General election ballots will be in the mail next week, and the Secretary of State predicts that a little more than 60% of the state’s 3.9 million registered voters will care enough to return their mail-in ballot.
For those that are paying attention, the Public Disclosure Commission will start making it easier to find out which big money players are trying to influence the election. Starting next Tuesday, campaigns and political committees will have to report all contributions of $1,000 or more – and political committees will be prohibited from contributing more than $5,000 to any single source. Additionally, the next report on campaign expenditures is also due Monday.
Over the next few days Shift will spend some time highlighting where special interests from out-of-state billionaires like Tom Steyer to national partisans like the League of Conservation Voters to unions like SEIU and the State Labor Council are placing their bets. We’ll start with the group appears to be coordinating the Democrat attack effort since there is no statewide partisan race leading the way.
Clearly, liberal progressives belatedly agree with 2012 gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna that Washington needs a New Direction, as that’s what they named the coordinated campaign committee formed in April by the Washington State Labor Council (DIME PAC), State Senate Democrats (Kennedy Fund) and the Federation of State Employees. The DC-based Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee also came on board in April, to ensure it could mobilize national donors for targeted Senate races.
Other advocacy organizations that chipped in the $5,000 seemingly required to be on the PAC’s steering committee include the State House Democrats (Truman Fund), SEIU State Council, SEIU Healthcare, FUSE, Planned Parenthood, Washington Conservation Voters, and a new group Win With Women (using money provided by its biggest donor, Nick Hanauer).
New Direction has cobbled together more than $115,000 to help coordinate Democrat attacks, so far spending the money on opposition research, voter identification and strategic planning.
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the three largest attack PACs formed to launder special interest money into the Democrats’ top three Senate incumbent targets – the Sensible Leadership for Whatcom PAC going after Sen. Doug Ericksen, 28th District Citizens for Real Democracy hitting Sen. Steve O’Ban and the Eastside Integrity PAC chasing Sen. Andy Hill.