R) 8,636 56.88%
Legislative District 37 – State Senator
Rebecca Saldana (D) 12,356
Legislative District 45 – State Senator
Parker Harris (I) 1.620 6.86%
Jinyoung Lee England (R) 10,052 42.59%
Manka Dhingra (D) 11,9928 50.54%
Legislative District 48 – State Senator
Richard Knierim (I) 2,284 15.98%
Patty Kuderer (D) 8,628 60.36%
Michelle Darnell (L) 3.392 23.66%
Legislative District 48 – State Representative Position 1
Vandana Slatter (D) 10,649 76.6%
Ciaran Dougherty (L) 3,253 23.4%
Updated results will be available from WA Secretary of State’s website August 2, 2017 4:30 PM
Joint statement from Seattle State Senators last night
Marilyn Chase Bob Hasegawa
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — July 20, 2017
Failure to pass capital budget will hit Seattle communities hard
OLYMPIA — Seattle area state senators warned today that the Senate’s failure to pass a capital budget will have dramatic effects on proposed investments for the Seattle area in K-12 education, community colleges, housing and health care, including mental health, among other critical needs.
Though capital budget projects around the state were agreed to by Democratic and Republican negotiators on Tuesday, Senate Republicans continued to insist that a separate water rights bill be resolved first before they would agree to vote on the budget and its corresponding bonds. As a result, the Legislature adjourned from its third special session with no action on this vital budget that historically makes critical investments in Washington’s future.
The negotiated $4 billion dollar budget would have created thousands of jobs in all parts of Washington, including throughout the Seattle area.
The budget provided state matching funds for over $1 billion in school construction projects already approved at the local level, including at least $35 million for schools in Seattle, $15 million for Lake Washington School District and $8 million for Edmonds School District among others. Additionally, the budget provided for hundreds of millions of dollars in buildings for the higher education system from community colleges in this region to the University of Washington. At UW, the budget provided matching funds for the Burke Museum as well as the new Population Health Science building, leveraging the UW’s partnership with the Gates Foundation to make Seattle the world leader in global health. There was an additional $40 million to UW for advanced materials and clean energy test beds, the Evans School’s Parrington Hall, and renovation of the Medical School’s Health Sciences T-Wing.
The agreed-upon budget would have provided over $100 million for the Housing Trust Fund, including investments in local housing projects through innovative modular housing and tiny home projects to a new workforce housing development in Mt. Baker. It contained a first-of-its-kind investment in Community Health Centers to address Washington’s ongoing dental health crisis for the poor, who often lack access to dentists and wind up in local emergency rooms.
The budget would have built on the state mental health system by providing new facilities in a number of regions where the lack of treatment options is acute and where the state is under court order to find remedies. It would have invested in critical water infrastructure and flood control projects east of the mountains while also providing record investments in stormwater controls and conservation and restoration in the Puget Sound area.
“Having negotiated for the Senate Democratic Caucus and having reached across the aisle to reach an agreement on all of the proposed expenditures, I am very disappointed that this budget agreement was essentially held hostage to a resolution of a separate water rights bill,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle. “I recognized that that was an important issue, but the fact is we just ended the longest session in Washington State history without a new biennial capital budget for the first time in decades. These two issues – the budget and the water rights bill — need to be delinked for the good of the entire state. That is what we are supposed to be doing. Regrettably, they weren’t delinked, even though there were solutions on the table that would have provided immediate relief for rural property owners to dig wells.”
“The governor has indicated an openness to a continued effort to resolve this impasse so that these critical investments in Washington can be made. I will continue to work with him and with both parties to get this budget passed and funded.” Said Frockt.
“The Senate Republicans have taken it upon themselves to deprive our community of important projects and economic development investments that our most vulnerable depend on,” said Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle. “From critical affordable housing for seniors and the homeless, to community and arts centers and parks, my constituents will feel the impact of the GOP’s inability to govern.”
“The failure of Senate Republican leadership to pass a capital budget is both disappointing and frustrating,” said Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle. “This reckless decision will prevent investments in schools, community healthcare, and the arts and cost thousands of jobs.”
