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March 8, 2010 at 10:17 AM

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Seattle elections watchdog spared by Senate

Posted by Jim Brunner

OLYMPIA -- The state Senate has blocked a proposal that could have severely weakened the authority of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.

Senate Bill 6243 started out as a plan to reduce redundant paperwork requirements for political campaigns.

But an amendment added in the state House would have ended the requirement that candidates and political committees in Seattle file documents with the SEEC.

Wayne Barnett, the SEEC's executive director, warned recently that could undermine commission's authority and end public access to the up-to-the minute information on who is trying to influence Seattle elections.

Looks like the warning was successful.

By a voice vote Monday morning, the Senate rejected the House amendment.

"We're very happy to see the work we do here vindicated by the Senate," Barnett said.

The bill now returns to the House with a request to pass the original bill, without the amendment that would affect Seattle.

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Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Kyung Song
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.

Lynn Thompson
Covers Seattle City Hall.

Bob Young
Covers King County and urban affairs.