King County voters said no to higher car tab fees and sales tax to fund King County Metro’s spend crazy habits on April 22, defeating Proposition 1 by a wide margin. Campaign finance filings for the “YES” and “NO” campaigns are now available to the public.
Washington Policy Center’s Paul Guppy wraps-up the facts with one major finding: “many of the major donors to the pro Proposition 1 campaign, especially unions, would have directly profited from its increases in public spending.” Perhaps the most obvious would-be benefactor is the Amalgamated Transit Union (the Metro bus drivers’ union).
Financial reports reveal that that the union was the third largest donor to the pro-Prop 1 campaign. If Prop 1 passed, the union would have stood to gain a large pay-increase contract—even more money than the pay hike contract offered by Metro officials in December 2013, but rejected by the union as not high enough. The added tax revenue from Prop 1—an estimated $130 million more per year—would have “allowed County officials, in renewed contract talks, to give executives at the Amalgamated Transit Union all or nearly all of the increased money they are seeking.”
Other interesting findings? The WPC,
“The most striking finding of the disclosure reports is that the pro campaign massively outspent the anti campaign. The anti campaign spent $12,487. The pro campaign spent $687,785, outspending their opponents by a margin of 55 to one…
“In the case of Proposition 1, public money was deducted from worker paychecks and given to a political campaign to support passage of a ballot measure to increase regressive taxes. Money from the new taxes would have gone to fund a bus drivers’ contract that would have increased Metro’s public payroll. Amalgamated Transit Union dues are deducted from the same payroll. Passage of Proposition 1 would have increased the amount of public money, through mandatory dues, transferred each month to the bank accounts of the Amalgamated Transit Union…”