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Election Cycle Spending Is Putting State's Public Disclosure Commission To Work

Ted S. Warren
AP Photo

Tens of millions of dollars have been raised in campaigns for and against ballot initiatives, as well as several legislative and congressional races across the state. 

KNKX Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick spoke with the executive director of the state's Public Disclosure Commission, Peter Lavallee, about the rules governing campaign spending and whether this year's election cycle could be a "new normal" for Washington. 

Interview highlights

Washington's 'new normal': "It seems like the trend is always more spending year over year, at least when you're comparing apples to apples. Obviously we have different election cycles and a gubernatorial year or a presidential year makes a difference, but generally the trend seems to always be up in spending." 

No spending limits on initiatives: "We do often see large amounts spent on those. And I think a couple of the initiatives this year may be on course to set new records in spending." 

The rules governing spending: "I see our number one role as transparency and disclosure. People have to file with us where their money comes from and how they spend their money. We endeavor to turn that around very quickly so the public has that information usually within 24 hours of us receiving it. So while there may not be limits on spending, I like to think that the public can be fully informed on where that money comes and to the extent that they want that to inform their voting or other decisions."

Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX.