Monday, June 07, 2010

"Denied Funding And Fighting Mad, I-1068 Will Push Till The End"

Philip Dowdy (Sensible Washington):
Via an Associated Press reporter, Sensible Washington learned earlier this afternoon that the Service Employees International Union and other players in progressive causes in Washington State have declined to financially support paid signature gathering for I-1068. Over the last month, the SEIU and others in state politics have talked with Sensible Washington about steps they could take to ensure that the initiative turned in enough signatures to qualify for this November’s ballot because marijuana legalization being on the ballot would drive extra voter turnout in ways that would benefit progressive causes and candidates in November in what’s shaping up to be a tough year for Democrats and progressive issues. Now after stringing the I-1068 campaign along for four weeks, they’ve walked.

“Politics in this state stink,” said Philip Dawdy, I-1068 campaign director and an initiative co-author. “Marijuana smells better. It’s disappointing that SEIU and others have walked away from us, but this campaign will fight on because the issue is simply too important.”

Dawdy said he’s especially frustrated that the SEIU and others walked away from I-1068 after romancing it for a month because Sensible Washington, sponsors of I-1068, originally approached the state Democratic Party and others in progressive politics back in February, asking for advice and guidance on running a successful initiative campaign. Sensible Washington was ignored until May when it became apparent I-1068 would be a good voter turnout tool. Sensible Washington was told that various political actors in this state felt marijuana law reform was a fringe issue and that people were nervous about potentially being tied to such a campaign.

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