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January 20, 2011 at 4:26pm

Saving our buses is hard

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It doesn't feel like the season for political mail, street signs, and phone banks, yet it is. As we highlighted previously, Pierce Transit services as we know them are in jeopardy. The approval of Prop 1 allows a 0.3 percent increase in the sales tax Pierce Transit currently collects. This would create $30 million a year in new revenue and help prevent massive cuts in Pierce Transit routes and services.

When we originally covered Prop 1 there was no opposition campaign. Since then one has been formed, and there are already allegations of foul play. Does it feel like October yet?

The Save Our Buses campaign to approve Proposition 1 filed a complaint Thursday with the Public Disclosure Commission concerning what they call "the opposing campaign's blatant disregard for compliance with election regulations."

 "The Reject Prop 1 campaign has clearly failed to be open and honest with the voters of Pierce County," says Andrew Austin, a Tacoma resident and Prop 1 steering committee volunteer. "With just more than three weeks until the Feb. 8 special election, Reject Prop 1 has failed to release basic information about its operation and has yet to report any contributions or expenditures."

All expenditures and contributions must be reported within 14 days time, but the PDC confirmed it has not yet received any such materials from the Reject Prop 1 campaign - despite evidence that financial investments were made more than 14 days ago.

The Save Our Buses campaign has complied with all PDC regulations regarding disclosures.

 "The opposing campaign is cynically covering up their identities and donors, while spreading deliberate misinformation about Prop 1," says Austin.  "Voters deserve to know what people or special interest groups are behind these deceitful efforts."

We'll let you know what becomes of this complaint. In the meantime, your voter pamphlet should have arrived in the mail last week, and your ballot will be arriving soon.

Comments for "Saving our buses is hard" (9)

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TransitGal said on Jan. 20, 2011 at 5:34pm

Reject Prop. 1 has on their website a link to contributions to the Save Our Buses campaign. I find it interesting (and quite appalling) that they do this while there is no record of their campaign with the PDC. Voters deserve to know who is behind a campaign and I think we all learned that after the false reporting in the 38th District State Senate race. Moreover, the fact that their contribution page looks to be the least secure website I've ever seen. I would be much more willing to listen to them describe their issue if they would at least comply with Washington State laws.

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me said on Jan. 20, 2011 at 6:35pm

really? fact check much? they *are* registered with the PDC under the name "No on prop 1" - the name listed in the voter pamphlet. Took me 5 minutes...

what's ironic is that the save our buses campaign has said accused the reject prop 1 campaign of being deceitful... $67,000+ in donations. I am sure all those donations are from just your poor average Joe, right?

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Tacomamama said on Jan. 20, 2011 at 7:13pm

I don't actually care about the above disagreement. Just popping in to say that if you have children who attend SOTA, SAMI, running start at TCC or might one day like to, and/or live in the North End Prop 1 should matter to you. Without it, it's quite possible regular bus transportation to and from SOTA and SAMI to the North End will be drastically cut back. Even if you don't plan to have your child ride the bus, these programs only pencil out for the district if they don't have to provide transportation.

If passed, Prop 1 would preserve existing service levels and provide better service in many areas of North, West, and Central Tacoma.

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TransitGal said on Jan. 20, 2011 at 8:16pm

They filed with the PDC on January 19, 2011. That was yesterday. Yet their signs have been up and they have been soliciting contributions for more than 14 days prior to their filing date which is against campaign finance law in WA state.

What's ironic "me" is that you are accusing Save Our Buses of not soliciting contributions from the average Joe when you cannot even see who has given money to the opposing campaign. Disclosure doesn't apply solely to the side you disagree with.

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Tacomamama said on Jan. 20, 2011 at 9:26pm

OK, maybe I do care a little about the above dispute. @"Me" please note the date on that filing is 1/19/11 which is yesterday, and it's a brand new filing.

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Max said on Jan. 21, 2011 at 1:48am

Can't wait to see which weasels me & co. are trying to cover for...

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Justin said on Jan. 21, 2011 at 11:36am

They registered on the 19th the day the complaint was filed. They have 14 days to file after spending or raising money or the anticipation of forming a campaign committee. That did not happen.

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me said on Jan. 21, 2011 at 3:29pm

@ Transitgal.... they didn't even get signs until yesterday. check out their facebook page.
@Justin, what proof is there that they were raising money or forming a campaign before 14 days ago? I don't see anything on their facebook page older than 14 days. and their donate page says that they made it on the 13th.

this article states a ton of accusations but no facts other than a very well funded (by special interests) save our buses campaign has filed a complaint against the other campaign. the rest of the info very confusing as to what the reject prop 1 campaign has done wrong... it makes a lot of accusations without anything to back them up.

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Josh said on Feb. 03, 2011 at 6:24am

I laugh at the signage from both camps. "Save Our Buses" vs. "Wasting Taxpayers Funds". Seriously, was that intentional or have such swear-word-acronyms become just as common place as swearing on prime-time TV?

However, I don't laugh at the prospect of waiting even longer than I already do for a bus that, after proposed cuts should prop 1 fail, may no longer serve me.

This is a fine example of "you get what you pay for". If you want reliable public transportation, better schools, cleaner communities or anything else on your list of desiderata, you gotta pony up. That means voting for prop 1 if you want reliable bus service to continue or maybe even *gasp* improve.

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