The possibility exists that two rival gun initiatives in Washington, diametrically opposed to the other, could both prevail in November and throw one heck of a monkey wrench into resolving the contentious issue of whether the state will impose background checks on all guns sales.
Initiative 594 would require background checks for all gun sales and transfers in Washington state, including at gun shows and for private sales. Under the measure, some exemptions would exist, including gifts within a family and antiques. Supporters have now raised more than $7.3 million.
Read More: here
Supporters of a referendum to put Seattle’s $15 minimum wage to a public vote have turned in what they are confident will be enough signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot.
Forward Seattle co-founder and Seattle small business owner Kathrina Tugadi tells KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz show they have gathered nearly 20,000 signatures, far more than the 16,500 signatures required to qualify the referendum.
Read more: here
It was a sunny day to drive out the darkness in politics.
That was part of the reason Carrie Potts sat at a table outside the Kalama Post Office on Tuesday. She was searching for signatures to help eventually roll back what she sees as the negative effects of unlimited and anonymous spending in elections.
As the Cowlitz County team leader for WAmend, Potts is the point person for the petition drive for Initiative 1329 — which seeks a place on the November ballot so Washington voters can decide if they want to advise the state’s Congressional delegation to get working on a Constitutional amendment drawing a line between human and corporate speech.
In seeking the precarious balance between the rights of citizens to petition the government and the right of the public to avoid a nuisance, the choice is clear: Petitioning the government is a sacred prerogative. There is a reason the First Amendment to the United States Constitution includes free speech; there is a reason the Washington Constitution guarantees citizens the right to legislate “independent of the Legislature.” The ability to petition the government must remain inviolate.
James Madison to Washington lawmakers: Please keep your mitts off the state’s petition process.
Some legislators are making yet another attempt to throttle the signature-gathering that lies at the core of Washingtonians’ right to mount initiatives and referendums. House Bill 2552, which cleared the House of Representatives last week, would entangle petitioners in a slew of new restrictions. The clear purpose is to make it harder for citizens to get a measure on the ballot.
Any effort to burden or complicate signature-gathering has constitutional implications. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and the right “to petition the government for redress of grievances.”
A bill making its way through the Washington Legislature would change the state law that landed a local light rail petition in court last year.
House Bill 2296, introduced by state Rep. Liz Pike, would allow duplicate signatures on a petition to be counted once, rather than thrown out entirely. The Camas Republican said last year’s ill-fated light rail petition in Vancouver largely inspired her bill, but it’s found support from elsewhere in the legislature.
The bill sailed through a House committee last week. It’s co-sponsored by four Democrats and five Republicans, among them Rep. Paul Harris and Brandon Vick, both of Vancouver.
“I think the merit goes beyond (Vancouver), as well,” Pike said.
Tim Eyman may wind up losing more from this month’s election than just an initiative.
The Mukilteo resident’s last ballot measure put him at deep odds with longtime allies in the business community, and it could take a while to regain their trust — and their all-important financial support.
Read More: here
Note: This post was written last month. Eyman’s measure lost in the November elections, winning just over 37 percent of the votes.
If you haven’t heard of Tim Eyman, you probably haven’t lived in Washington state. He’s a libertarian-minded activist and force of nature who is responsible for more initiatives than any one in that state’s history.
I know and like Tim personally, but disagree with him not only on policy issues but also on the initiative process. Still, there’s a lot of good in his current initiative, numbered 517 in Washington state, and people interested in governance reform in California should take a look at it.
Federal Way voters had just one local ballot proposition during the Nov. 5 general election.
Passing with nearly 76 percent of the vote, Proposition No. 1 will restrict the submission of all citizen initiative petitions to the general elections because the voter participation is historically higher at general elections, and to avoid the added expense of a special election.
Read more: here
Much to our disappointment, and that of the 381,688 Evergreen State citizens who voted for it, Initiative 517 was defeated in yesterday’s election. Unofficial returns show 40 percent in favor of the measure and 60 percent opposed.
Filed by Tim Eyman after the state supreme court ruled that cities using red light cameras were not subject to voter initiatives to block their use, I-517 would have guaranteed a vote on all qualified initiatives, provided protection from harassment and intimidation to petition signers and circulators, and given petition drives more time.
This year’s election doesn’t have a ton of high profile races, but those on the ballot in Washington state and some cities could have a big impact, both locally and nationally.
I-522 would require the labeling of certain foods and seeds containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
Opponents have broken the record for the most money raised by an initiative campaign. “No on 522” raised over $21 million to defeat the measure, much of that coming from food companies like Coca-Cola, General Mills and Nestle USA, as well as biochemical companies like Monsanto.
Read More: here
The National Taxpayers Union released their “2013 General Election Ballot Guide: A Taxpayer’s Perspective” this week. The guide features a state-by-state run-down of “measures, propositions, initiatives, referenda, proposals, and amendments … listed by state with subheadings for statewide, countywide, and local issues.”
One noteworthy endorsement is of Washington state’s Initiative 517, or the “Protect the Initiative Act.” NTU gives I-517 a positive rating for its provisions which bolster the initiative process.
Now, finally, a story in the Seattle Times reports the latest Elway Poll results for Initiative 517. Unlike the 40 point closing from YES to NO on I-522, I-517 showed only a nine-point tightening from last month’s results. The Elway Poll was conducted Oct. 13-15, before any TV or radio advertising by the NO side, and found 52 percent support against only 25 percent opposition, and 23 percent undecided.
But the Seattle Times story spun the Elway Poll by combining it with a Moore Information survey, conducted Oct. 23-25, reporting that, “Two recent polls indicate Tim Eyman’s initiative on initiatives, I-517, is losing ground.”
With just over a week to go before the November 5th general election, Washington’s Initiative 517, which concerns the initiative and referendum process in the state, is opposed by a narrow margin. After hearing the ballot question, 33% of voters plan to or have already voted “yes,” while 40% plan to or have voted “no.” The remaining 27% are undecided or wouldn’t reveal their vote.
Importantly, intensity is stronger on the “no” side – among those who have yet to cast their ballots, 21% say they are a “definite” no vote, while only 11% are a definite “yes” vote.
Read more: here