- Pass ESSB 5082 to end Push Polls on Washington State ballots
- Michigan begins campaign to join National Popular Vote to elect US President and Vice President
- Support the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State
- Nov 3, 2021 update of Seattle City Election of Nov 2, 2021
- NPI Media Advisory – “Advisory votes” are propaganda and can’t be used to “gauge public opinion”
- Pass ESSB 5082 to end Push Polls on Washington State ballotsTestimony To Washington State Legislature supporting ESSB 5082 – encouraging electoral participation and making ballots more meaningful by abolishing advisory votes My name is Steve Zemke, speaking for Majority Rules. Please pass ESSB 5082 to end these phony advisory votes … Continue reading →
- Michigan begins campaign to join National Popular Vote to elect US President and Vice PresidentAn initiative late last year was filed in Michigan on signature gathering on a ballot measure to join the National Popular Vote. So far 15 states and the District of Columbia with a total of 195 electoral votes have joined … Continue reading →
- Support the Democratic Association of Secretaries of StateThe following e-mail was received from the . Quick question: do you support the Electoral College? YES NOIt’s as big of an impediment to free elections in this country as the new wave of voter-suppression laws.Despite losing by over 7 MILLION votes … Continue reading →
- Nov 3, 2021 update of Seattle City Election of Nov 2, 2021Data from King County Elections site – Updated: 11/3/2021 3:44:41 PM City of Seattle Ballots Counted: 153,662 * Registered Voters: 489,996 31.36 % Mayor Bruce Harrell 97,763 64.22 % M. Lorena González 53,965 35.45 % … Continue reading →
- NPI Media Advisory – “Advisory votes” are propaganda and can’t be used to “gauge public opinion”“Advisory votes” are propaganda and can’t be used to “gauge public opinion” MEDIA ADVISORY DATE: Wedsnesday, November 3rd, 2021TO: Washington State Reporters, Editors, and ProducersFROM: Andrew Villeneuve, Executive Director, Northwest Progressive Institute email@example.com) In the last fifteen hours, our team … Continue reading →
- Urge Washington Legislators to End Eyman Push Polls on Our BallotsWashington State Legislators – Pass SB 5182 now! Washington State needs to end Washington taxpayers subsidizing Tim Eyman’s anti-tax initiative campaigns. They need to stop putting his so called Tax Advisory Votes on our ballots. They are really anti-tax push … Continue reading →
- 2021 Bill to End Tim Eyman’s Push Poll Tax Advisory Votes Filed in Washington State Legislature.Time to End Eyman’s Push Polls on Washington State Ballots Senator Patty Kuderer has again introduced a bill, SB 5182, in the Washington State Senate to remove Tim Eyman’s phony anti-tax push polls on our November General Election ballots. These … Continue reading →
- Majority Rules 2020 Primary Endorsements – Washington StateMajority Rules Endorsements – August 4, 2020 Washington State Primary Governor – Jay Inslee Lieutenant Governor – Denny Heck Secretary of State – Gael Tarleton State Treasurer – Mike Pelliccotti State Auditor – Pat (Patrice) McCarthy Attorney General – Bob … Continue reading →
- A Dishonorable Senate – New York Times OpinionThe New York Times has written a very insightful opinion on the continued partisan politics of the GOP in the US Senate and its relationship to Trump. Entitled A Dishonorable Senate, it raises many points that the public needs to consider … Continue reading →
- Urge WA Legislators to Pass SB 6610 to End Push Poll Advisory Votes on our BallotHelp end Tim Eyman’s use of our ballots to promote his business! Why is Washington State allowing Tim Eyman to have access to our ballots to do anti tax push polls done under the guise of so called “tax advisory votes”? … Continue reading →
- Pass ESSB 5082 to end Push Polls on Washington State ballots
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Category Archives: Initiatives
An initiative late last year was filed in Michigan on signature gathering on a ballot measure to join the National Popular Vote. So far 15 states and the District of Columbia with a total of 195 electoral votes have joined the National Popular Vote.
On November 3, 2020, Colorado became the first state in the country to approve the National Popular Vote at the ballot box. Other states that have the initiative process that haven’t yet signed on can follow Colorado’s example and do what Michigan is doing.
Michigan has 15 electoral college votes. When states with a total of 270 Electoral Votes join the National Popular Vote, the President and Vice President winners will be those with the largest popular vote across the country.
The National Popular Vote would mean every vote of citizens across the country will be equal and not dependent on which state you live in. One-person, one-vote is what other democratic nations around the world rely on. The US Electoral College is an outlier.
Washington state is one of the 15 states already signed on – a bill was passed in the Washington State Legislature in 2009 and was signed by Governor Gregoire.
“Advisory votes” are propaganda and can’t be used to “gauge public opinion”
DATE: Wedsnesday, November 3rd, firstname.lastname@example.org)TO: Washington State Reporters, Editors, and Producers FROM: Andrew Villeneuve, Executive Director, Northwest Progressive Institute
In the last fifteen hours, our team at the Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI) has seen several stories published or aired that incorrectly describe statewide “advisory votes” as a means of allowing voters to express a viewpoint on recently-enacted tax increases.
For example, a KING5 story contained this line: “Advisory Vote 37 is meant to gauge public opinion” while The Seattle Times characterized “advisory votes” as allowing “voters to sound off on tax bills passed by the Legislature.”
These characterizations are incorrect. “Advisory votes” are in reality propaganda conceived by Tim Eyman to undermine public confidence in the work of the people’s elected representatives. They aren’t meant to gauge anything, and they can’t be used to measure public opinion.
Because they are prejudicially worded, the responses are worthless. The “results” simply don’t tell us how voters truly feel about the state’s new capital gains tax on the wealthy or the other two bills the Legislature passed last session that happened to increase state revenue.
As any reputable pollster knows, asking a loaded question in public opinion research produces garbage data.
Here are three essential facts about “advisory votes” that should be included in any reporting about them:
#1: The format and wording of “advisory votes” is prejudicial and was devised by Tim Eyman
Real ballot measures (like initiatives) are represented on the ballot with titles written by the Attorney General’s office. The title is intended to be a synopsis of what the measure is and does; it is the official representation of the measure on the ballot.
However, unlike real ballot measures, “advisory votes” are not written by the Attorney General’s office. They follow a formula created by Tim Eyman which is spelled out in RCW 29A.72.283. Eyman’s formula, as mentioned, is loaded with prejudicial language:
- “The legislature imposed, without a vote of the people…” (It’s actually the Legislature’s job to make fiscal decisions on the people’s behalf.)
- “… costing $_____ (amount over ten years) … ” (Ten year cost estimates are deceptive and misleading; budgeting isn’t done in ten year increments. Any number sounds more impressive when you take it out over ten years.)
- “… for government spending.” (When the Legislature raises revenue, there’s always a reason or a purpose for its action; for example, the new state capital gains tax funds the Education Legacy Trust.)
Then there are two responses: “Repealed” and “Maintained”.
“Repealed” is shown first, because that’s the oval Eyman wants voters to fill in. “Maintained” (which is also weak, nonstandard verbiage) is shown second.
Ordinarily, “Yes” or “Approved” is shown first, and “No” or “Rejected” is shown second for a ballot measure. If you’ve covered politics for any length of time, then you’re familiar with this dichotomy. Since Eyman’s goal with “advisory votes” is to influence how people think instead of measuring public opinion, he flipped the standard dichotomy on its head, all to serve his agenda of using propaganda to generate even more propaganda for attacks on our elected representatives.
#2: Voters aren’t informed that regardless of which oval they fill in, nothing will change
Real ballot measures have binding outcomes. When an initiative passes, it results in a new law being created. When a referendum is rejected, it results in a law the Legislature previously passed being repealed. When a constitutional amendment or charter change passes, it means our plan of government is being altered.
“Advisory votes,” on the other hand, aren’t binding. 90% of voters could fill in the “Repealed” oval and no tax would be repealed.
