Washington State Insurance Commissiner Mike Kreidler was caught and fined recently for breaking the law.

Mike Kreidler

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler (Dem) was caught and exposed for personal misuse of his surplus campaign funds over the past few years.  The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission staff settled this investigation last week and formally signed (digitally as this is the Covid19 era) a stipulated agreement including a personal fine of $150 recorded on April 16th (linked here).

This investigation and exposure of State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler began with a complaint drafted and submitted by this author on February 12th, earlier this year (see original complaint here).  Based on my research, it appears that Mike Kreidler for many years had been diverting campaign finance money (over $12,000) mostly for his own personal benefit.  The most overt violation was the illegal distribution of a $500 contribution to Democrat Congressman Denny Heck’s political campaign in 2017 (see original complaint details linked here).  As a 40 year veteran of Washington’s political landscape, Kreidler knew this was not a legal use of his personal surplus funds (See RCW 42.17A.430(8) and also WAC 390-16-234(3)).  Kreidler also knew it was unlikely anyone would ever confront or expose him for his illegal activity. 

Based on the kid glove treatment he received from the PDC, their willingness to extend the benefit of the doubt (rarely extended to Republicans), and their willingness to suspend disbelief on the misuse of the rest of his $12,000 on personal drinking binges, dining adventures around the country, and odd softball tournament activity indicates a politically negotiated settlement in this case.  It is also helpful to hire attorneys to negotiate these things.  It is unlikely that a serious fine would ever be imposed on any statewide officeholder affiliated with the Democratic Party particularly in an election year.  That treatment is normally reserved for Republicans (see the Kim Wyman case from 2016 as an example). 

The rules don’t exactly apply equally to all

However, it is good to expose the truth, regardless of the backroom deals which might mitigate full exposure or equal treatment.  This was the second complaint I filed against the globe-trotting Kreidler.  The last one resulted in an unserious “reminder” letter instructing him to at least pretend to follow the law next time (see here).  A small fine like this recent one is a slight escalation up the punishment scale from a toothless reminder letter.  Mike Kreidler and the office of Insurance Commissioner certainly deserves a lot more attention and scrutiny than he currently receives, and it seems worthwhile for good government activists to dig a bit more. 

Kreidler wasn’t alone in breaking the law…

On a related note, a few of the complaints I’ve filed over the past few years against various politicians and PACs have settled with fines of one kind or another over the past few weeks.  It might be worth writing about them in more detail in the near future.  Here are a few more recent examples:

Disgraced former
State Rep. David Sawyer
(29th LD – Democrat)
  • Disgraced former Democrat Representative David Sawyer (29th LD), from Tacoma was fined $1,000 based on a 2017 complaint I filed against him with the PDC (See file documents below, or download them from here).  This was mostly for his habitually deficient and late campaign finance reporting.  He also acted like the law was never intended to apply to him.  This matched his Ethics Fine of $1,000 for the #MeToo investigation which was finalized last year after he lost re-election (see here).
  • The Washington State Conservation Voters Action Fund PAC was wrist slapped with a $300 fine based on two different complaints I filed against them (see here and here) in October and November 2019.  These were mainly focused on shady, secretive, strategically late filings they made to obscure and conceal some of their last minute political activity.  The PDC staff gave them the benefit of the doubt and imposed a minor fine.  Partly, this was influenced by earlier warning letters this well-funded PAC had received for historic campaign finance violations (see here).  A pattern has been established, but it might take a few more fines to correct this habitual lawbreaking.
  • The Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants PAC was fined $2500 based on a 2017 complaint I filed against them.  This included a laundry list of random violations mostly involved with late reporting, concealing from the public, donations made to Governor Inslee and others for many months.  Unlike the Conservation Voters Action Fund PAC, this one also gave to Republicans, so they had a larger fine imposed.  However, these guys are supposed to be the professionals, and if they can’t follow Washington State’s glorious and wonderful campaign finance laws, what hope is there for the rest of us?

For a complete list of the last 65 politicians, PACs, judges, and others who have been fined based on my complaints, and a list of the 93 PACs and politicians who have been publicly and officially exposed for violating these laws go to this link and see the complete list, including direct source links to the original documents.  You can mock me for my hobby of exposing these guys, but there are worse and far less productive hobbies out there.

Everyone needs a hobby. Might as well make it a productive one. Confronting politicians, PACs, judges, and others for their law breaking can be beneficial to everyone


Background articles and documents:

Washington State Public Disclosure Commission

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler

PDC Case #65459 – Mike Kreidler(2)

Original PDC Compliant filed against Mike Kreidler (PDC Case #65459)

Final signed Statement of Understanding detailing the violation and the fine (PDC Case #65459). Received 4-16-2020, digitally “signed” by Mike Kreidler on 4-10-20.

