Op-Ed: Democratic and Republican Party Leaders call for reform

Sunday, November 26, 2017

King County Democrats Chair Bailey Stober and King County Republican Party Chair Lori Sotelo issue a joint call for reform of Washington's public disclosure laws.

The voters created the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) and many of our current campaign finance rules by initiative in 1972 with the purpose of increasing transparency in the financing of political campaigns in Washington State.

Recently, weaknesses in outdated public disclosure laws have been exploited by a few individuals who have filed hundreds of mostly inconsequential public disclosure complaints with the PDC and Attorney General’s Office. This was not the intent of the people when they created the PDC.

“Public disclosure law was enacted through voter approval of Initiative 276 over four decades ago by Washington State residents who believed they had the right to know who was funding campaigns. We both couldn’t agree more. 
"What we don’t agree with is the individuals and organizations using hard working public servants and our state agencies to level political shots at one another. The hundreds of public disclosure complaints have cost taxpayers a magnitude of money that could be spent elsewhere, such as updating services and technology used in compliance with disclosure laws.  
"Additionally, the frivolous complaints are costing both political parties time, money and resources that could be better spent on engaging, educating and advocating for our voters across King County. We are calling on lawmakers and state officials to come to the table to figure out solutions for the good of Washington State.”

Both Stober and Sotelo have committed to working together and with state legislative leaders to ensure common sense reforms are made during this legislative session.


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