As frequent visitors to this site and viewers on our YouTube channel are aware, I have devoted a bit of free time over the past few years catching and exposing our political class and the special interests that support them for their lawbreaking. For those who want to know how I started down this road, I’ve written about it before (see here, here, and here). However, if you’ve been tracking the Public Disclosure Commission’s Enforcement page (linked here), you will notice that they’ve been posting a lot more of the complaints I’ve filed in the past few weeks than has been my typical volume lately.
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The reason for this increase in complaints is the recent fact that I realized despite my best efforts a few years ago, many of these PACs and politicians just can’t help themselves, and lawbreaking is just a way of life for them. Many of them are addicted to lawbreaking. The Public Disclosure Commission enforcement process is a complaint driven process, so I’m doing my civic duty and trying to help the PDC correct the wayward and lost souls in these organizations and perhaps encourage them to start following the law for a change. Or at least pretending to do so. Obviously, if these organizations and politicians are hiding the truth about their political funding, expenditures, and other activities, and nothing happens to them – then the whole point of campaign finance transparency is lost.
Too many Violators to list, but some examples are linked below.
I’ll probably discuss some of these in more detail on my video channel soon, but generally in the last 80 or so complaints I’ve filed over the past few weeks, I’m noticing a basic pattern of behavior that can be lumped into a variety of categories of violations:
Illegal late reporting of expenditures and contributions.
This is the most common violation I’ve found in my recent investigation. This is particularly problematic with larger, well-funded PACs who clearly have the resources to comply with Washington State’s campaign finance laws (RCW 42.17A) but simply decide to ignore the law. A few cases that have posted worth reviewing are as follows and you can link to their enforcement case directly by clicking on them (for those interested in a closer look): The Washington Education Association PAC, the Grays Harbor Democratic Party, the Thurston County Democratic Party, the Franklin County Democratic Party, and the Whatcom County Democratic Party, just to name a small sampling. As the PDC catches up to posting the complaints I have filed, the public will be able to see many more who I have caught breaking these specific laws (RCW 42.17A.235 & RCW 42.17A.240). There are too many to list here at this time.
Illegal overlimit anonymous contributions and illegal overlimit contributions.
These are two distinctly different violations according to the law (RCW 42.17A.220(4) and RCW 42.17A.405, respectively). However, they essentially involve the same type of violation – taking more money than legally allowed from one source. Most of the illegal overlimit anonymous contributions are organizations few pay attention to most of the time, I suspect, but that doesn’t excuse their lawbreaking (See Whatcom County Democrats, Tacoma Port Commissioner Candidate Jeanette Twitty, and Yes to East King County PUD PAC, as just a few examples). Most of the illegal overlimit contributions were for candidates who collected maximum contributions for both the primary and general election, but they only had a general election. Examples of these were the two Lacey City Council candidates Nicolas Dunning and Spencer Zeman, Vancouver City Council candidates Ty Stober and Bart Hanson, Spokane Mayor candidate Lisa Brown, and failed Spokane Valley City Council candidate James Johnson, among others.
- Some PACs failed to identify their prime sponsor in their campaign statement of organization. This is significant because they have received over 80% of their cash from one source, which makes them a sponsored political entity of that one source, and some attempted to conceal this fact (Violation of RCW 42.17A.205, WAC 390-16-011A). Examples of this include the Grays Harbor Democratic Party, Eastern Washington Voters PAC, Question PAC, among others.
- Sometimes large Dark Money PACs try to influence local city races with massive dumps of secret advertising and then they attempt to conceal the details. This was the case with the SEIU 775 PAC (see case here).
- Wide variety of other random lawbreaking. Misuse of campaign funds for illegal personal use. Missing campaign funds (did someone steal them?), Attempt to conceal in-kind earmarked contributions, Illegal misuse of public resources to promote political campaigns, etc. The list is endless and varied, but with a little work every day over time, I can spend a few months to get on top of these violators.
There are plenty of other violators I have caught over the past few weeks, and I’ll be updating the Public Disclosure Commission with the results of my investigations. Their caseload will increase over the next few months, but to be fair, I feel like I was slacking off over the past few months, and I’m making up for that lost time now. Again, if you want to track what the PDC is investigating go to their Enforcement Page linked here. If you want to review some of the 227 PACs, judges and politicians I have caught breaking the law over the past few years (and who have been fined, sued, or sanctioned by state agencies) go here. Obviously, that list will increase substantially over the next few months. I try to keep this updated as the cases are resolved.
If you want to learn how you can be involved in exposing the truth about not just these types of violations, but also Washington State Ethics Laws, and generally engage in shining the light on government corruption, please feel free to attend some of my training sessions, which I plan to be organizing around the state over the next year. I realize not everyone wants to be involved in exposing the truth like this, but for those who really do, I’m here to help you.
OUR CONSTITUTION BEGINS WITH THE PHRASE “WE THE PEOPLE.” IT WAS THE FOUNDERS’ INTENT THAT GOVERNMENT BE CREATED BY THE PEOPLE, TO SERVE THE PEOPLE. IT WASN’T THEIR INTENTION FOR THE PEOPLE TO SERVE THE GOVERNMENT. IT WAS ALWAYS INTENDED THAT GOVERNMENT WHICH FAILED TO SERVE THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE “ALTERED OR ABOLISHED.” UNTIL WE RETURN TO THE FOUNDER’S INTENT, WE REMAIN WE THE GOVERNED…
Background articles and reference links:
The current Enforcement Case list at the Public Disclosure Commission (if you want to see the complaints I’ve filed, just type in “Glen Morgan” to the “Complainant” Box