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Issues

Government and Political Reform

Our government derives its legitimacy solely from, and must be answerable to, the people. Government is the people’s instrument to achieve what we cannot achieve individually. We are committed to a representative democracy that encourages maximum active participation and a voting process that is fair, transparent, verifiable and open to all citizens.

We believe:

  • An informed citizenry and civil discourse are necessary to a functioning democracy;
  • Elected officials are responsible to society as a whole;
  • The Constitution establishes a balance among the three branches of government;
  • Government is unique and not a business. Government actions should support the common good, and taxes should be levied fairly and spent responsibly;
  • Government should be protected from undue influence by corporate and other special interests;
  • Government officials must be held to the highest standards of ethical conduct;
  • No American citizen should be removed from the voting rolls or otherwise constrained from participating in an election for which they would otherwise be eligible;
  • Nonviolent action is the preferred way to advocate for political change;
  • No foreign powers should have control over our ports and ports should continue to be secured and controlled by the U.S. Government. 

We call for:

  • Public financing of campaigns;
  • Full and timely disclosure of sources of all campaign funds including contribution limits, spending limits, and disclosure of campaign contributions;
  • State funding of public debates for statewide offices and ballot measures;
  • Voting to be as widespread and convenient as possible by:
    • The facilitation of registration for every U.S. citizen eligible to vote;
    • Election day voter registration;
    • Guaranteed access to voting in all elections for all military service members and American government workers overseas;
    • Repeal of onerous voter identification requirements and deplore all tactics designed to suppress voter participation;
    • Election Day a national holiday;
    • Immediate restoration of voting rights of felons who have completed their sentences;
    • Encouraging colleges and universities to register students to vote;
    • Universal voter registration of all U.S. citizens who are eligible voters;
    • The passage of the Washington State Voting Rights Act;
    • Establishing a right to vote in the United States Constitution;
  • Conducting all elections either with carefully monitored and secured paper ballots or open-source software, with a paper-trail record of all votes;
  • Hand recount audits;
  • Open source ballot counting software and optical scanning ballot equipment;
  • The federal government to underwrite the development and implementation of fair, standardized, and auditable balloting systems for every ballot cast in federal elections;
  • Significantly shortening the process of selecting Presidential nominees;
  • Campaign and debate processes that include third-party and so-called second-tier candidates;
  • Full Congressional representation for residents of the District of Columbia and statehood for any U.S. Territory that votes for it;
  • A Constitutional amendment providing for direct election of the United States President;
  • Minimizing the influence of special interests and lobbyists on our political processes by instituting campaign finance reform;
  • Restrictions on former state and federal elected officials from lobbying for 5 years after leaving office;
  • Extending elective-office contribution limits to include contributions made to support or oppose ballot measures;
  • Taxpayer-funded scientific research that becomes part of the public domain and informs policy and regulatory decisions affecting our health, safety, and environment;
  • All regulatory agencies to be adequately funded, staffed and fully accountable;
  • A federal legislative process that limits filibusters, ends anonymous holds on appointments and other dilatory tactics, and requires a simple majority to invoke cloture;
  • Establishing a cabinet-level Department of Peace and Nonviolent Conflict Resolution whose Secretary will advise the President on both domestic and international issues and fund programs proven to prevent violence;
  • Adequate and equitable funding of public service options for all young adults when they complete their secondary education or reach maturity, including military, AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Job Corps, and other avenues of service;
  • Restoration and strict enforcement of the Clinton-administration version of the Freedom of Information Act and adherence to all open meeting laws;
  • A review of all Washington laws on “eminent domain” to insure that no private property may be taken for private purposes and that all seizures are compensated in a fair and equitable manner, and enforcement of those laws;
  • Enactment of revenue measures by simple-majority votes in the Washington State Legislature, as specified in the State Constitution;
  • Accounting all tax exemptions as expenditures in the state budget and automatically sun-setting non-performing state tax exemptions after 5 years;
  • Maintaining the United States Postal Service as a core function of government;
  • A publicly searchable database of all registered lobbyists and lobbying expenditures;
  • Inclusion of funding of all military actions in open Congressional budgets;
  • Reform of the Washington state initiative process;
  • Establishment of a state bank, the Washington State Investment Trust, to handle and profit from state revenues;
  • All levels of government to be responsible for disaster prevention;
  • Restoring the requirement that the broadcast media give equal free air time to political candidates in return for the federal government giving the media bandwidth;
  • Equal access to public airwaves for all viable candidates in all localities and in all national, state, and local elections;
  • Fair juror compensation;
  • Greater youth involvement in government;
  • Amending the United States Constitution to establish that corporations are not natural persons and money is not equivalent to speech;
  • Inclusive campaign and debate process that does not exclude credible third party candidates;
  • Enforcement of sunshine laws and transparency in sessions that discuss and make policy;
  • Open Data initiatives to make federal, state, and local government more transparent and accountable to the people of Washington and the people of the United States;
  • Counting felons, for census purposes, as residents of their last home address, rather than their place of imprisonment;
  • Access to government processes and increased funding for TVW (public access television coverage of the state legislature);

We oppose:

  • The privatization, outsourcing, or off-shoring of any governmental public service;
  • Internet voting;
  • Governmental suppression, manipulation and distortion of scientific research and findings, and psychological operations and disinformation/manipulation campaigns that leave the public uninformed or misinformed;
  • Adding projects to bills by “earmarking” funds without the knowledge of other legislators and the public;
  • Executive branch secrecy beyond legitimate national security needs or personnel matters;
  • The use of “signing statements” that effectively invalidate a portion of the legislation being signed into law;
  • Unfunded mandates;
  • The top-two primary;
  • Paid or non-Washington registered voter signature gatherers in the state initiative process;
  • Wholesale destruction of the U.S. Postal Service by requiring overfunding of its pension system;
  • Efforts by the government to deny citizens their right to peacefully assemble in order to petition for a redress of grievances;
  • Any practice that reveals national election results while voting is still taking place;
  • Taxpayer funding for religious institutions or "faith-based" initiatives that do not include non-discrimination requirements;
  • Lack of disclosure by anonymous donors of interlocking 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) organizations.

Resolutions