Who gave money for or against the Home Rule Charter campaign?
The goal of Home Rule Skagit is to help Skagit County government become more representative, transparent, and accountable by
adopting a charter; that is, a form of government written and chosen by the citizens. It is usually difficult to see why some
would oppose this. One potential source of evidence is the list of donors to the campaign against updating county government.
Fortunately, Washington State law makes it a bit difficult to hide the source of donations to political campaigns. Donor
information must be reported to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission and is posted on the commission’s website (pdc.wa).
Below, on a satellite image of Skagit County, we’ve mapped the addresses of donors to Home Rule Skagit listed on the PDC site.
These donors support passing Proposition 1 on the ballot (for charter government). On the same image, we’ve mapped the donors
to the “No” campaign. The following bar graph compares total dollars raised by the two sides and the number of donors for each:
The patterns are clear. As of October 11, 2018, twenty-two people and companies have given $50,600 to oppose a charter form of
government for Skagit County. One donor alone gave almost as much as the entire Home Rule Skagit budget. The sixty-nine donors
for the positive side are scattered across Skagit County in both rural and incorporated areas. They chipped in a total of $16,227
to support working on a county charter. Their average donation was $235. The “No” donors, all 22 of them, made an average donation
of $2,300. A good chunk of the “No” money is from outside Skagit County. By far, the “No” donors are concentrated in the westernmost
part of the county. Go to pdc.wa for the latest totals and to see who donated and where they live in Skagit County, if they do live here.
Why would a few people give a lot of money to oppose drafting an update to Skagit County government for voters to consider? The Public
Disclosure Commission’s information tells us that only a few people care enough to give money to do that and they for some reason, or
reasons, are willing to invest quite a bit. In contrast, many more people want to help open up the opportunity, for the first time,
to draft a form of government particularly suited to Skagit County.