A big thanks to The Associated Press and The Olympian for providing much needed information to readers about the types of groups that are spending money in our elections. A March 13 article made it evident to me that if someone with money to spend wants to influence elections without disclosing their information, they have too many options.
What is the point of disclosure laws is if some organizations and individuals are exempt from them?
We clearly need to reform our campaign finance laws to ensure that disclosure is required across the board, regardless of 501C4 status.
Similarly, there is an unspoken consensus that super-PACs don’t adhere to non-coordination requirements. The head of the FEC herself noted that they have given up completely on enforcing campaign finance regulations this election because the FEC simply lacks the tools and political clout.
We cannot allow this system to continue. It disenfranchises voters and promotes disillusionment with our political system. There are great opportunities for reform before us: The Fair Elections Now Act and the Government by the People Act must both be passed to sever the reliance of our representatives on big money and move towards publicly funded elections.
Here in Washington, a new Government and Accountability Act can build on the success of local efforts like Honest Elections Seattle in encouraging voter participation. It’s time to organize for change!