“The Republicans’ refusal to allow the passage of this budget, approved by all but one Republican in the other chamber, is nothing less than a dereliction of their duties as public servants,” said Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline. “They have committed to a course of action that will harm Washingtonians in every corner of our state.”
“Our infrastructure and quality of life will deteriorate, and all Washingtonians will share the pain to varying degrees,” said Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Beacon Hill. “It doesn’t make sense to hold a $4 billion jobs and infrastructure bill hostage for the right of developers to trump other people’s senior water rights.”
“I remain deeply committed to resolving this crisis, and finding a path forward in the weeks and months ahead,” said Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle “I was proud to have secured funding to reduce class sizes through school construction and am devastated the deal has fallen apart. I’m not giving up and will fight to secure these vital dollars. Our Seattle delegation is 100-percent on board to support a responsible capital investment budget.”
Had it passed, the budget would have funded these projects in in Saldaña’s 37th District:
$3 million for Othello Homesight;
$3 million for Aging in PACE;
$2 million for Valley City Recovery Place;
$1.5 million for the Amara Building;
$1.3 million for the Multicultural Community Center in Seattle;
$1.1 million to clean up Mt. Baker Properties for new housing;
$750,000 for the Georgetown Steam Plant Historic Steam Plant;
$737,000 for El Centro e la Raza;
$600,000 for the Filipino Community Innovation Center;
$520,000 to expand Pratt’s Campus
$400,000 for Washington Care Services;
$400,000 for Ethiopian Community Affordable Senior Housing;
$360,000 for the Cherry Street Fellowship;
$315,000 for Children’s Playgarden;
$250,000 to increase dental clinic capacity via the Seattle Indian Health Board;
$200,000 for the Seattle Indian Health Board; and
$141,000 for the Mount Baker Community Club.
In Pedersen’s 43rd District, the budget would have funded:
$1.855 million for the Country Doctor Community Health Centers;
$1.5 million in renovations to the Asian Art Museum;
$1.5 million for the Campaign for Town Hall;
$1.5 million in improvements to Hugo House;
$1.3 million for Neighborcare;
$1.1 million to the University YMCA;
$750,000 for upgrades to the 5th Avenue Theater;
$643,000 for preservation of the historic University Heights Center;
$600,000 for University YMCA;
$500,000 to purchase the Lambert House;
$491,000 for upgrades to the Paramount Theatre;
$475,000 for redevelopment of the Arboretum Waterfront Trail;
$354,000 for the Cornish Playhouse;
$257,000 for Lighthouse No. 83;
$257,000 for Phase Three rehabilitation of the Stimson-Green Mansion Building;
$75,000 for NW Choirs;
$29,000 to replace the deck of the MV Lotus; and
$21,000 for Nikkei Herigate.
In Chase’s 32nd District, the budget would have funded:
$50 million for the Dept. of Ecology for leaking tank model remedies at the Strickland Chevron in Lynnwood;
$37.7 million for the Edmonds Community College’s Science, Engineering, Technology Building;
$3.5 million for Allied Health, Science & Manufacturing in Shoreline;
$2.8 million for an addition to the Public Health Lab South Laboratory;
$2.5 million for an addition to a Newborn Screening Wing;
$2.2 million for the South Snohomish County Community Resource Center in Lynnwood; and
$650,000 to increase dental clinic capacity at International Community Health Services in Shoreline.
In Hasagawa’s 11th District, the budget would have funded:
$7.5 million via the Department of Ecology for Floodplains by Design;
$3.5 million in construction loans for the Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station;
$3.05 million for Sunset Neighborhood Park in Renton;
$698,000 for roof repairs to the Museum of Flight;
$500,000 to develop the Lake to Sound Trail;
$500,000 for Geriatric Diversion;
$412,000 for the Sunset Career Center in Renton;
$11 million for conservation projects; and
$2.6 million for Community and Technical College projects.
