Wow, this is stupid.
How would you like some coupons to spend on your favorite candidate?
That’s what Seattle voters will now receive after the successful passage of the “Honest Elections” referendum, which was introduced to diminish the influence of money in politics.
“Initiative 122” will radically transform the financing of local campaigns. Under the measure, voters will each be given $100 in “democracy vouchers” — four each, at $25 per — to be shelled out to the candidates of their choice.
It will also lower donation caps, ban contributions from corporations with significant city business interests, increase transparency and increase fines for electoral wrongdoing. Furthermore, officials who leave office will be required to spend three years on the sidelines before becoming eligible to register as lobbyists.
The story doesn’t say, but I assume that the coupons are paid for by taxpayers. So they are handing out money for the voters to spend on politicians. But since the coupons are not the citizens’ “own” money, they will treat it as such. Watch for this program to be rampant with fraud as politicians and their advocates trade pennies on the dollar for these coupons. How many folks who are already disinterested in the political process would be willing to sell their $100 coupon for $20 in cash?