The coverage of “advisory votes” that we’ve seen has responsibly stated that “advisory votes” are not binding.
But it’s important to go a step further when writing about “advisory votes” and explain that voters are not told that their collective responses will not change fiscal policy. There is no disclaimer anywhere. The only clue is in the heading: “Advisory Vote.”
Voters should not have to find out from news coverage that something they’re being asked to vote on isn’t going to have any impact, unlike with a real ballot measure.
#3: There is an active effort underway to repeal “advisory votes” and replace them with information that’s actually useful in the voter’s pamphlet
Legislation is currently pending in the Washington State Legislature that would not only permanently abolish “advisory votes,” but replace them with useful information about the Legislature’s recent fiscal decisions in the voter’s pamphlet. Passage of this legislation (Senate Bill 5182, prime sponsored by Senator Patty Kuderer) would remove a barrier to voting and get Tim Eyman’s anti-tax propaganda off our ballots while making the Legislature’s work more transparent.
Polling commissioned by NPI shows Washingtonians favor this legislation.
We have asked three times whether voters want to get rid of “advisory votes.” Since, as explained above, we can’t know what people really think if we ask a loaded question, we wrote a question that presents some of Tim Eyman’s arguments in favor of “advisory votes” followed by some of our arguments against them. The wording for Eyman’s arguments was sourced right out of his email missives… it’s wording he actually uses himself.
Each time we’ve asked, in three different statewide polls, we have found that a plurality of voters support repeal, while a smaller number are opposed and a significant percentage aren’t sure.
Here’s the text of our question:
QUESTION: The Washington State Legislature is considering legislation that would abolish the non-binding statewide advisory votes that are triggered whenever a bill is passed that increases state revenue. Proponents of advisory votes say they allow voters to vote on tax increases and transform the voter’s pamphlet into a tax increase report card, enabling voters to find out what Olympia is doing to them. Opponents say that advisory votes are actually costly push polls designed to confuse the public, which ought to be eliminated to save valuable tax dollars and prevent legitimate measures and candidate elections from being pushed to the back of the ballot. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose abolishing non-binding advisory votes?
The last time we asked, in October of 2020, we found 42% in support of abolishing advisory votes, 22% in favor of keeping them, and 35% not sure. Net support for repeal increased to 20% from 17% in 2019. Our October 2020 survey had a sample of 610 likely 2020 voters, was conducted between October 14th and 15th for NPI by Public Policy Polling using calls to landlines and text messaging, and has a margin of error of +/- 4.0%.
We know this particular survey had a truly representative sample because every single electoral result from this survey foreshadowed the subsequent statewide results several weeks later. See our retrospective on that here.
Additional information about “advisory votes”
- We maintain a page on Permanent Defense’s website which offers a graphical breakdown of Eyman’s push polls.
- You’ll also find a downloadable PDF there that explains why Eyman’s push polls should be repealed.
- And see this blog post that discusses this year’s crop of “advisory votes”.
About Permanent DefensePermanent Defense is a project of the Northwest Progressive Institute that protects Washington by building a first line of defense against threats to the common wealth and Constitution of the Evergreen State.
About NPINorthwest Progressive Institute is a regionally focused nonprofit working from Washington, Oregon, & Idaho to constructively transform our world through insightful research and imaginative advocacy. NPI was founded in 2003 and is based in Redmond, Washington.The
Help end Tim Eyman’s use of our ballots
to promote his business!
Why is Washington State allowing Tim Eyman to have access to our ballots to do anti tax push polls done under the guise of so called “tax advisory votes”?
These advisory votes are really free advertising, paid for by Washington State taxpayers, to express opposition against the Washington State Legislature raising revenue or repealing outdated tax exemptions. The ballot language was written by Tim Eyman, not Attorney General Bob Ferguson who writes all other ballot title language.
Its time to end this abuse of using our ballot and taxpayer money to subsidize the profit interests of an anti-tax initiative business run by Tim Eyman.