In Carlyle’s 36th District, the budget would have funded:
$1.5 million for improvements to the Seattle Opera at the Center;
$900,000 for improvements to Interbay PDAC;
$400,000 in improvements to the Seattle Aquarium;
$258,000 for renovations to the PONCHO Forum;
$167,000 in improvements to the Millionair Club;
$65,000 in improvements to the Seattle Opera; and
$30,000 for renewal of the lower Yamasaki Courtyard.
In Frockt’s 46th District, the budget would have funded:
$2 million for renovations at the Magnuson Community Center;
$1.2 million for Lyon Creek Fish Barrier Removal at Lake Forest Park;
$250,000 for improvements to Moorlands Park in Kenmore;
$250,000 for improvement to the Kenmore Public Boathouse in Kenmore; and
$75,000 for improvements to the St. Edward State Park Environmental Learning Center.
A list of all statewide and local capital budget projects is available upon request.
For information: Rick Manugian, Senate Democratic Communications, 360-786-7569
There have been a number of special appointments to fill vacated Legislative seats this year in Washington. As a result there are 5 Senate seats and 3 Representative seats up for election in 2017 because appointments to fill vacancies must stand election at the next General Election.
This provides a unique opportunity for Washington State Democrats to pick up the Senate seat in the 45th LD in NE King County. Democrats currently are in the minority in the Washington State Senate having only 24 seats to the Republican caucus having 25 seats. Republicans have 25 seats in their caucus because Senator Tim Sheldon, claiming to be a Democrat when he runs, actually caucuses with the Republicans, giving them 25 votes.
The special Legislative elections this year presents a great opportunity for the Democrats to take back the majority in the Washington State Senate. Democrat Manka Dhingra recently declared she is running for the Senate seat in the 45th LD. Republicans appointed Dino Rossi, a former Legislator and Gubernatorial candidate, to this seat. He has said he was not running in Nov. although this could change considering the importance of this election.
Filing to run in these elections is May 15 -19th. The Primary is August 1st and the general election is Nov. 7th.This is a big opportunity for the surging grassroots opposition to Trump and the GOP to make a big difference. It is also a chance to get ready for efforts for 2018 to train and challenge ways that grassroots activism can bring e a big change in 2018.
Democrats currently are only 1 seat away from a majority in the Washington State Senate. But they are also only 1 seat away from Republicans controlling the House. Democrats need to increase their numbers in both Houses to be effective and push their legislation. This year Democrats can start the necessary work now to join California and Oregon in having strong majorities in our Legislature and being able to move forward on the state level to oppose efforts nationally by Trump and the GOP to move our progress backwards.
List of Legislative races and appointments to the seats:
7th LD Senate – Shelly Short (R)
7th LD House – Jacqueline Maycumber (R)
31st LD Senate – Phil Fortunato (R)
31st LD House – Morgan Irwin (R)
37th LD Senate – Rebecca Saldaña (D)
45th LD Senate – Dino Rossi (R)
48th LD Senate – Patty Kuderer(D)
48th LD House – Vandana Slatter (D)
No Democrats have yet filed to run in the 7th or the 31st races. Republicans will field a candidate in the 45th for sure as well as the 2 seats in the 48th. It is expected that these will be very intensive campaigns with lots of money flowing to both Republicans and Democrats. Expect that out of state funds from right wing entities like the Koch Brothers will show up.
We need to have Democrats running in every seat – Republicans should have no free ride. And in all these races Democrats can start now registering voters and starting voter contacts to id voters likely to vote Democratic. Marching can get people energized – grassroots organizing is where we make a big difference by changing who’s in charge.
For many here is America, the world has changed. They have woken up in a strange land called Trumpland. Democrats, progressives, liberals, independents and even some Republicans are asking what the hell happened. How did we get here and what do we do now? Below is some recommended reading that attempts to give some insight as to this new reality that has set in. Suggestions are offered by some as to what to do. This is an ongoing search for answers. I will add new articles as they emerge.
Indivisible Guide – A Practical Guide for resisting the Trump Agenda has been written by former Congressional staffers, Jan 2017. They give suggestions based on the success of the Tea Party as to how Progressives can fight back, to limit the negative impacts of the GOP and Trump. They also provide links to Indivisible groups that have formed across the country.
