Election 2018: It’s time to follow the money

See data below article

The 2018 general election will be held Tuesday, November 6 and for a mid-term election, interest is running at a fevered pitch. Anti- and pro-Trump fervor is driving interest down the ballot and even local elections are getting people excited.

This being America, there’s big money in the election process. At right are graphs showing contributions and expenditures for the three District 42 state legislative races that are  on local voters ballots: senator and representative.

Each week, candidates are required to file contribution and expenditure reports with the Washington state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).

According to the PDC, “The origin of Washington’s disclosure law can be traced to the efforts of concerned citizens who came together in 1970 believing that the public had the right to know about the financing of political activity
in this state.

In 1971, following an unsuccessful attempt to generate legislative action and with minimal success in 1972, those concerned citizens who now call themselves the Coalition for Open Government (COG), turned to the people. In order to place Initiative 276 on the November 1972 ballot, COG gathered nearly 163,000 signatures in record-breaking time.

Seventy-two percent of voters approved I-276 and the law took effect January 1, 1973. In 1992, over 72 percent of reform-minded voters enacted contribution limits and other campaign restrictions with the approval of Initiative 134.”

It is important to note that the figures shown are current as of September 25 and include both contributions and expenditures in the primary and general election campaigns. In the case of incumbents, the figures can also include surplus funds from earlier elections for the same position. For example, the top contribution listed for Luanne Van Werven is a surplus fund account total of $40,000.

Reports available on the PDC website include contributions, expenditures, lobbyist activities and much more. For more information regarding these issues, go to pdc.wa.gov.

To learn about contribution limits, go topdc.wa.gov/learn/contribution-limits


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