Letters to the Editor

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PDC: State needs even more disclosure

Letter by Bill F. Nerin, Gig Harbor on Aug. 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm with 4 Comments »
August 29, 2011 2:37 pm

Re: “Citizens should update, fund Public Disclosure Commission” (Peter Callaghan column, 8-28).

Thanks to Callaghan for his insightful accounting of the Public Disclosure Commission’s beginnings, purpose and present needs.

Having come to Washington in 1990, I knew little of this agency. But as I began to see more clearly how money so powerfully controls our political process, I became painfully aware of how powerless I am as an individual voter donating at most $100 to a candidate’s campaign.

I have written letters to both federal and state elected officials. Sometimes I get no response, and other times I get a general programmed letter that never answers directly the questions I ask. I bet if I were a huge donor or ranking official of Boeing, Microsoft or a labor union, I would get a very personal letter or perhaps even a phone call. No wonder the average citizen feels impotent and is cynical of our electoral system!.

I consider Callaghan’s suggested enhancement of our PDC a No. 1 political reform that we need ASAP. I would further suggest that in the voters pamphlet in each candidate or initiative section there would be a website address that would take us directly to a page on the PDC website that tells us who are the largest donors to that campaign. Then at least I could see who has the greatest inroad to the candidate’s ear or impact on an initiative’s passage or defeat.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. mattersnot1 says:

    Mr. Nerin,
    All the information you’re requesting is currently available on the PDC web site.

  2. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    The PDC is a bunch of democrats that give democrats a free pass and go after the GOP for not dotting an I or crossing a T.

    Look at their rate of issuing warnings and you will see how D’s get a pass.

  3. “Taxedenoughintacoma” seems to have very selective memory.

    The most recent high-profile case investigated by the PDC involved the “Moxie Media Scandal” – where a Democratic campaign consultant was caught running a shadow campaign to help a liberal democratic candidate beat a more conservative incumbent democratic candidate in the 2010 primary.

    The PDC uncovered wrongdoing – lax and late reporting of campaign contributions and expenditures – so egregious that they forwarded the evidence they uncovered to the Attorney General’s office for prosecution – hardly the work of “bunch of democrats that give democrats a free pass.”

    Each side of the political spectrum complains that the PDC favors the other – a pretty good sign that the PDC is doing as good a job they can with their limited resources. We wish that they were better funded – through an independent source outside the control of the Legislature – so that they could be an even more effective watchdog on behalf of the electorate and citizens of our state.

    Steve Breaux
    Washington Public Interest Research Group

  4. TSkidmore says:

    Having had a one time experience with a PDC hearing and been an activist in several campaigns as well as campaign treasurer I can affirm the PDC (created with the best of intentions) is a farce. It is job for bureaucrats who pick out the little guy who is running for office who has “violated” some pointless stupid rule (that the bureaucrats has invented) while ignoring millions of corrupt corporate money flowing into the a broken election system. Like most of what laughingly passes as “democracy” in this country it is a joke. It is an attempt at making an illegitimate system appear legitimate….

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