‘Data-driven’ campaigns are killing the Democratic Party. Politico Feb 12, 2017 – This article argues that data driven campaign over the last 4 cycles have resulted in catastrophic losses for Democrats. It urges connecting with voters through storytelling, having a clear message that reaches voters on an emotional level.
A Low Tech Guide to Becoming Politically Active, New York Times, Feb 8, 2017 – Lots of good advice here – the title in the print edition is “How to Turn Your Facebook Rants Into Real-Life Activism”
How to Build an Autocracy, Atlantic March 2017 – Good discussion of the ways Trump and Bannon are working to convert our democracy to an autocracy that benefits the wealthy.
David Frum – “What is spreading today is repressive kleptocracy, lead by rulers based on greed…Such rulers rely less on terror and more on rule twisting, the manipulation of information, and the co-option of elites.
What Effective Protest Could Look Like, Atlantic, Feb 6, 2017 – “Perspective From the Right, for Effective Challenge From the Left
Post-Fascist Europe Tells Us Exactly How to Defend Our Democracy -Yes Magazine Jan 13, 2017 – “Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are 20 lessons from the 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.”
10 Investigative Reporting Outlets to Follow, Bill Moyers, Jan 13,2017 – “Here are some new organizations to follow as well as a few established ones that are working to uncover the truth.
A Guide for Rebuilding the Democratic Party from the Ground Up, VOX, Jan 5,2017 -“Organizationally, the US right is light years ahead of the left. A leading political scientist explains what Democrats should do to change that”
To Stop Trump, Democrats Can Learn from the Tea Party, New York Times, Jan 2, 2107 – Op-Ed – “The Tea Party’s ideas were wrong, and their often racist rhetoric and physical threats were unacceptable. But they understood how to wield political power and made two critical strategic decisions. First, they organized locally, focusing on their own members of Congress. Second, they played defense, sticking together to aggressively resist anything with President Obama’s support. With this playbook, they rattled our elected officials, targeting Democrats and Republicans alike.”
The Democratic Ggame Plan for Making Trump Miserable – and Regaining Power, New York Magazine, Dec. 23, 2016
What Those Who Studied Nazis Can Teach Us About the Strange Reaction to Donald Trump, Huffington Post Dec 19, 2016 – “While its Important to watch the President Elect Closely, We also Must be Mindful of Our Own Response to Him.”
Why the Electoral College is the absolute worst, explained, VOX, Dec 19, 2016 – The Electoral College is a rigged archaic voting system that violates the one person, one vote 1962 Supreme Court Decision that changed state elections..
99 Ways to Fight Trump, Do One, Do them all, But do Something
Steve Bannon and Breitbart News, in their own words, New York Times, Nov 14, 2016 – Bannon and Breitbart News in their own words – necessary reading to help understand the man behind Donald Trump.
Trump’s Choice of Stephen Bannon Is Nod to Anti-Washington Base, New York Times , Nov 14, 2016 – ” In naming Stephen K. Bannon to a senior White House post, President-elect Donald J. Trump has elevated the hard-right nationalist movement that Mr. Bannon has nurtured for years from the fringes of American politics to its very heart, a remarkable shift that has further intensified concern about the new administration’s direction.”
Steve Bannon, Trump’s Top Guy, Told Me He Was a ‘Leninist” Who Wanted to ‘Destroy the State’, TheDailyBeast.com, August 21, 2016, – When the President’s top advisor’s goal is to tear America apart not build it up we as a nation are under siege. That is what is happening now.
Daily Beast – “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed. Shocked, I asked him what he meant. Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press.”
Uneasy About the Future, Readers Turn to Dystopian Classics, New York Times, Jan 27, 2017 – Big surge in dystopian classics happening as people buy copies of Margaret Atwood’s Tales of a Handmaid, George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, and Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here. Not surprising considering what is happening.
Shape Tomorrow, Register and Vote – the Democrats’ Sleeping Giant – Down with Tyranny, Jan 18,2017 – Case Study on successful impact of registering people to vote.
