Topic: Public Disclosure Commission
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October 14, 2013 at 5:36 PM
The Port of Seattle says it will stop airing welcome messages at Sea-Tac Airport until after the November election following a complaint that they violate election laws.
Passengers heading from the parking garage to the terminal hear one of Seattle’s Port commissioners welcoming them to the airport, with a few facts about job creation and the Port’s 25-year plan. But now Andrew Pilloud, who lost a campaign for Port commissioner in the August primary, has filed four complaints with the state Public Disclosure Commission, saying the messages are basically free campaign ads for four commissioners running for re-election this year.
He filed complaints against the four on the ballot this year: John Creighton, Stephanie Bowman, Courtney Gregoire and Tom Albro. Port spokesman Jason Kelly said the Port will cooperate with any investigation and will stop playing the messages in the meantime.
And he said similar messages have played in the airport for about a decade.
January 23, 2013 at 5:57 PM
Tim Eyman’s latest initiative qualified for consideration Wednesday, meaning state lawmakers must decide this session to either accept it or send it to the voters.
The “Protect the Initiative Act,” or Initiative 517, would increase from six months to one year the time that initiative supporters have to gather signatures; make it a crime to interfere with signature gathering; and require that measures receiving enough signatures appear on the ballot even if there is a court challenge.
Eyman, the state’s most well-known initiative promoter, submitted some 347,000 signatures this month in support of the idea. The Secretary of State’s Office completed a random check of the signatures Wednesday.
The “Protect the Initiative Act” is also the subject of an investigation by the state Public Disclosure Commission. Critics say that the initiative’s costs for paid signature-gatherers were not properly reported to the PDC.
January 23, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. NBC and the Wall Street Journal took the opportunity to offer a poll that shows a new majority now favors abortion. The poll is interesting, because poll numbers on this topic have been bopping around in recent years. Take a look.
Joe Biden and 2016. One natural way to amuse oneself during a long day of inaugural festivities is to ask: Is Joe Biden having such a good time that he is running for president in 2016? That’s what roughly half the crowd was wondering this week.
What do you think? Look at that expression.
Guns and Congress: There has been talk that some Democratic members of Congress might be soft or softening on gun legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will not duck this difficult issue. Reid did not specifically address the assault weapons ban. He said lawmakers would go deep on the subject. Hard to say what that really means.
Does Rodney Tom match his district? State Sen. Rodney Tom is one of the best-known state lawmakers this session, partly because of his decision to break ranks with his fellow Democrats and join Republicans in forming a leadership arrangement in the Senate, the majority coalition caucus. Democrats are not happy with him. But even critics concede Tom is in sync with his Eastside district on tax increases. PublicCola took a look at voting in the recent election by legislative district and found Tom’s voters agree with him on Tim Eyman’s tax-limitation measures. Sync is sync.
A fee on lobbyists. Once again, state Rep. Jim Moeller of Vancouver is introducing a bill that would slap a fee on lobbyists and politicians — the money would go toward improving the Public Disclosure Commission’s online presence.
The Seattle Times politics team has a new Facebook page, and we are eager for friends and likes.
January 18, 2013 at 3:50 PM
State election watchdogs cited Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes for first-time, inadvertent, minor violations of state law in his campaigning last year for Initiative 502, which created the state’s legal marijuana law.
The Public Disclosure Commission also found that Holmes’ assistant Kim Garrett violated the law in the way she scheduled campaign events for her boss on city time, using city equipment.
Holmes and Garrett agreed to the findings — which carry no monetary fine — after a hearing Friday.
State investigators found that while Holmes and Garrett tried to keep the I-502 campaign separate from city work, that effort was difficult because pot policy has been a frequent focus of the city and Holmes’ work.
Operating under Holmes’ direction, Garrett put campaign events on Holmes’ public calendar to keep his schedule free of conflicts, which is allowed.
But investigators reported that Garrett on three occasions went beyond the simple ministerial act of placing events on Holmes’ schedule. In one case, she verified the existence of a magazine that wanted to interview Holmes; in another instance she called a photographer to schedule an appointment, rather than merely recording the date and time of an arranged event. And in the third violation, she discussed the logistics of Holmes’ schedule with an event organizer instead of just placing the event on his calendar.
Holmes and Garrett said they didn’t intend to violate any laws.
September 24, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Good Morning, All:
Election is kind of beginning: If it feels like the pace of the 2012 campaign season is picking up, and politicians are getting increasingly testy, it’s not your imagination. The 2012 election is officially under way, voting, that is. That’s right. As the National Journal points out, voting has already started in a few states. North Carolina, Wisconsin, Virginia and Michigan all began absentee voting in recent days. In-person early voting is also allowed in Virginia and Michigan. Counties in Washington state began mailing ballots to military and overseas voters late last week.
