The way candidates’ campaigns are financed in Seattle dramatically changed Tuesday night. Initiative 122 took a 20 percentage point lead in first-day returns, which makes Seattle the nation’s first jurisdiction to try taxpayer-funded “democracy vouchers.” “Seattle leads the nation, first on $15 an hour and now on campaign-finance reform. We look forward to seeing more cities and states implementing their own local solutions to the problem of big money in politics,” said Heather Weiner, I-122 spokeswoman.
It was a campaign steeped in irony. Arguing that big money corrupts local politics, advocates for I-122 raised $1.384 million — nearly a record amount — and 30 times what their opponents mustered.
Their “Honest Elections” campaign collected 52 percent of its money from outside Seattle. The average contribution to “Honest Elections” was $7,134 — compared with $166 in this year’s City Council clash between Kshama Sawant and Pamela Banks, the most expensive in city history.