Two citizen initiative campaign submitted boxloads of petitions by the Friday deadline, and both appear to have an excellent shot at making the statewide ballot this fall. Tim Eyman turned in what he estimated at at least 334,000 signatures for Initiative 1366. That measure would direct the Legislature to place a constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot for ratification — or face a 1-cent reduction in the state’s 6.5-cent sales tax. The other measure, Initiative 1401, is backed by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. It would expand state authority over combatting trafficking of endangered species and their parts.
The Initiative 1401 Campaign held a press conference at the Seattle Aquarium on Wednesday to announce that they are turning in 348,627 signatures to the state Elections Office. That’s 100,000 more than they needed to qualify for the ballot. The initiative aims to strengthen Washington’s penalties for selling or buying products made from endangered animals.
In response to actions all too typical of government employee unions that suddenly discover they no longer hold a monopoly on their members’ loyalty, Teamsters Local 117 is being sued by five Washington state prison guards who allege the organization didn’t respect their desire not to associate with it.
Coalition campaigns – which often include websites with fact sheets, legislative updates and live streams of relevant Tweets and other social media – also serve as a one-stop shop to communicate with the masses, an increasingly important component of the advocacy business as the influence industry continues to move away from shoe-leather lobbying to incorporate public affairs and digital media.
What Initiative 122 would do has never been tried before. Registered voters would get four vouchers, each worth $25. They would be able to give that money directly to their candidate or candidates of choice. To be able to collect these checks, candidates would have to commit to capping their campaign spending. The initiative’s supporters have handed in more than 30,000 signatures and are confident it will be on the November ballot.
A May 10 Gallup survey shows that the share of Americans calling themselves social liberals has risen to 31% from 25% in 2009, while the share of self-described social conservatives has fallen to 31% from 42%. It is the first time social conservatives have not outnumbered social liberals since Gallup began asking the question in 1999. And under President Barack Obama, the country has become somewhat more supportive of bigger government.
The effort, which is being led by a lawyer whose clients include Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, reflects an urgent practical need, Democrats say: to get litigation underway early enough so federal judges can be persuaded to intervene in states where Republicans control legislatures and governor’s offices. But Republicans dismiss it as little more than a publicity gambit to energize minority voters.