Jul 6, 2022 - News

Washington ranked No. 1 for regulating campaign cash

Reproduced from Coalition for Integrity; Map: Axios Visuals

A new report finds that Washington state is best in the nation when it comes to regulating campaign cash.

Driving the news: Washington received the highest marks of all 50 states in new campaign finance rankings from the nonprofit Coalition for Integrity.

Details: Washington's campaign finance watchdog, the Public Disclosure Commission, earned high marks for its independence and ability to sanction lawbreakers.

  • The state also got props for having stricter campaign contribution limits than other states.

Why it matters: Transparency in campaign finance helps the public hold politicians accountable and shines a light on who influences elected leaders.

  • "...Weak laws in any area can allow wealthy special interests to drown out voters' voices," tweeted Patrick Llewellyn, state campaign finance director for the Campaign Legal Fund.

Context: Some of the criteria where Washington was highly rated can be traced to a citizen initiative voters passed in 1972.

  • That measure, Initiative 276, established the state’s independent commission, while requiring that campaigns report donations and expenditures in detail.

What they're saying: "We're delighted — but not surprised — by this affirmation that Washington leads the nation in campaign-finance transparency," said Peter Frey Lavallee, the commission’s executive director, in a statement shared with Axios.

Read the full report.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that Washington's Initiative 276 passed in 1972, not 1971.


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