This Comment argues that while the public may ultimately benefit economically from public-private partnership development, the legal mechanisms used in public-private partnerships to skirt the constitution violate the public trust by (1) precluding the public from obtaining information regarding these projects; (2) denying the taxpaying public their right to participate in public choices and spending decisions that affect them; and (3) severely impinging on the public's state constitutional right to the referendum process. Furthermore, by allowing these mechanisms to exist, the Washington Supreme Court only furthers the violation of the public's trust, while simultaneously weakening the role of the judiciary as a guardian of the democratic process. Because of the court's complicity, the only way much-needed reform will be achieved is through a well-educated state legislature that is more responsive to the majority of its constituency.
Nick Beermann, Legal Mechanisms of Public-Private Partnerships: Promoting Economic Development or Benefiting Corporate Welfare?, 23 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 175 (1999).