- City of Seattle
- Tim Burgess says his big priorities this year are funding for a city pre-K program and transit, and he worries about voter "tax fatigue."
Today, Tim Burgess responded to that coverage on his council blog. It starts like this:
There has been news coverage recently about how as City Council President I won’t introduce legislation that would send a measure to establish public financing of political campaigns back again to the voters in November.* The Stranger has a story about this in this week’s edition.
Public financing of campaigns is a good idea. Seattle established a system for partial public financing of campaigns in 1978. I helped oversee the later years of that program as a commissioner on the City’s Ethics and Elections Commission. In 1992 a statewide initiative put an end to this practice, but in 2008 the State Legislature allowed local jurisdictions to establish programs through a public vote.
Last year I voted to let Seattle decide if they wanted public campaign financing. The proposed system would have incentivized candidates to reach out to a wider segment of the population by providing matching public funds to small campaign donations; a property tax provided the funds. The voters said “no” by a narrow margin.