Letters to the Editor

Limiting campaign contributions | Federal Way letters

On Nov. 17, I took a trip to City Hall to encourage the Federal Way City Council to have a conversation about placing a cap on campaign contributions because Federal Way currently does not have such an ordinance. On Dec. 9, I submitted a letter to the editor to share that conversation with you.

I briefly discussed how Seattle, Kirkland and King County all have in place campaign contribution limits. Seattle has a $1,400 donation limit per donor for the election year. Kirkland holds the same contribution limit as King County, where donors can give no more than $1,200 per election year.

This ordinance is important because we need to ask ourselves: At what point do special interests groups or individuals speak louder than us, the voters who can’t afford to donate because of economic hardships? Placing a cap will not only protect our voices, but will provide for clean and ethical campaigns. By having a full disclosure on campaign financial reports, and placing a cap on campaign donations, it moves us toward having more faith and confidence in the political electoral process and ensures that no candidate or elected official will be taken in by special interests or individuals. Each candidate needs to be able to treat policy in a fair and just way.

I am excited to have learned that the city council will be discussing campaign contribution limitations on Feb. 2, 2010. This is a move forward in protecting our voices. As we move forward toward February, now the conversation really must begin.

Should Federal Way limit the proportion of contributions from outside our city limits? Do we include special interests group in this ordinance? What amount of donations can a candidate receive? Lastly, do we put a cap on how much a candidate can spend on his or her campaign?

These are simply questions and conversations that need to be discussed. I don’t necessarily support some of these questions, but the point is, what do you think? How should the city council handle this issue? What should be in this ordinance and should it be passed?

A few individuals responded to my last letter and all had fantastic points. Some felt that there didn’t need to be any limitations and some felt that more were needed. I am grateful that these individuals took the time to respond. Thank you.

E-mail me at FederalWayforCleanCampaigns@gmail.com. Thanks Federal Way, and Happy New Year.

Martin Moore, Federal Way

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