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Published: Monday, February 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Legislature


Support bills for campaign change

Based on polls showing that two-thirds of Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike support controls on money spent to influence elections, the 2013 Washington Legislature has a golden opportunity to demonstrate bipartisan action. Over the past 100 years, political expenditure limits were enacted by Congress and the states to eliminate corruption and appearance of corruption that inevitably result from large contributions. But in 2010 the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision allowed unlimited expenditures outside the official campaigns. Now every politician is threatened by unlimited retaliation from displeased and often very well financed special interests. The threat to democracy is obvious.
Companion bills introduced in the Senate (SJM 8002) and House (HJM 4001) call for a Constitutional amendment that would re-authorize the Congress and the states to regulate all money spent with clear intent to influence elections. Eleven states have already called for this.
Lobbyists funded by special interests will oppose these bills. Committee hearings are imminent. Please call your state legislators right now at 1-800-562-6000 and express your support for SJM 8002 and HJM 4001. You can also leave written comments for automatic distribution to your legislators at www.washclean.org.
Ken Dammand
Tulalip
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.