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Four years later Deborah Senn-U.S. Chamber of Commerce case is over

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on June 2, 2008 at 9:30 am with No Comments »
June 2, 2008 9:30 am

It only took four years, and will probably do little to change anyone’s behavior, but the case involving attack ads against Deborah Senn has ended. The U.S. Supreme Court decided against reviewing the case, which means the state Supreme Court decision stands.

The question in the case was whether a committee formed to pay for ads critical of a candidate must disclose the donors to the committee. Senn was a candidate for state attorney general, eventually losing to Rob McKenna.

Here is the Associated Press story from this morning.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court declined Monday to step into a dispute over a Washington state law that requires political committees to disclose the names of donors behind ads critical of a candidate for elected office.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled last year that a political committee backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce broke state campaign finance laws when it refused to disclose the donors behind ads in the 2004 state attorney general’s race.

The U.S. Chamber, working with a state group called the "Voters Education Committee," paid for advertisements criticizing Democratic attorney general hopeful Deborah Senn during the 2004 primary campaign.

Voters Education Committee initially refused to register as a political campaign group with the state or reveal the source of its money. The committee later reported a $1.5 million donation from the U.S. Chamber, which in turn declined to reveal any of its donors, saying it didn’t raise any money specifically for the Senn campaign.

The justices did not comment on their action Monday.

The case is Voters Education Committee v. Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, 07-1153.

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