Formal summary letter from the PDC sent on 4/20/2020 to the author (PDC Case #65459 – Mike Kreidler)

PDC Case #24661 – Mike Kreidler (1)

Rep. David Sawyer – WA State Legislative Ethics Investigation Case #18-04 (dated January 28, 2019) including a $1,000 fine.

PDC Case #29797 – David Sawyer

Rep. David Sawyer – Final signed settlement of PDC investigation and $1,000 fine (PDC Case #29797)

Original PDC Compliant #29797 against Rep. Sawyer

PDC Summary of PDC Case #29797 against Rep. David Sawyer

Original Complaint – PDC Case #59539 – Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund PAC (2)

PDC Case #59539 – Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund PAC(2)

Original Complaint – PDC Case #59657 – Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund PAC (4)

PDC Case #42958 – Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund PAC (1)

PDC Case #59657 – Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund PAC (4)

PDC letter to this author dated April 20, 2020 for PDC Case #59657 & #59359 detailing $300 settlement and fine

PDC Case #59657 – Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants PAC

Original Complaint PDC Case #59657 – WA Society of Certified Public Accountants PAC (April 11, 2018)

Stipulation and signed Settlement – PDC Case #59657 – WA Society of Certified Public Accountants PAC – March 13, 2020

Adventures in political accountability and campaign finance enforcement in Washington State

The List: Politicians, Judges, Candidates, and PACs caught and exposed by Glen Morgan’s efforts

Governor Ja Inslee signs “Stop Glen Morgan Bill”, but will it really change anything?

ESHB 2938 – Final Signed Session Law (Effective June 7th)

PDC campaign finance complaint #32210 against Governor Jay Inslee

TVW video of ESHB 2938 passing house on Feb 14, 2018

Washington State Constitution – Last Revision by amendment 1-12-2011

Warnings, Fines, Records, and Chaos – the joys of Washington’s campaign finance laws

Democrat legislators break law, propose bill to hide their lawbreaking – attempt to punish those who exposed them

Thanksgiving spirit – bringing Democrats and Republicans together in King County

The Scorched wasteland of Washington’s campaign finance laws

The Chaos of campaign finance compliance and the disarray of the Dems

Superior Court Judge Stolz fined $13k for failed “stealth” election campaign

Attorney General forced to sue failed Appellate Court Judge Candidate Nathan Choi for massive campaign finance violations

Washington AG forced to sue labor group, keeps $36k settlement very quiet

Tukwila Firefighters PAC settles campaign finance lawsuit for $23k, promises to do better

Dem Representative Morris settles AG lawsuit quietly and cheaply

Jay Manning fined for Cult PAC violations, State Democratic Party pays the tab

Spokane County Democrats settle AG lawsuit for $85,300 after kid glove treatment by Bob Ferguson

Representative Stonier settles lawsuit for $6.2k

Republican Caucus Leader – letter to PDC Commissioners demanding resignation of Executive Director Lopez due to bias concerns

AG judgment against Pierce County Democratic Central Committee (signed by former PDC Director Lopez representing the Pierce County Dems) dated Oct 27, 2017

Press Release -AG Ferguson names Peter Lavallee new Communications Director – December 11, 2014

December 16, 2011 AG vs. Moxie Media Campaign Finance Judgement for $290,000

November 2, 2016 – AG vs. Grocery Manufacturers Association Ruling for $19 million 

January 20, 2017 – AG vs. Wyman – Stipulation and Judgment for $12,090

The Rough Road ahead – campaign finance reform in Washington State

ShiftWA – PDC overlooks Democrat campaign finance violations – again

Seattle Times – “State GOP says campaign-watchdog agency chief is biased, must resign”

The Columbian – “Republicans renew call for PDC Chief to quit over Probst case”

UFCW Local 21 PAC – Settlement for $40,000 with PDC – Memo of Understanding

Original complaint filed by Glen Morgan against UFCW Local 21 PAC – October 29, 2018 – PDC #42719

AG Ferguson’s persecutionof Tim Eyman, Eyman’s plea, and a creepy AG employee

Dem PACs dissolve after campaign finance complaint

The Columbian – January 23, 2018 – “Local Democratic PAC plans to disband after complaints”

The Trials and Tribulations of Tina Podlodowski – Helping Democrats lose by less

Letter from 43rd Leg District Democrats claiming they have now dissolved

AG Attorney complains suing Democrat lawbreakers “unfair”, quits to sue Republicans

Seattle Times – August 6, 2017 – “State senator fined for violating campaign disclosure law”

The Olympian – August 4, 2017 – Hunt agrees to fine in campaign finance disclosure case 


Comments are closed.