Senator Patty Kuderer has introduced legislation to end the use of Tax Advisory votes on our ballots. SB 6610 is in the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations, and Elections Committee. It is scheduled for a hearing this Wed, Feb 5 2020 at 8 AM in Olympia. It must be voted out of committee by Friday Feb 7, 2020to stay alive.
Can you please send an e-mail to the members of the committee expressing your support for this legislation? Urge they vote to pass it out of committee to get a floor vote by the State Senate. You can also make a quick call to their Legislative offices. The members of the Committee and their contact information is below. Thanks.
|Hunt, Sam (D)
|Kuderer, Patty (D)
|Zeiger, Hans (R)
|Muzzall, Ron (R)
Assistant Ranking Member
|Hasegawa, Bob (D)
|Hawkins, Brad (R)
|Takko, Dean (D)
Director – Tax Sanity
Testimony in support of SB 5224 – concerning advisory votes
Eliminating Eyman’s push poll tax advisory votes from the ballot
Washington State House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations
Steve Zemke – Tax Sanity March 11, 2019
The Washington State Ballot for the last ten years has been cluttered with nonbinding push poll questions on tax measures passed by the Legislature.
These so called “tax advisory” questions” were put there as part of Tim Eyman’s Initiative 960 as an attempt to increase public resentment to any “tax” measures despite their benefit to the larger public. The ballot title for each is basically written as an anti-tax push poll based on Eyman’s ballot title language in Initiative 960 that stipulated the polling question wording.
They carry no Legislative weight as they only record voters’ opinions. They are like a public opinion poll paid for by taxpayers. But Eyman tries to use them to build public opposition to funding public services by wording them such that voters will be inclined to respond negatively to any tax increase. Under Eyman’s definition of tax increases he also includes any efforts by the Legislature to repeal any tax exemptions or tax expenditures even if they are no longer needed or are no longer meeting the state priorities of government.
Deciphering Eyman’s ballot title language is very tricky and confusing to voters. They seem purposely written to try to get voters to vote to repeal any tax increase passed by the Legislature. And unlike initiatives, the write-up on these so-called tax advisory votes in the voter’s pamphlet contain no explanatory statement, no pro and con statements, and no fiscal impact statement.
In fact, the State Attorney General has no real ability to even try to fairly explain the issue in the ballot title since Eyman’s initiative 960 required that the ballot title be worded as he wrote it:
The legislature imposed, without a vote of the people, (identification of tax and description of increase), costing (most up-to-date ten-year cost projection, expressed in dollars and rounded to the nearest million) in its first ten years, for government spending. This tax increase should be:
Repealed . . .[ ]
Maintained . . .[ ]
Please end this waste of taxpayer dollars to promote Tim Eyman’s anti-tax propaganda and misuse of the public ballot to further his self-serving anti-tax initiative promotion business. Vote to move SB 5224 out of committee to Rules and to the House floor for passage by the full House. Push polls to promote a private business deserve no place on Washington State’s ballot.
Update Information SB 5224 was prime sponsored by Senator Patty Kudder and Senators Hunt, Takko, Keiser, Nguyen, Darneille, Das, Wellman, Saldana, McCoy, Hasegawa, and Pedersen. The bill has been heard in the House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations. Please contact your Representatives and urge they vote for this bill by clicking on this link SB 5224 and then clicking on “comment on this bill.” Thanks.
Dear Representative Javier Valdez,
Thanks for agreeing to look into this and push to update the current RCW’s to reflect the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision in 2013 that it is unconstitutional to require a 2/3 vote as needed for the Legislature to raise taxes. It is amazing that 5 years after the Washington State Supreme Court ruled, that the RCW’s have not been updated. Anyone looking at them to get guidance on Washington State law would assume that the 2/3 vote is still required to raise taxes. One has to wonder how many other Washington State laws have not been updated to reflect Washington State Supreme Court decisions.
I would urge Representative Pollet and Senator Frockt to join you in an effort to update our RCW’s to reflect current law and remove language that has been declared unconstitutional by our Washington State Supreme Court. I know they support this effort and Senator Frockt was instrumental in helping to get the Washington State Supreme Court decision but 5 years is a long time since the Supreme Court declared the 2/3 vote requirement as unconstitutional.
