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Supporters, opponents of I-933 are near even in campaign contributions

Campaigns for and against Initiative 933 have raised almost equal amounts, but supporters of the controversial proposal are now facing a much-depleted war chest after wrapping up their signature drive to get I-933 onto the ballot.

Led by the Washington State Farm Bureau, I-933 supporters submitted more than 315,000 signatures Thursday to get the initiative on the November ballot.

But now, the campaign for I-933 — an initiative that would require state and local governments to compensate property owners when regulations damage the use or value of private property — are looking at relatively empty campaign coffers.

According to financial reports submitted to the Public Disclosure Commission, the state’s campaign watchdog, the Property Fairness Coalition has raised $378,311 in its push to pass I-933. After paying for signature gatherers and other costs, the coalition has only $25,866 in cash on hand; minus loans and other debts, the campaign has just $6,957.

The campaign to defeat I-933, called Citizens for Community Protection, has raised $387,523. It has $203,035 in cash on hand; minus loans and other debts, the group has $141,606.

Major donors to the Citizens for Community Protection include Futurewise, the “smart growth” nonprofit group formerly known as 1,000 Friends of Washington (more than $75,000); Paul Brainerd, computer software pioneer and founder of Aldus Corp. ($50,000); The Nature Conservancy ($38,500); America Rivers, Inc. ($15,000) and the National Audubon Society ($1,500).

Individual contributors to the no-on-I-933 campaign come largely from Western Washington and the I-5 corridor.

In Island County, opponents of the initiative have contributed $740 to the campaign to defeat I-933.

I-933 supporters in Island County have contributed $250 to the Property Fairness Coalition.

I-933 has drawn contributions from across the state, including a large number of small donations from rural areas and Eastern Washington. Donors include farmers, dairies, construction companies and timber interests.

Major donors include Americans for Limited Government, an Illinois-based conservative group ($200,000); Washington State Farm Bureau (more than $50,000); Snohomish County Farm Bureau ($20,000); Thurston County Farm Bureau ($20,000).

Brian Kelly can be reached at 221-5300 or bkelly@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

Community Events, April 2014

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