Citizens Against Raising Car Tabs (who I appreciate for their refreshingly non-Orwellian name) have filed a complaint with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission claiming that Cascade Bicycle Club and Transportation Choices Coalition improperly used taxpayer funds to donate to Streets for All Seattle, the pro-Prop 1 campaign.
Anne-Marije Rook at the Ballard News Tribune has the scoop:
The group says that Transportation Choices and the Cascade Bicycle Club have received hundreds of thousands of city dollars for the Prop 1 campaign and requested an investigation of ethics violations.
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Read the Streets For All Seattle SEEC List of Contributors Report, here.
In return, Cascade Bicycle Club says the investigation is “a frivolous waste of taxpayer money”.
“We are very confident that it will be dismissed shortly,” said Craig Benjamin,
Policy and Government Affairs Manager at Cascade Bicycle Club.
Cascade responded by saying that all taxpayer money they have received was for contracts to carry out things like handing out helmets and teaching bicycle safety education to children. They also claim they do independent audits and are clean.
Calling the complaint a “distracting, meritless” tactic, Cascade took the opportunity to explain why they support Streets for All and Proposition 1:
Our opposition hasn’t been careful in looking at—or don’t know about—the range of activities Cascade does. Our political work happens through our 501(c)4 organization, while our education and outreach work occurs within our 501(c)3. For tax and legal purposes, we are meticulous about getting this right. We have been independently audited, and all audits have been clean.
In other words, there is absolutely no connection between any of the contractual work we completed for the City of Seattle and our efforts to pass Proposition 1.
We are disappointed that our opposition is wasting citizen tax dollars and the city payroll’s time by filing this distracting, meritless complaint. Lacking true substance, the opposition campaign is grasping at straws. We, and the many other endorsers of Proposition 1, look forward to continuing the conversation with voters about how Prop. 1 will make our transit faster and our streets safer. Cascade Bicycle Club will continue to educate voters on how voting yes for Proposition 1 is the right choice.
Prop. 1 will invest $100 million to make transit in Seattle faster and more reliable. 95% of all Seattle residents and 96% of all the jobs in the city are within an easy walk or bike ride to the high priority transit corridors that Prop. 1 will invest in. Transit riders across the whole city will see benefits.
The transit investments Prop. 1 makes will last. They are capital, permanent, long-term improvements that will last for years. Bus lanes, transit signal priority, bus bulbs so buses don’t get stuck behind traffic when loading/unloading passengers. These are common sense things that will make our buses faster and more reliable.
Prop. 1 doubles the annual investment in new sidewalks Seattle makes today.
Prop. 1 nearly doubles the number of local, neighborhood re-paving projects Seattle can do per year.
Prop. 1 dramatically expands family-friendly bicycle infrastructure.
Prop. 1 is balanced. It makes transit faster, fixes our roads, and makes our transportation system safer for all users in Seattle. It helps the whole system across the city.
We stand behind our endorsement of Proposition 1, and we urge voters to join us in voting YES on the November ballot.