Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Seattle Leads Way in Campaign Finance Reform

Voters in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday approved a first-in-the-nation "democracy voucher" in a ballot initiative that might inspire other cities to follow in the model of campaign finance reform. 

The innovative public campaign financing program has been reported to be an opportunity to give everyday voters more control over the city's elections while limiting the power of corporate and special interests.

Each voter will receive four $25 vouchers usable in Seattle campaigns for mayor, city council and city attorney with the money only being released to candidates that agree to follow I-122's rules, which include participating in three debates and accepting lower contribution and spending limits. 

The measure also prohibits elected officials and their high-level staff from lobbying the city government within three years of leaving office and enacts limits on campaign contributions from people or entities that have contracts with the city.