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Supporters of Fair Elections Bill Make Their Case in WA

July 9, 2010

SEATTLE - Washington is one of a handful of states being targeted by a new campaign to get big money out of national politics. You might have already seen one of the TV commercials on cable that features images scrolling on an iPad in support of the Fair Elections Now Act in Congress.

Celinda Lake, Democratic pollster with Lake Research Partners, asked voters if they would support such a measure that encourages candidates to raise money from small donors in their states rather than from large special-interest and corporate donors.

"Every single demographic group had almost two-thirds support for this measure, whether you're talking age, whether you're talking about every region of the country, including more conservative regions."

She says they found majority support among Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

Some opponents of the bill say it would likely end up using taxpayer money to support far-left or far-right candidates with ideologies that could be offensive to some. But, Republican pollster Mark McKinnon says that, even after hearing that objection, a majority of Republicans still support the measure.

"Nothing strikes hotter in the values category for Republicans than the idea of accountability, and that's really what this proposal is all about."

Under the bill, candidates would be able to run campaigns for office on a blend of Fair Elections Funds and small dollar donations. Three members of the Washington delegation - Senator Cantwell and Representatives McDermott and Smith, all Democrats - are among the 157 co-sponsors in the U.S. House and 21 in the Senate.

The ad also is running in Colorado and parts of Florida, expanding this weekend to other markets, including Washington, D.C. It can be viewed online at www.fairelectionsnow.org/behinditall.



Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA