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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

October 7, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Preschool levy campaign rips competing ballot measure with new ads, Norm Rice

The political campaign supporting a proposed property tax levy to subsidize preschool in Seattle is taking aim at a rival ballot measure with two new television advertisements airing Tuesday, including one featuring former Mayor Norm Rice.

Quality Pre-K for Our Kids, the campaign behind Seattle Proposition No. 1B, has shelled out more than $100,000 for the ads, according to spokesman Sandep Kaushik.

Prop 1B asks voters for a four-year, $58 million property tax levy to fund a pilot program subsidizing preschool for up to 2,000 3- and 4-year-olds.

Mayor Ed Murray and City Council President Tim Burgess were the main architects of the plan, which will appear on the same November election ballot line as Proposition No. 1A.

That measure, crafted by the labor unions SEIU Local 925 and AFT-Washington, would establish a training institute for preschool and child-care workers while seeking to reduce preschool and child-care costs for Seattle families to 10 percent of household income or less.

The campaign pushing Prop 1A, Yes For Early Success, aired its first TV ad during Monday night’s Seahawks football game.

Voters will be asked to choose between the two measures but will first be asked whether they want either, a setup likely to confuse some people.

The Prop 1B ads airing Tuesday attempt to draw a clear line between the two plans. In one, Rice says Prop 1A “doesn’t pencil out” because it doesn’t include a funding mechanism.

He says the city would need to cut $100 million from services such as transportation and safety to pay for Prop1A, a claim the Prop1A campaign disputes.

The second ad features representatives from the Boys and Girls Clubs, Seattle Firefighters Local 27 and El Centro De La Raza. It uses similar rhetoric.

The Prop 1A campaign has raised more money than the Prop 1B campaign, thanks to hefty contributions from the two unions backing it.

Comments | More in 2014 elections, Local government, Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: AFT-Washington, Boys and Girls Clubs, El Centra De La Raza

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