Have you ever wanted to check to see who is giving money to a
particular candidate or ballot initiative?
It’s not difficult with modern technology. You can go to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission website, www.pdc.wa.gov, click on Search the Database and from there go to “Candidates,” “Statewide Ballot Initiatives” or other categories you will see.
You can discover that Bremerton Mayor candidate Will Maupin has raised $53,320, while his opponent, former Kitsap County Commissioner Patty Lent, has raised $46,795.
Their biggest contributors? Maupin got contributions of $1,000 each from Hampton Inn & Suites, McCormick Land Company and the Kitsap County Association of Realtors.
Lent got a $1,000 contribution from Rod Parr, owner of Parr Ford Mazda, two contributions of $500 each from dentist Gregory Wilde and $500 from developer David Overton.
More interesting, perhaps, are the reports for the pro and con campaigns on Initiative 1033. This is Tim Eyman’s latest proposal, aimed at limiting revenue increases for state, city and county governments to the rate of inflation and population growth. Opponents say it does not take into account the way costs for higher education, health care and other government services often rise faster than the rate of inflation.
I-1033 has drawn a range of opponents who have raised $2.65 million to help defeat it.
According to the Seattle Times, “A broad coalition, including the Service Employees International Union, the Washington State Hospital Association and the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, opposes the measure.”
Going to the PDC reports, you can see that the National Education Association, the SEIU and Bill Gates Sr. have all donated more than $100,000 to try to defeat the initiative.
On the other side, though — the pro-I-1033 side — there is just one donation of more than $100,000. That comes from Michael Dunmire of Woodinville, a retired investment banker who has bankrolled previous Eyman initiatives.
The pro-I-1033 committee, called Voters Want More Choices Lower Property Taxes, has raised $670,189, including $399,000 in cash contributions and $250,000 in loans. It has already spent $625,764, mostly to the group Citizen Solution for paid signature gathering.
The League of Women Voters has joined with AARP, the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Cascade Bicycle Club, Group Health Cooperative and many other groups in opposing I-1033.
The Kitsap League will hold a ballot issues forum next week, Oct. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Eagles Nest, near the county fairgrounds. Come and see what speakers pro and con have to say about the initiatives.
And matter what side you’re on, it’s always worthwhile to see who is financing the campaign.