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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

Topic: Attorney General Bob Ferguson

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January 13, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Grocery group claims its civil rights violated by Washington campaign-finance laws

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is raising alarms over a grocery-industry group’s challenge of Washington campaign-finance laws. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is trying to invalidate some state restrictions on spending by out-of-state political committees, arguing the laws violate its civil and constitutional rights. The arguments were made in legal filings this month combating the state’s…

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Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Grocery Manufacturers Association

October 16, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Attorney General sues grocery association, alleging campaign-finance violations

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit today against the Grocery Manufacturers Association, alleging the group illegally collected and spent more than $7 million to oppose Initiative 522, the measure requiring labeling of genetically modified foods.

Ferguson’s lawsuit, filed in Thurston County Superior Court, said the Washington D.C.-based trade association solicited big money from its members specifically for the anti-GMO-labeling campaign, yet illegally concealed the identity of those donors from the public by failing to register and file reports as a political committee.

“In our view it’s a clear violation. It’s an important violation,” Ferguson said at a news conference in Seattle.

Ferguson said unless the GMA immediately discloses its donors, his office will ask a judge for a temporary restraining order to force the grocery association to register as a political committee and reveal its donors so that voters will have the information as they cast their ballots for or against I-522. He added the state will seek civil penalties and attorney’s fees from the group.

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Comments | More in 2014 elections, Politics Northwest | Topics: Attorney General Bob Ferguson, campaign finance, GMO labeling