Ballard/Thompson Award

The Ballard/Thompson Award is named in honor of former Speaker of the House (R) Clyde Ballard and former Chief Clerk of the House, Representative, and Senator (D) Alan Thompson; both founding members of WCOG. The award will be presented on an annual basis beginning in 2011, provided there is a recipient who meets the criteria set by WCOG. Download the Nomination Form.


The Ballard/Thompson Award – Presented to a member or members of the state legislature who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the cause of open government during the previous legislative session. This dedication will be shown through:

  • Supporting legislation that promotes accountability and accessibility in the conduct of the public’s business.
  • Introducing and/or sponsoring legislation that furthers the cause of open government.
  • Expending real, sustained effort, even over multiple sessions, to move the bills through the legislative process to a successful conclusion.
  • Providing strong, consistent opposition to legislation that undermines this cause.

  • 2013 Ballard/Thompson Award winner Speaker Frank Chopp (center) with WCOG President Toby Nixon (left) and former Senator Alan Thompson (right).

2012 Ballard/Thompson Award winner Senator Bob Morton(center) with WCOG President Toby Nixon (left) and former Senator Alan Thompson (right).

2013 - Speaker of the House Frank Chopp

The Coalition is honoring Chopp for his principled stand to protect open government in Washington State by holding House Bills 1128 and 1697 in the Rules Committee and not allowing them to come to the floor of the House for a vote. These bills would have caused significant harm to public records access if they had passed and been signed into law. Preventing their passage was, in the view of the Coalition board, the most significant act by any legislator during the recent session.

Despite facing tremendous pressure, Speaker Chopp stood firm in his belief that HB 1128 would deal a crippling blow to Washington's Public Records Act. He heard the protests of the bill's critics that it would violate citizens' First Amendment right to petition their government.

2012 - Senator Bob Morton

Senator Bob Morton is committed to conserving and preserving our state's bounty, from our forests to our water. He has been a leader in protecting water rights for agriculture, protecting livestock from predators, and developing a statewide forest health plan to protect our trees from disease and infestations.

Senator Morton has served the people of the 7th Legislative District since 1991. He has been a member of the committee dealing with natural resource issues during his entire legislative service.

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