Initiatives were meant to counter powerful interests. Now powerful fund ’em. Check it out.

The Washington Public Disclosure Commission reports that state initiative efforts have drawn over $20 million in contributions.  This includes the $10 million raised by Stop the Food & Beverage Tax Hikes, promoters of Initiative 1107, which would roll back recently adopted taxes on pop, bottled water and candy.  Most of the money and in-kind contributions came from the American Beverage Association.

The commission said Washington Citizens for Liquor Reform, backers of I-1105, brought in $2 million from only two sources [Young’s Market Co. LLC and Odom Southern Holdings LLC].  This is one of two liquor privatization initiatives.

A rival proposal, I-1100 by Modernize Washington, brought in $1.2 million, mostly from Costco.

Washingtonians for Education, Health & Tax Relief, supporting I-1098, raised $1.9 million. The measure would create a high-wage earner state income tax and trim the state property tax and the tax on smaller businesses.

Save Our Jobs Washington, supporting I-1082 to allow private insurance companies to offer workers’ compensation policies, brought in over $1 million.

The PDC said proponents are outpacing opponents by more than 6:1.

In November, Washington voters will decide six citizen initiatives and three measures placed on the ballot by the Legislature.

The above blog post originally was published at From Our Corner

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BELOW IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE PUBLIC DISCLOSURE COMMISSION PROVIDING DETAILS (we’ve added boldface for emphasis and clarity):

$20 MILLION POURS INTO INITIATIVE CAMPAIGNS

Olympia ‐‐ The 2010 statewide initiative campaigns have collectively raised in excess of $20 Million. Supporters of the initiatives have outraised their opponents more than 6:1. The chart below summarizes how much each committee has raised:

Name Ballot # F/A Contributions

VOTERS WANT MORE CHOICES ‐ SAVE THE 2/3RDS VOTE FOR TAX INCREASES I‐1053 F $701,995.32

CIT FOR RESPONSIBLE SPENDING I‐1053 F $333,700.00

SAVE OUR JOBS WA I‐1082 F $1,002,657.52

STOP INSURANCE INDUSTRY TAKEOVER I‐1082 A $703,535.70

NO ON I‐1082 COMM I‐1082 A $660,176.05

WASHINGTONIANS FOR EDUCATION HEALTH & TAX RELIEF I‐1098 F $1,938,771.26

PROTECT WA I‐1098 F $0.00

DEFEAT 1098 I‐1098 A $942,439.00

WASHINGTONIANS AGAINST INCOME TAX 1098 I‐1098 A $5,500.00

NO ON 1098 I‐1098 A $0.00

MODERNIZE WA I‐1100 F $1,223,035.75

PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES I‐1100 A $226,340.47

WA CIT FOR LIQUOR REFORM I‐1105 F $2,244,000.00

NO ON I‐1105 I‐1105 A $0.00

STOP THE FOOD & BEVERAGE TAX HIKES I‐1107 F $10,238,763.61

CIT TO PROTECT OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE I‐1107 A $267,885.57

TOTAL $20,448,800.25

Stop the Food & Beverage Tax Hikes, promoter of I‐1107, leads the pack with contributions totaling $10,238,737. Most of the committee’s cash and in‐kind contributions have come from the American Beverage Association.

Just topping $2 Million in contributions is Washington Citizens for Liquor Form, supporters of I‐1105. The committee has only two contributors, Young’s Market Co. LLC and Odom Southern Holdings LLC, who have each contributed over $1 Million.

Washingtonians for Education, Health & Tax Relief has raised $1.9 Million in support of I‐1098. The biggest contributor is the Service Employees International Union who, through its national and state bodies and locals, has collectively given nearly $658,000 in cash and in‐kind contributions.

Modernize Washington, the proponent of I‐1100, has raised $1.2 Million, with $1,197,133 coming from Costco.

Save Our Jobs Washington is the Building Industry Association’s committee supporting I‐1082 and the only other committee to raise more than $1 Million.

These and other campaign contribution and expenditure details can be found by searching the Public Disclosure Commission’s website at www.pdc.wa.gov. Campaigns report contributions each week on Mondays.

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Citizen initiatives were meant to counter powerful interests. Now powerful fund ’em.

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