Autocracy , Rules for Survival, New York Review of Books, Nov. 10, 2016, – “But Trump is anything but a regular politician and this has been anything but a regular election. Trump will be only the fourth candidate in history and the second in more than a century to win the presidency after losing the popular vote. He is also probably the first candidate in history to win the presidency despite having been shown repeatedly by the national media to be a chronic liar, sexual predator, serial tax-avoider, and race-baiter who has attracted the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. Most important, Trump is the first candidate in memory who ran not for president but for autocrat—and won.”
For the second time in 20 years the winner of the national popular vote for US President will not become the President. Instead the winner of the Electoral College Vote will. Hillary Clinton has 1.42 million more votes nationally than Donald Trump. Donald Trump will however under the US Constitution be elected President by Electors assigned by 306 Electoral Votes for Trump and 232 for Hillary Clinton with Michigan still finalizing their results as of this writing. A vote of 270 electoral votes is needed to win.
An alternative to the Electoral College is states passing the National Popular Vote law.
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationwide (i.e., all 50 states and the District of Columbia). Written Explanation It has been enacted into law in 11 states with 165 electoral votes, and will take effect when enacted by states with 105 more electoral votes.
States that have passed the National Popular Vote include California, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The status of all the states can be seen by clicking on this link. State Status
One national organization working to pass the National Popular Vote is Common Cause.
“If you’re upset that the Electoral College swung this election, then the National Popular Vote compact is the most effective and practical way to change our system for the better. Please add your name today to tell lawmakers in your state to sign onto the National Popular Vote compact.“
Representative Barbara Boxer has introduced a bill in Congress to amend the US Constitution to abolish the Electoral College. This is a much more difficult process that requires 2/3 of the members of both Houses of Congress to vote for it and then 3/4 of the states to pass it. Considering that Republicans control both the US House and Senate and a majority of state legislatures around the country this approach is likely not going anywhere at the moment.
Interestingly President Elect Donald Trump reaffirmed his support for abolishing the Electoral College on 60 minutes this week but the next day praised the Electoral College. As usual it seems he is all over the place and one has no idea what he thinks.
The most practical approach at this time is for people to work to pass the National Popular Vote bill to create an interstate compact that uses the national popular vote to decide the outcome of the election. Check out what is happening in your state and urge your state legislators to act.
Michael Moore in his comments to Bill Maher at the Republican National Convention makes a strong point. Complacency by Democrats and independents who think Trump has no chance of winning and then not voting could tip the election to Trump.
Voter turnout has been going down in our elections as voters disengage. Progressives will contribute to this problem by not voting for Hillary and continuing to dwell on her negatively rather than looking at her pluses compared to Trump.
There is no way progressives win with a Trump victory. Progressives can put pressure on Hillary and Democrats in Congress if we take back the Senate and the House. Nothing will happen positively with a Trump win and Republicans holding both houses of Congress.
Some of us have lived through numerous Republican Administrations and seen the power of the presidency. And as President Obama has shown the President does have the power to affect a lot of things despite not controlling Congress. including Supreme Court nominations and who gets appointed to run the Government and executive orders. But a President Trump combined with a Republican House and Senate would be a wipeout for Democratic programs and American society in general, reversing decades of progressive action.
We win by being involved, not by sitting on the sidelines and complaining or disengaging. Turnout for Protest votes like Brexit have consequences. Who turns out to vote can have tremendous impacts. Younger voters were expected to vote “remain” but voted in lower numbers than older voters.
The same impact of low voter turnout by particular groups supporting Democrats happened in the US in the 2014 Senate and Governor’s race resulting in the US Senate being taken over by the Republicans. As Sam Wang noted in his post in the American Prospect entitled “One reason the Democrats Lost So Big in Midterms:Exceptionally Low Voter Turnout”:
A larger question is why voter turnout hit a new post-World War II low. Compared with 2012, the number of votes cast dropped by about 42 percent. Democrats lacked a coherent message, de-emphasized their own policies in immigration and health care, and sidelined their highest-profile messenger, Barack Obama. Instead, issues such as Ebola and ISIS dominated the news. Relative media inattention to the election may have depressed turnout more than usual. These and other factors affecting turnout are inherently difficult for pollsters to anticipate. In 2014, the Midterm Curse, which this year afflicted both pollsters and Democrats, was in all likelihood caused by exceptional voter apathy.