Here is what comes up when I searched for current RCW:
Tax legislation—Two-thirds approval—Referral to voters—Conditions and restrictions—Ballot title—Declarations of emergency—Taxes on intangible property—Expenditure limit to reflect program cost shifting or fund transfer.
(1)(a) Any action or combination of actions by the legislature that raises taxes may be taken only if approved by a two-thirds vote in both the house of representatives and the senate. Pursuant to the referendum power set forth in Article II, section 1(b) of the state Constitution, tax increases may be referred to the voters for their approval or rejection at an election.
(b) For the purposes of this chapter, “raises taxes” means any action or combination of actions by the state legislature that increases state tax revenue deposited in any fund, budget, or account, regardless of whether the revenues are deposited into the general fund.
(2)(a) If the legislative action under subsection (1) of this section will result in expenditures in excess of the state expenditure limit, then the action of the legislature may not take effect until approved by a vote of the people at a November general election. The state expenditure limit committee must adjust the state expenditure limit by the amount of additional revenue approved by the voters under this section. This adjustment may not exceed the amount of revenue generated by the legislative action during the first full fiscal year in which it is in effect. The state expenditure limit must be adjusted downward upon expiration or repeal of the legislative action.
(b) The ballot title for any vote of the people required under this section must be substantially as follows:
“Shall taxes be imposed on . . . . . . . in order to allow a spending increase above last year’s authorized spending adjusted for personal income growth?”
(3)(a) The state expenditure limit may be exceeded upon declaration of an emergency for a period not to exceed twenty-four months by a law approved by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature and signed by the governor. The law must set forth the nature of the emergency, which is limited to natural disasters that require immediate government action to alleviate human suffering and provide humanitarian assistance. The state expenditure limit may be exceeded for no more than twenty-four months following the declaration of the emergency and only for the purposes contained in the emergency declaration.
(b) Additional taxes required for an emergency under this section may be imposed only until thirty days following the next general election, unless an extension is approved at that general election. The additional taxes expire upon expiration of the declaration of emergency. The legislature may not impose additional taxes for emergency purposes under this subsection unless funds in the education construction fund have been exhausted.
(c) The state or any political subdivision of the state may not impose any tax on intangible property listed in RCW 84.36.070 as that statute exists on January 1, 1993.
(4) If the cost of any state program or function is shifted from the state general fund to another source of funding, or if moneys are transferred from the state general fund to another fund or account, the state expenditure limit committee, acting pursuant to RCW43.135.025(5), must lower the state expenditure limit to reflect the shift. For the purposes of this section, a transfer of money from the state general fund to another fund or account includes any state legislative action taken that has the effect of reducing revenues from a particular source, where such revenues would otherwise be deposited into the state general fund, while increasing the revenues from that particular source to another state or local government account. This subsection does not apply to: (a) The dedication or use of lottery revenues under RCW 67.70.240(1)(c), in support of education or education expenditures; (b) a transfer of moneys to, or an expenditure from, the budget stabilization account; or (c) a transfer of money to, or an expenditure from, the connecting Washington account established in RCW46.68.395.
(5) If the cost of any state program or function and the ongoing revenue necessary to fund the program or function are shifted to the state general fund on or after January 1, 2007, the state expenditure limit committee, acting pursuant to RCW 43.135.025(5), must increase the state expenditure limit to reflect the shift unless the shifted revenue had previously been shifted from the general fund.
[ 2015 3rd sp.s. c 44 § 421; 2013 c 1 § 2 (Initiative Measure No. 1185, approved November 6, 2012); 2011 c 1 § 2 (Initiative Measure No. 1053, approved November 2, 2010).]
Effective date—2015 3rd sp.s. c 44: See note following RCW 46.68.395.
