The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is Eastside Transportation Association a Campaign Group?

State examines transportation group's campaign status

The Eastside Transportation Association, a transportation issues group, supports expanding bus service rather than extending light rail across the Interstate 90 bridge from Seattle to the Eastside - a proposal in the regional roads/transit ballot issue. It has run ads questioning the new system the ballot measure proposes.

Several of its members wrote a voter's pamphlet statement opposing the measure.

So, is that campaigning, and does the association need to register as a campaign group with the state?

The group's chairman, Jim Horn, says no.

But this week the state Public Disclosure Commission began considering the question in response to a complaint from a roads/transit backer, Will Kelley-Kamp, who thinks the association is, indeed, campaigning.

Citing radio ads and statements made by ETA members in public, Kelley-Kamp said in his complaint that the association "is making expenditures in opposition to the Roads and Transit ballot measure and operating as a political committee in opposition to (it). The ETA has not filed a (registration document) with the Public Disclosure Commission or other required reports and is in violation of Washington State law."

"If they're going to be a campaign, they should make it official," Kelley-Kamp said in an interview. Kelley-Kamp filed the complaint Monday and reported it on the liberal political blog on Wednesday.

Horn, contacted Wednesday, said he hadn't seen the complaint. He said ETA is "an educational organization" that tries to inform the public on transportation issues.

He said the group supports high-frequency bus service in special highway lanes to move people between cities, but the ads were aimed at attracting people to the group's Web site and "we have not put anything out in support of that ballot issue. We certainly discussed the elements of transportation."

Disclosure commission staffers confirmed they've received Kelley-Kamp's complaint but haven't decided yet whether to investigate it. "We want to learn a little bit more about (the association) and determine whether or not they are a political committee," said commission spokeswoman Lori Anderson.

\ at September 12, 2007 5:53 p.m.

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