Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Report on Public Campaign Financing Town Meeting

Posted by Warren Peterson on May 25, 2008

To no one’s surprise, the Town Meeting sponsored by King County Council Member Bob Ferguson was well attended by supporters of his proposal to use tax dollars to pay the campaign expenses of people running for King County Council. Notices of the meeting were probably mailed to anyone on Ferguson’s list comprised of his political supporters and anyone who has ever contacted him or his office. One attendee estimated that about 10 to 15 of the approximately 130 people at the meeting opposed the proposal. He said there was “joyful hooting and hollering” when any audience member testified in favor but stony silence or derision from “the Party of Tolerance” (Democrats) when the 4 people brave enough to speak rose in opposition. Ferguson and company admit they don’t know how to pay for public campaign financing but we all know who will pay if this scheme ever gets implemented. Watch for another tenth of a percent in sales tax, new taxes on you name it or increases in some existing fees. A letter or phone call to all the members of the King County Council would be a great way to let them know you think there are better uses of your tax dollars.

Contact your County Council Member:

Bob Ferguson (D)
District 1

Larry Gossett (D)
District 2

Kathy Lambert (R)
District 3

Larry Phillips (D)
District 4

Julia Patterson (D)
Council Chair, District 5

Jane Hague (R)
District 6

Pete von Reichbauer (R)
District 7

Dow Constantine (D)
Council Vice Chair, District 8

Reagan Dunn (R)
Council Vice Chair, District 9

Public Financing of Campaigns


One Response to “Report on Public Campaign Financing Town Meeting”

  1. Dan Thwing said

    A public cost “guess” is about $4 per resident per year to finance this proposal. However, all of the proponents admit that there is no current plan to fund it, nor do they really know how much to budget for it. They desperately want it open-ended. Here’s why.
    There is a feature that will match the funding of a candidate that opts out. An example is in Arizona where one candidate featured a Presidential visit and raised $750k. The two Democrat challengers (using the PCF program) were each given $750k for their campaigns. This is the way to ruination of the idea that public funding for candidates will result in cheaper campaigns. Over time, they definitely will increase the money collected from the taxpayers.
    This also takes away any choice the taxpayer has of choosing which candidate to support or not. Fund-raising has always been a showing of support for a particular candidate. Some people prefer to stay out of politics because they don’t agree with any candidate. What choice would they have to say, “No”?

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