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INITIATIVES: We need to guard against paid, out-of-state signature gatherers

Letter by Mica Powers, Seattle on Feb. 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm | 10 Comments »
February 18, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: “Initiative reform: First, show us the problem” (editorial, 2-17).
I solidly support Rep. Chris Reykdal’s legislation on ballot measure reform and believe it protects the initiative process.
As the editorial mentioned, most ballot measures qualify these days due to paid signature gatherers. We rarely see a true grass-roots effort. Last year, we saw almost total corporate domination. Wal-Mart, Costco, British Petroleum and other large corporations were the major funders behind the initiatives. We also saw hordes of out-of-state paid signature gatherers. You have to question what happened to our citizen initiative process.
Reykdal is simply trying to protect our initiative process from the abuse other states have seen. We’ve largely been insulated, but fraud, forgery and ID theft are prevalent in other states.  
Now that corporations know they can smack down a few million (or, in the case of the American Beverage Association, $16 million) to buy laws that benefit them, we’ll probably be seeing a lot more out-of-state paid signature gatherers.
Tim Eyman wants you to think it’s about him. He loves the spotlight and wants a pity party, but this isn’t about him. Reykdal is just trying to ensure that out-of-state signature gatherers don’t bring their unscrupulous practices here.        
This is great foresight.

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