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Democracy and dollar signs – 2012 campaign spending

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle. Washington initiative campaigns spent $34 million for this General Election. (AP file photo)

Washington initiative campaigns spent $34 million trying to win your vote, while President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle.

The Presidential spending figure comes from a grand total of more than $1.7 billion spent by both sides through mid-October. That works out to more than $79 million per month, and more than $2.6 million every day, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Washington statewide candidates spent about $31 million, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission, while outside lobbyists pumped in $202 million.

The top spending Initiative campaign is Referendum 74, the measure to uphold or reject Washington’s same-sex marriage law. Supporters spent $12 million.

Charter schools supporters, led by billionaire Bill Gates, spent $10 million to urge voters to adopt an initiative that will allow up to 40 charter schools in Washington.

The people in favor of the plan to legalize and regulate marijuana spent about $6 million.

All those television, radio and online ads that pop up every few seconds it seems were boosted by $31 million dollars statewide candidates spent. Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee are about even in their spending at about $11 million each.

Legislative candidates in Washington spent about $20 million, while judicial candidates plunked down $3.3 to win their positions. Another $3 million was spent on local races by those running for county commission and water district seats.


I’m looking forward to anchoring KIRO Radio’s special election night coverage from 6 – 10 p.m. Actually, I’m most interested in watching our talk hosts get fiesty – Dave Ross, Dori Monson, Luke Burbank and Michael Medved. Join us on the radio at 97.3 FM and online (with streaming cameras) at

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