The Secretary of State’s office announced the counties with the highest number of voters receiving such ballots.
“The eight counties that had the highest number of ballots sent to military and overseas voters for the primary were King (12,574), Pierce (10,405), Kitsap (5,972), Thurston (4,362), Spokane (3,722), Snohomish (3,535), Island (2,112) and Clark (1,737). ”
From Times Reporter Brian M. Rosenthal: Rob McKenna’s latest ad makes it perfectly clear which demographic the Republican gubernatorial candidate is targeting. The 30-second spot features McKenna’s wife of 26 years, Marilyn, and two daughters talking about family values.
McKenna’s is not the only campaign targeting women, of course: the latest ad from Our Washington, an outside group supporting Democrat Jay Inslee, slams McKenna by using a dating analogy offered by a woman. Recent poll numbers suggest that McKenna has more work to do with women voters, who make up 53 percent of the state electorate. In the latest Elway Poll, for example, Inslee led McKenna among female voters.
Campaign slack-itude: The Public Disclosure Commission has scheduled a hearing for this Thursday, Sept. 27, to discuss more about Lt. Gov. Brad Owen’s sloppy campaign finance reports. Might be garden-variety stuff, but never a good thing in the middle of an election. Owen has a vigorous challenger this year, former state Sen. Bill Finkbeiner.
Speaking of state government: The words “budget” and “shortfall will be back into political geek conversations before you know it. Shortly after election results are tallied. The state budget is not expected to be as bleak as it has been in recent years, but expect another round of insufficient funds.
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September 11, 2012 at 12:45 PM
The latest state Public Disclosure Commission reports indicate GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and Democratic candidate Jay Inslee are about even when it comes to campaign spending on television.
Both campaigns have spent more than $1.1 million on media buys and production, according to the reports.
Inslee spent all of that on television ads through the primary. State records show McKenna spent around $1 million during that same time period. However, his campaign said some of the money also went for ads that ran after the primary during the Olympics.
Both candidates have more ads coming.
In terms of campaign funding, both candidates have raised roughly $8.5 million. About 17 percent of Inslee’s funding — $1.5 million – came from the state Democratic party.
PDC records show Inslee with roughly $3.4 million in cash on hand, compared with about $3.6 million for McKenna. However, McKenna lists $2.8 million in loans and debts compared to $129,000 for Inslee.
McKenna’s campaign said their liabilities include $2.63 million in reserved time on television, which they may or may not end up using.
Both campaigns also will get a ton of help from independent expenditure campaigns.
The Republican Governors Association has contributed $5.2 million to its political action committee supporting McKenna and spent $3.8 million so far, with almost of that money going to a media buy. The RGA would not discuss what ads it currently has on the air, or when it plans to run more.
The labor-backed group supporting Inslee, Our Washington, has raised $4.4 million and, likewise, won’t discuss its plans, although the group has reserved large chunks of television air time for the final weeks of the election. Half of the PAC’s money was contributed by the Democratic Governors Association.
August 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM
It is that time of the election cycle when campaigns start filing complaints with the state Public Disclosure Commission.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee fired first, filing a complaint on Thursday with the PDC that alleges GOP candidate Rob McKenna has under reported debts and expenses, and that he used money from his attorney general campaign fund to pay for gubernatorial campaign expenses.
“We believe this is the tip of the iceberg,” said Sterling Clifford, Inslee’s communications director.
Not to be outdone, McKenna’s campaign said they plan to file a PDC complaint next week alleging that Inslee illegally moved money from his congressional campaign account to his gubernatorial fund.
Inslee’s complaint contends McKenna did not report thousands of dollars in expenditures as required by law. His camp also argues McKenna improperly hired staff to work on the gubernatorial campaign using money from his attorney general campaign fund.
The complaint references a Seattle Times story from May that noted McKenna’s attorney-general campaign spent more than $500,000 on consultants, media relations, field organization and other campaign expenses in the 19 months before he declared his candidacy for governor.
Randy Pepple, McKenna’s campaign manager, has said McKenna did not decide to run for governor until shortly before he announced his candidacy, and that up until that point all the money was spent preparing for a statewide re-election campaign as attorney general.
In an interview this morning, Pepple said Inslee’s complaint is bogus and an attempt to distract voters from the complaint McKenna is about to file. Pepple said they’ll allege that Inslee illegally transferred money from his congressional account and failed to prove he got permission from some donors, among other things.
He also said, “It’s the height of hypocrisy for them to make these allegations against Rob when Jay Inslee kept on fulltime campaign staff after his (congressional) re-election in 2010 all the way to June. To prepare for what?”
PDC officials said they will likely decide whether to pursue the complaint filed by Inslee’s campaign within 14 days.
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