Initiative 924 Campaign Suspended (Ended)

The Seattle Times yesterday reported that the Initiative 924 campaign has “been suspended” for lack of funds. You should instead read “been ended” for lack of funds.

Initiative 924 was the so-called first class Education for Washington Initiative. It’s goal was to require that school districts spend 65% of their budgets on “classroom instruction.”

Seems the sponsor could only come up with some $9600 by the end of Jan and has filed no February report with the state Public Disclosure Commission. PDC says that is OK as long as less than $200 was raised.

In an e-mail responding to an invitation to speak Brian Janssen, the initiative’s sponsor, is quoted as saying “To ensure success we needed to run a multimillion-dollar campaign, with most of the funds frontloaded for kickoff.” The campaign had barely started to do that. Janssen had contributed more than half of the $9600 raised and said he couldn’t give any more.

Seems this is a case where the media over hyped the reality of there really being a campaign. Still, the Washington Education Association raised some $17,892 in February to oppose the campaign. They formed a campaign committee called “No Gimmicks for Kids”. They hired a campaign consultant Kelly Evans. And the Seattle times reported that the campaign was going to start polling.

The WEA had also been busy in February running a grassroots campaign lobbying the Washington State Legislature, called “Take the Lead”. As reported on the L-2 lobbyist form for February, some $410,532 was spent by The WEA’s lobbyist Debra Carnes for television ads and media buys and other grassroots activities.

Update: As blogging goes note I mentioned to Andrew over at the NPI blog that the Seattle Times reported on this story and that I intended to put something out on it. Of course that was a mistake, never mention to another blogger I guess what it is that you intend to do before you do it. So Andrew has a blog pre-dating this one, but I am not copying his. I had been looking up additional PDC information beyond what the Seattle Times had before I posted this story.

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