Intent—2013 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1185): “This initiative should deter the governor and the legislature from sidestepping, suspending, or repealing any of Initiative 1053’s policies which voters approved by a huge margin in 2010. The people insist that tax increases receive either two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval and fee increases receive a simple majority vote. These important policies ensure that taxpayers will be protected and that taking more of the people’s money will always be an absolute last resort.” [2013 c 1 § 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1185, approved November 6, 2012).]
Construction—2013 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1185): “The provisions of this act are to be liberally construed to effectuate the intent, policies, and purposes of this act.” [2013 c 1 § 7 (Initiative Measure No. 1185, approved November 6, 2012).]
Short title—2013 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1185): “This act is known and may be cited as “Save The 2/3’s Vote For Tax Increases (Again) Act.”” [2013 c 1 § 9 (Initiative Measure No. 1185, approved November 6, 2012).]
Contingent effective date—2011 c 1 §§ 2 and 3 (Initiative Measure No. 1053): “Sections 2 and 3 of this act take effect if, during the 2010 legislative session, the legislature amends or repeals RCW 43.135.035.” [2011 c 1 § 9 (Initiative Measure No. 1053, approved November 2, 2010).]
Intent—2011 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1053): “This initiative should deter the governor and the legislature from sidestepping, suspending, or repealing any of Initiative 960’s policies in the 2010 legislative session. But regardless of legislative action taken during the 2010 legislative session concerning Initiative 960’s policies, the people intend, by the passage of this initiative, to require either two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval for tax increases and majority legislative approval for fee increases. These important policies ensure that taking more of the people’s money will always be an absolute last resort.” [2011 c 1 § 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1053, approved November 2, 2010).]
Construction—2011 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1053): “The provisions of this act are to be liberally construed to effectuate the intent, policies, and purposes of this act.” [2011 c 1 § 6 (Initiative Measure No. 1053, approved November 2, 2010).]
Short title—2011 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 1053): “This act shall be known and cited as Save The 2/3’s Vote For Tax Increases Act of 2010.” [2011 c 1 § 8 (Initiative Measure No. 1053, approved November 2, 2010).]
The Federal Elections Commission is clearly dysfunctional and not able to do its job. It is helping to foster public cynicism and disgust with the current political process. Comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats it is gridlocked in partisan politics and seems like a deer caught in the headlights – unable to move or respond. It’s decisions are repeated tie votes or no action.
One of the recent glaring examples is their continued non response to what are called “ghost corporations” funneling money into political campaigns and skirting public disclosure of donors and public accountability. The Washington Post in several recent articles has focused light on the issue arising out of the 2011 US Supreme Court corporate “Citizens United” decision which opened the floodgates on money in elections.
A March 11, 2016 Washington Post article entitled “How ‘ghost corporations’ are funding the 2016 election” by Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswany outlines the situation:
“The 2016 campaign has already seen the highest rate of corporate donations since the Supreme Court unleashed such spending with its 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision.
One out of every eight dollars collected by super PACs this election cycle have come from corporate coffers, including millions flowing from opaque and hard-to-trace entities, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal campaign finance filings.
So far, 680 companies have given at least $10,000 to a super PAC this cycle, together contributing nearly $68 million through Jan. 31, The Post found. Their donations made up 12 percent of the $549 million raised by such groups, which can accept unlimited donations.
The main problem is that many of these PAC donations are untraceable and allow donors to be anonymous while making multi-million dollar donations. The ghost corporations in question making the donations only list a corporate name and an agent, leaving the public with no idea who is trying to influence the election.
This is a reason why the US Supreme Court’s corporate Citizens United decision needs to be overturned. Sixteen states so far have urged Congress to amend the US Constitution to say that money is not free speech, corporations do not have the sames rights as people and all campaign money must be regulated and disclosed.
Washington State this November is voting on Initiative 735 to become the 17th state to urge Congress to amend the US Constitution to overturn the corporate Citizens United and othed decisions which have opened the anonymous floodgate of corporate and other dark money in elections.
