Secretary of State Sam Reed is a fan of the training. He says what he’s seen in public office is that negative campaigns and hate speech discourage people from entering politics – and they also discourage voters.
“The more negative ads there are, the more people are kind of disgusted with the whole process, and not particularly inclined to participate in the process, and even vote.”
In his last year in office, Reed is visiting every county, speaking to students and civic groups about the importance of ramping down the hostile rhetoric in order to get things done.
“Week before last, I was at the Colville Chamber of Commerce, the Moses Lake Rotary Club – groups like that, throughout the state. I focus on civility, moderation and bipartisanship, and I’ve been getting just a terrific response.”
Reed says he asks civic leaders not to endorse a candidate or contribute to their campaign without first getting a promise that they will abide by those three tenets.