Gov. Chris Gregoire and Republican runner-up Dino Rossi will be able to hit up each person for a maximum of $3,000 in campaign contributions when they run for governor again next year.
(I know. I know. Neither one of them has officially announced she-he is running. But they’re both out there all over the state NOT running.)
The state Public Disclosure Commission on Friday started the process to revise campaign contribution limits, something the commission does every two years.
Candidates for statewide office will be able to accept $1,500 per person, per election, up from the current limit of $1,400. That’s $1,500 for the August primary and another $1,500 for the November general election, so the total will be $3,000 if each one gets past the nominating primary. (And I suspect they will.)
For legislators, the limit will be $800 from each individual contributor, up from $700, or a total of $1,600 for a full meal deal election through November.
Contributions from state parties and legislative political caucuses to candidates also will rise, from 70 cents per registered voter in the district, to 80 cents per registered voter next year.
That’s no small chunk of change. For instance, based on the 70-cent formula, the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee was able to give $34,000 to state Sen. Derek Kilmer’s campaign in 2006.
Totals for party and political committee donations will be based on how many registered voters there are in each district after this November general election. So, both parties have still another reason to hope for a big turnout, or at least a healthy voter registration drive.
The commission will hold a public hearing on changes to the campaign contribution limits at its Dec. 6 meeting. The new limits would take effect in January.