Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Applause for rulings against I-912 campaign

In tomorrow's editorial pages, the Seattle P-I applauds the decisions by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham, who dealt the campaign a double blow in two simultaneous rulings:
In two rulings Friday, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christopher Wickham handed gas-tax opponents three sharp and well-deserved defeats.

He refused to bar the sale of transportation project bonds underwritten by the 3-cent gas tax increase, which went into effect Friday. Wickham also insisted that the Initiative 912 campaign was not above state public disclosure laws requiring that contributors be clearly identified.
As to the tired argument that Wilbur and Carlson are just pontificating on issues and recommending action, the P-I wrote:
...It is different when the on-air hosts are directly campaigning on their programs. They're acting as political activists, not journalists. This is not new. Wilbur co-chaired the ill-fated 2000 state Republican Party Convention. Carlson lost his KVI job in 1998 for flogging his own initiative campaign on the air. They've been active in the creation and promotion of the I-912 campaign.
Under their philosophy, how active do these guys have to be before they have to report their assistance as an in-kind contribution?

Judge Wickham's rulings were not over the top. They were fair and squarely based in the law.

Michael Hood of blatherWatch has his own applause:
We were heartened by last Friday's Thurston County Superior court rulings against the talk radio generated anti-road repair initiative, I-912.

...If Carlson and Wilbur had left their months of wall-to-wall daily infomercials to only "opinions on the issues," there'd be no problem. It's the organizing, strategizing, and being an on-air logistical clearing house that we always thought goes against campaign disclosure rules. We're glad the law agrees.

(I-912's consultant, Brett Bader says they're considering an appeal--if this is such a slam-dunk breech of First Amendment rights, they'll have no problem prevailing. We have a feeling, however, we won''t be hearing about this again, because this claim is cynical and bogus and made by operatives for whom the First Amendment isn't so much of a right as it is a useful political tool to be used or trod upon as needed).
We agree. The I-912 campaign has been propelled by KVI and its two big hosts, Carlson and Wilbur. They're the main forces behind it. Trying to duck out of having to follow the public disclosure law didn't work out for them - and we're very glad it didn't.

More Information on fighting I-912: Washington Defense

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