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The Washam recall campaign, a la George Will

Post by Cheryl Tucker on Sep. 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm with No Comments »
September 21, 2011 3:42 pm

Be sure to read George Will’s column Thursday (it will post here online after midnight). As noted in the Political Buzz blog, Will is writing about how Washington state’s campaign finance laws make it almost impossible for recall campaigns to meet the high bar required to get on the ballot. And he uses the campaign to recall Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam to make his point.

As Will notes, the recall campaign mounted by Robin Farris was hamstrung by absurd restrictions on campaign donations. Fighting them took valuable time away from signature-gathering efforts, which ultimately fell just short. We editorialized along the same lines in June (click here).

The only quibble I have with Will’s column is that he seems to lump Washam in with the “political class” that the state’s recall restrictions are designed to protect. Not being from around here, Will doesn’t recognize that Washam is that class’ quintessential outsider – for better or worse. Other than that, Will makes good points about how state law erects roadblocks for the average citizen trying to recall a problem official.


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