Lower voter turnout by Democrats this year could help Trump become President despite lagging in the polls. Some of the reasons for lower democratic voter turnout could include:
- Lack of a strong motivating message by Democrats that Hillary will move forward strongly on addressing issues like income inequality, increasing job creation, opposing bad trade agreements, funding educational opportunities and expanding health care for all.
- Progressives sit on the sidelines upset because Bernie Sanders was not nominated.
- Progressives vote for a third party candidate like Jill Stein.
- Democrats think there is no way someone like Trump can be elected and don’t bother to vote.
- Young voters who supported Bernie Sanders become disenchanted and don’t vote.
- Voter suppression efforts prevent enough Democratic voters from voting in key states
- Progressives and others believe FOX News, Roger Ailes and other right wing media that Hillary is “evil” and don’t vote.
- Progressives and others help spread the right wing message that Hillary is “evil” and cause others to not vote.
- Conservatives continue to believe Trump represents the middle class rather than the 1% he really represents.
There can be other reasons also but the real challenge is convincing Democrats and independents that this election is a change election and that Hillary is the change agent. Put the blame for income inequality on Republican tax policy. Lowering taxes on the wealthy as Trump proposes will only make things worse.
Not raising the minimum wage means that more people may have jobs but can’t afford basic things like food and housing in the current economy. Trump and Pence oppose raising the minimum wage. Hillary has proposed significantly raising the minimum wage to $15/hr.
Trump and the Republicans oppose acting on climate change and support continued mining of coal for producing energy. Hillary proposes shifting to green jobs and renewable energy.
Hillary has proposed overturning Citizens United with a Constitutional Amendment to help get Big Money Out of Elections while Trump has been silent on this and Republicans oppose any changes.
These and other issues point to a clear difference in the direction the country would move under their Presidency. Hillary’s positions represent a significant change from the direction Trump wants to go and that Republicans have so far prevented us from going. Elect Hillary and boot the Republicans out of Congress and the people of America can really move forward to a better American future for all, not just the 1%. That is real change!
Republicans who are in the majority in the US Senate and in the leadership continue to block electronic filing of Senate campaign finance reports required by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). US Senate candidates only file quarterly reports. Currently the US Senate reports are the only campaign finance reports on the Federal level not filed electronically with the FEC. They are first filed in paper copies with the US Senate, copied and then transferred to the FEC. This significantly delays by 2-3 weeks or more the public and media being able to get timely reporting of campaign contributions and spending.
Democrats joined by Republicans and Independents continue to try to get the US Senate to join the computer age and file copies electronically with the FEC. Senator Jon Tester of Montana in February 2015 filed SB 366 – the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act. Some 45 Senators have signed on to date – 32 Democrats, 11 Republicans and 2 Independents.
This is not a new issue but Majority Rules wrote about this seven years ago, including “US Senators Still Trying to Figure out Computers and the Internet ” and “An Open Letter to Senator Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell“. Senator Cantwell has since signed onto this legislation both in this Congressional session and the previous one. Senator Patty Murray for some reason has not. She should.
The Center for Public Integrity in a 2015 post entitled “Senators resist the internet, leave voters in the dark” noted that:
In a throwback to the age of typewriters and snail mail, Senate candidate must still, by law, submit their official campaign finance reports on paper.
A bipartisan bill — known as the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act — would force Senate candidates to file digitally, just as presidential candidates, U.S. House candidates and political action committees have done for nearly a generation.
Paper campaign finance records are more difficult to analyze and aren’t readily available to the public for days after being filed. Digital records are publicly accessible and easily searchable from the moment they’re submitted to FEC officials.
Some Senators have decided to voluntarily file electronically. In the same Center for Public Integrity post it was noted that 20 Senators were listed as also filing their second quarter 2015 reports digitally -16 Democrats, 2 Republicans and 2 Independents.
