Topic: Nick Hanauer
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March 13, 2013 at 6:00 PM
OLYMPIA — A key deadline came and went here on Wednesday afternoon, taking with it an opportunity many saw as this session’s best chance for expanding background checks for gun sales.
House Bill 1588, a much-discussed priority of gun-control advocates, did not come up for a vote in the state House before 5 p.m., the cutoff for floor votes on bills not deemed necessary to implement the budget.
Prime sponsor Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, said late Tuesday night he had come up a few votes short, but some other supporters were holding out hope.
That ended Wednesday, as Medina Democrat Ross Hunter and other supporters trying to round up last-minute votes failed to get enough to bring the measure to the floor.
The proposal also did not get a vote in the state Senate; that chamber is generally seen as more lenient about cut-off, but Republicans who control the chamber generally oppose the measure.
The bill would require background checks for all gun purchases. Currently, they are required for sales from licensed dealers but not for purchases from private, unlicensed residents.
Activists on both sides said if little is accomplished in the Legislature, they expect a gun-control initiative on the November ballot. They pointed to the newly-created Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which is funded by venture capitalist Nick Hanauer.
Alliance lobbyist Cody Arledge said the group is still weighing its options. But the timing for an initiative campaign may not be ideal, he said, because many of the national — and wealthy — gun-control groups are focused this year on changing federal laws.
July 17, 2012 at 9:27 AM
Alice Walton, the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, donated $600,000 last week to an initiative to allow charter schools in Washington state, helping to bring the effort’s fundraising to $3.3 million.
Also last week, Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer contributed $250,000, bringing his total investment to $450,000, according to public disclosure documents. And Mike and Jackie Bezos, the parents of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, kicked in another $50,000, bringing their total to half a million.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is still leading the group, however, with $1 million donated.
The eye-popping sums come before Initiative 1240 has even qualified for the ballot; the Secretary of State’s office is currently reviewing the more than 350,000 signatures that supporters submitted earlier this month.
If it is placed on the ballot, as expected, the initiative would mark the fourth time voters have considered permitting charter schools.
The free public schools, which operate independent of traditional school districts, are hotly debated based on their mixed results and unconventional techniques, including the hiring of nonunion workers.
Supporters say they’re confident they will win this year. They’ve predicted they will earn donations of all different sizes, but as of last week, the initiative had only gained donations from one family who contributed less than $1,000.
People for Our Public Schools, a group formed to oppose I-1240, were still reporting raising $16,000.
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