In Washington State in 2015, two different initiative campaigns are gathering signatures for initiatives to the legislature in 2016. The two campaigns are Initiative 732 by Carbon Washington for a carbon tax and Initiative 735 by WAmend to amend the US Constitution to overturn the corporate “Citizens United” decision by the US Supreme Court. Both campaigns started in 2015 collecting signatures in April and May. The final deadline to file all signatures is December 31, 2015. This report details initial costs for getting signatures through Sept 30, 2015 and an update comparison as of Dec 1 for both campaigns. A final analysis will be done in Jan 2016. Continue reading
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
SEATTLE — WAmend, the sponsor of Initiative 735, announced today that supporters have now collected over 254,000 signatures to get on the 2016 ballot in Washington State. A minimum of 246,273 signatures are required by December 31st to file with the Secretary of State. WAmend is aiming to submit 320,000 signatures to cover duplicate and invalid signatures and assure success in qualifying. Continue reading
For immediate release:
For more information:
Gabe Meyer – Campaign Director
Steve Zemke – State Field Director
Campaign phone – 206-547-9961
Initiative 735 Passes 239,000 Signatures
Supporters of Initiative 735 in Washington State have now collected over 239,000 signatures on Initiative 735. A minimum of 246,273 valid signatures is required to file with the Secretary of State by December 31, 2015. WAmend (Washington Coalition to Amend the Constitution), the sponsor of Initiative 735, is targeting to get 320,000 signatures to cover duplicate and invalid signatures.
Initiative 735 to Amend the Constitution to Overturn the Corporate “Citizens United” Decision Builds Momentum
Supporters of Washington State Initiative 735 have now gathered over 179,000 signatures as of October 20, 2015. The minimum number of valid signatures needed to be filed with the Washington Secretary of State by December 31st, 2015 is 246,372.
The campaign target goal is to gather 320,000 signatures to cover duplicate and invalid signatures, including those who signed who are not registered voters. Two measures which made it onto the Nov 2015 ballot had invalid rates of 10% (I-1366) and 14% (I-1401). There have been other initiatives that have had as high as 20% which is why I-735 is targeting getting a minimum of 320,000 signatures.
The official ballot title and summary of I-735 as written by the Washington State Attorney General is below:
Initiative Measure No. 735 concerns a proposed amendment to the federal constitution.
This measure would urge the Washington state congressional delegation to propose a federal constitutional amendment that constitutional rights belong only to individuals, not corporations, and constitutionally-protected free speech excludes the spending of money.
Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Ballot Measure Summary
The measure would urge the Washington state congressional delegation to propose a federal constitutional amendment clarifying that constitutional rights belong only to individuals, not corporations; that spending money is not free speech under the First Amendment; that governments are fully empowered to regulate political contributions and expenditures to prevent undue influence; and that political contributions and expenditures must be promptly disclosed to the public. The measure would urge the legislature to ratify such an amendment.
Initiative 735 is an initiative to the Washington State Legislature. The Legislature according to the Secretary of State has 3 options:
“Initiatives to the Legislature, if certified, are submitted to the Legislature at its next regular session in January. Once submitted, the Legislature must take one of the following three actions:
- The Legislature can adopt the initiative as proposed, in which case it becomes law without a vote of the people;
- The Legislature can reject or refuse to act on the proposed initiative, in which case the initiative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election; or
- The Legislature can approve an alternative to the proposed initiative, in which case both the original proposal and the Legislature’s alternative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election.”
Supporters of I-735 expect that I-735 will not be passed by the Legislature but will go onto the November 2016 ballot. The states of Montana and Colorado have both had similar measures on the ballot which passed by 74% of the voters. Fourteen other states have passed measures by their Legislatures.
Washington is trying to be the 17th State to urge Congress to put a constitutional amendment back to the states to vote on that would overturn the corporate Citizens United decision. It takes a 2/3 vote of Congress and a 3/4 vote by the states to pass a US Constitutional amendment. It is not easy to pass a constitutional amendment but so far there have been 27 added to the Constitution.
You can read more about the campaign and volunteer to help get signatures or make a contribution to support I-735 by going to www.WAmend.org. The initiative is using volunteer signatures gatherers and needs more help. If you want to help overturn the corporate Citizens United decision this is how you can help.