Editorial: Ban on union, corporate donations welcome

This is the right step despite the challenges that it will entail

Candidates for city council and school board will have to work a little harder to attract votes in next fall's civic elections if new campaign rules are passed as expected.

Instead of relying on a gravy train of union and corporate donations — worth over $500,000 in the last elections in 2014 — they’ll have to find other ways to get voters’ attention and cash.

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If slate politics becomes the norm, as one political scientist suggested in Wednesday's Tri-City News, freewheeling independents with Facebook pages will now have to join up with with other like-minded individuals, with the need to stick to prepared talking points and other hassles that go along with being part of a group.

And while there is no evidence that there was anything wrong with the traditional system, in that votes were not necessarily tied to to donors’ cash, the new system will provide more transparency and accountability.

Even slate politics might not be so bad if it helps voters identify a choice and provides a way to gauge whether campaign promises are met.

Will the banned groups try to do an end run around this legislslation to back their preferred candidates as individuals? We certainly hope not.

We’ve long supported a ban on union and corporate donations as well as caps on spending and donations, and believe this is the right step despite the challenges that it will entail.

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