February 09, 2017

Governor Inslee announces appointment of David Ammons to PDC

OLYMPIA Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the appointment of David Ammons to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. Ammons, who resides in Olympia, was the longest-serving capitol reporter in state history, much of it as president of the press corps.

Ammons was a reporter, columnist and editor for The Associated Press from 1970-2008, covering Washington state government and politics, and breaking news for AP member newspapers and TV and radio stations. He also served as analyst for TV and radio and wrote a statewide column, "Ammons on Politics." From 2003-2008 he was the on-air host of TVW's weekly hour-long interview show with Washington newsmakers, "Inside Olympia."

From 2008-2017, Ammons served in state government as the Communications Director and senior policy adviser for the Office of Secretary of State, first for Sam Reed and then for Kim Wyman. He retired in January.

"As a young political reporter for The Associated Press, I reported on the birth of the Public Disclosure Commission by citizen initiative in 1972. Throughout my Olympia career in the press corps, TVW, and the Office of Secretary of State, I have seen first-hand the PDC's role in helping to ensure transparency in campaign financing and in the financial affairs of public officials. I strongly believe that the PDC, along with watchful attention by the public and press, is an indispensable tool to help citizens make informed decisions," Ammons said. "Sunlight is a good thing."

"As a journalist, Dave covered seven governors, countless legislative sessions, political campaigns and elections, and all three branches of our state's government," said Governor Inslee. "His unwavering commitment to making sure the public has critically important information and that government disclosure promotes ethics and accountability will serve him well in this role," Inslee said. "I greatly appreciate his dedication to voter engagement, civility in politics and public understanding of the impact of elected officials' decisions in the lives of citizens," Inslee added.

"Dave's unique expertise and knowledge, both as a journalist and as an elections official, will be a terrific addition to the Commission," PDC Chair Anne Levinson said.

"He has an in-depth understanding of how important it is that the State's campaign finance and expenditure laws are fully and fairly enforced in order for the public to have trust in the integrity of the electoral and governing processes. The continually increasing influence of money and special interests in campaigns and governance makes the PDC's role as important today as it has ever been," Levinson added.

The Public Disclosure Commission is the State agency that was created and empowered by an Initiative of the People in 1972 to provide timely and meaningful public access to accurate information about the financing of political campaigns, lobbyist expenditures, and the financial affairs of public officials and candidates. The PDC ensures compliance with and equitable enforcement of Washington's campaign finance and disclosure laws. In order to place Initiative 276 on the November 1972 ballot, citizens gathered nearly 163,000 signatures. 72 percent of voters approved I-276 and the law took effect January 1, 1973. In 1992, through Initiative 134, over 72% of voters enacted contribution limits and other campaign restrictions for the PDC to enforce.

The Commission is comprised of five citizens who are appointed by the Governor to five-year terms. In addition to Commission Chair Judge Anne Levinson (ret.), and newly appointed Commissioner Ammons, the other three Commissioners are Vice-Chair Judge John Bridges (ret.), Commissioner Katrina Asay and Commissioner Jack Johnson.