As GovTrack.us notes:
These reports are important because they list how much money candidates have raised and from which individuals/sources. This transparency in turn can help reveal potential conflicts of interest and indicate which issues an incumbent or potential politician may prioritize while in office. For example, on the presidential race, these numbers have revealed which candidates rely more on Super PACs versus individual donors, or which candidates billionaires have donated to.
The Congressional Budget Office has calculated that the bill would save approximately $500,000 per year through factors such as reduced printing costs.
If your Senator is not a supporter of SB 366 urge them to do so. The public has a right to campaign finance information in a timely manner. In fact while they are at it they really should be doing monthly reporting, not quarterly. Washington State has been doing monthly disclosure by candidates for years and it helps citizens see who is supporting candidates and where money is being spent.
Washington State held a Presidential Primary on May 24, 2016. While Republicans used the Presidential Primary to determine the ratio of their delegates for specific candidates, Democrats did not. The Democratic vote was purely a poll with no impact on the dividing up who got how many delegates. Democrats held an earlier caucus on Saturday March 26, 2016 to determine that.
The surprise was that more Democrats voted in the Presidential Primary than Republicans despite the Democratic vote not affecting the delegate count. According to the Washington State Secretary of State some 1,421,841 voters voted in the May 25, 2016 Presidential Primary. Of the 4,088.o29 registered voters at the time this represented a turnout of only 34.78%.
The results according to the Washington Secretary of State’s website were as follows:
Democratic vote: Hillary Clinton ….. 421,461….. 52.38% Bernie Sanders……382,393…..47.62%
Total Democratic vote …..802,753
Republican vote: Ben Carson…………..23,849…….3.96% Ted Cruz………………65,172……10.81% John Kasich………….58,954……9.78% Donald J Trump … 455,023…..75.46%
Total Republican vote ….602,998
The Democratic vote was 56.46% of the turnout and Republicans only represented 43.54% of the vote.
The actual division of delegates for the Democrats went through the caucus system where precinct delegates were elected in the following proportion at the March 26, 2016 caucus. These results are as reported by the New York Times.
Bernie Sanders ……19,159 delegates = 72.7% = 74 delegates
Hillary Clinton ……..7,140 delegates = 27.1% = 27 delegates
other ………………………..46 delegates = .02%
The number of Democrats participating in the caucus was about 230,000 according to OPB . This was about 14,000 shy of the turnout for Democrats in 2008 when Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton ran.
Comparing the Democratic turnout in the Presidential Primary and the Caucus, the nonbinding Presidential Primary saw 3.9 times as many Democrats participate compared to the caucus. Many voters found the caucus system frustrating and time consuming, particularly when Legislative District Caucuses were held on May 1, 2016 and went into late evening hours. Many people left in frustration and weren’t able to vote.
Some 27,000 Precinct level Delegates were narrowed down to 1400 Legislative District Delegates in the legislative District caucus. The Legislative District Delegates then elected 67 National Delegates at Congressional District Caucuses on May 21, 2016. The Washington State Democratic Central Committee on June 19th elected an additional 34 National Delegates and appointed 17 Super Delegates. On July 28th in Philadelphia the 118 Washington State Delegates will vote to nominate the 2016 Democratic Party Candidate for President of the United States.
36th District Senator Reuven Carlyle after the Presidential Primary echoed the view of many when he called for an end to the Caucus system. Carlyle in the Tacoma News Tribune said:
State Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, said Tuesday’s results highlighted how Washington Democrats’ system of holding both caucuses and primaries needs to go.
Awarding delegates to candidates based on primary results would be less confusing and expand the number of voters who could participate in the nomination process, he said.
“I just think caucuses have a romantic image and play a meaningful role in terms of activism and energy, but that a primary is more Democratic and reflective of the broader values of the population,” Carlyle said.
If you agree the system needs to be changed, contact people in the State Democratic Party. The Washington State Democratic Central Committee can vote to support a Presidential Primary rather than a Caucus system in 2020. Let them know now so the system can be changed.
The current Presidential Primary in Washington State became law in March of 1989 after the State Legislature passed Initiative 99. I-99 had 202,872 people sign.