Topic: Municipal League
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October 16, 2013 at 11:52 AM
The good-government Municipal League today weighed in on two Seattle ballot measures that have largely gone under the radar. The League’s Foundation Board voted to support a public financing measure for City Council races, Proposition 1, while it opposed a measure to elect seven City Council members by geographic district and two at-large.
Interestingly, those are the exact opposite positions taken by the Seattle Times editorial board in this morning’s paper.
The Muni League called the public financing measure a well-considered effort to bring back a taxpayer-funded system Seattle had in place from 1979 to 1984. “If successfully implemented, [Prop. 1] has the potential to expand the number of qualified candidates and the competitiveness of campaigns,” the Board said in announcing its support.
The Board said on district elections that it was “not persuaded that there is sufficient evidence that the current at-large representation is not working or needs to change.”
August 5, 2013 at 6:06 PM
The first candidate background checks funded by a new nonprofit, Candidate Verification, are in, and they show … basically nothing.
Candidate Verification teamed up with the Municipal League to background check up to 50 primary-election candidates’ criminal and civil backgrounds and work histories. The League, which is known for its nonpartisan candidate ratings (“good,” “very good,” etc.), invited candidates from a sampling of races to take part in the first year of background checks.
Participation was optional. Once candidates agreed, they were given the first look at what background checkers found and could opt to share it only with the Municipal League (which releases ratings of candidates) or with the public.
In all, just 14 background checks from around the region ended up in the database. And not surprisingly, all the publicly available checks are clean.
The Municipal League and Candidate Verification hope the process catches on, so that more candidates will participate — and, if they don’t make their reports available, face questions from the public.
“It could at some point become a red flag if a candidate declines to release his background screening results,” said Loren Tierney, a director of the Municipal League.
June 12, 2013 at 10:27 AM
The King County Municipal League, known for its nonpartisan ratings of local candidates, is going to start background checking them, too. The nonprofit group is teaming with a new nonprofit called CandidateVerification.
CandidateVerification will use the same technology used by corporations hiring new employees to verify candidates’ resumes and learn about any criminal background. They’ll check 10 years worth of federal, county and city criminal and civil records on each candidate, plus the national sex-offender registry.
CandidateVerification was started by David Doud, an Eastside Realtor, who lost his 2009 Port of Seattle Commission race against Rob Holland. Doud might have won, of course, if he had known and revealed more about Holland’s background and business associations. Holland resigned in February.
The Municipal League has invited 50 candidates to participate in the first year of its three-year pilot agreement with CandidateVerification. In a news release, the league said: “it is both organizations’ hope that in the next three years, all candidates running for office in King County will submit to this free check, like any new employee might submit to a pre-employment background screening.”
Candidates will get a chance to look at the results and challenge them before they become public.
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