Welcome to the Tuesday, December 3, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
Steyer leads Democratic presidential campaigns in Ballotpedia pageviews
Two Democratic candidates—Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and former U.S. Rep Joe Sestak (Penn.)—ended their presidential campaigns in the past few days. That leaves 16 Democratic elected officials and notable public figures running for president.
We track and report the number of views candidates’ 2020 presidential campaign pages receive to show who is getting our readers’ attention.
For the week ending Nov. 30, Tom Steyer’s campaign page on Ballotpedia received 4,081 views, more than any other Democratic candidate. This was the first week Steyer’s page received the most pageviews among the Democratic field. Pete Buttigieg’s page had the second-most pageviews during this week and Andrew Yang’s page was third.
Steyer was the only Democratic candidate to receive more pageviews last week than the week before. His pageviews increased by 22%. All other Democrats had decreases of between 11% and 37%.
Yang remains the leader in overall pageviews this year with 147,622. He is followed by Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren.
See the full data on all presidential candidates by clicking the link below.
Today is Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday is a day set aside from the Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays of holiday shopping to give back to the nonprofit organizations you support. We would be honored if you would include Ballotpedia in your giving list this year. If you choose to give a donation, your financial support will grow this encyclopedia of politics, power our sample ballot tool, and help inform millions of people in 2020.
If you are unable to give today, but might be interested in volunteering your time in the future, please reply to this email and let me know! We’ll be launching a volunteer initiative in 2020 and would love to have you on board.
Judge blocks Washington initiative limiting annual vehicle license fees from taking effect
Washington political activist Tim Eyman has proposed, sponsored, or been otherwise involved with statewide initiatives every year since at least 1998. The measures he has worked on primarily involve two subjects—taxes and transportation. His most recent initiative—the Limits on Motor Vehicle Taxes and Fees Measure (I-976)—was approved by voters last month but its implementation is on hold after being challenged in court.
King County Superior Court judge Marshall Ferguson blocked I-976 from taking effect last week pending the lawsuit’s resolution. Ferguson wrote, “If the collection of vehicle license fees and taxes stop on December 5, 2019, there will be no way to retroactively collect those revenues if, at the conclusion of this case, the Court concludes that I-976 is unconstitutional and permanently enjoins its enforcement. Conversely, refunds of fees and taxes impacted by I-976 can be issued if the State ultimately prevails in this matter, albeit at some expense to the State.”
Washington voters approved I-976—53% to 47%—on Nov. 5. The measure was designed to do the following:
Nine plaintiffs—including the governments of Seattle and King County—filed a lawsuit Nov. 13 declaring that I-976 violated the Washington Constitution. The complaint stated that Initiative 976 violated the single-subject rule, the separate subject-in-title requirement, the requirement to disclose the repeal of statutes, and other constitutional provisions. In his response to the lawsuit, Eyman stated, “It is absolutely critical that the people of Washington state, regardless of how they voted, not pay taxes and fees that the voters voted to get rid of.”
Proponents of I-976 said that a flat $30 vehicle license fee is fair and reasonable and that it’s dishonest for the state to tax a used vehicle based on its sales price rather than its Blue Book value. Opponents of 1-976 stated that the measure would cut much-needed transportation funding and take money from roads, bridges, and transit programs.
Ferguson was appointed to the court by Gov. Jay Inslee (D) in July 2018. He was among 11 King County Superior Court judges who were automatically elected on Nov. 5 after they were the only candidates who filed to run.