In case you haven’t opened your mailbox this week, next Tuesday is election day. Ballot drop boxes close at 8 pm sharp Tuesday. Mailing your ballot is free, but it must be post-marked by Tuesday, so mail it by the day before, take it to a post office Tuesday before they close, find the nearest drop box, or go to one of the accessible voting sites (including at the King County Administration Building), such as the King County Administration Building, and be prepared to stand in queue for awhile. If you lost your ballot, there is a replacement process, but going to an accessible voting site is also an obvious solution.
The latest figures from the Public Disclosure Commission show that the No on 1631 campaign has broken the record for most money raised for a political campaign in the State of Washington, having raised $31.3 million, nearly all of it from oil companies headquartered in other states.
Until this year, the most money ever spent for or against a ballot measure or candidate in Washington State was the No side on Initiative 522 in 2013 (which would have required the labelling of genetically-modified foods), which raised $26.7 million. This year’s Yes on I-1634 campaign (“Yes! to Affordable Groceries”) is third all-time, having raised over $20.2 million.
The most expensive candidate campaign was Patty Murray’s re-election effort in 2010, hauling in $17.1 million. That campaign now ranks fifth in all-time fundraising behind the three initiative campaigns mentioned above and the $20.1 million spent by 2011’s Yes on 1183 (allowing private liquor sales in the state) campaign.
The next most-expensive candidate effort was Rob McKenna’s $13.8 million unsuccessful bid for governor in 2012, but that comes behind several more initiative campaigns in the rankings, including the Yes on 1631 campaign, which has raised $15.4 million, putting it fifth among initiative campaigns, and sixth among all races.
With the opposition basically reduced to oil companies and those opposed to taxing carbon pollution (which even the Times spent lots of paragraphs to eventually admit is its real qualm), the Yes side digging as financially deep as it can muster, and the 41%-59% drubbing I-732 got, it seems unlikely anyone is going to try a carbon tax initiative again if this one fails. The Legislature has had many more opportunities, and gotten nowhere.