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BIAW to pay $242,000 fine in campaign finance case

Post by Brad Shannon / The Olympian on Sep. 24, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
September 24, 2010 4:04 pm

An arm of the Building Industry Association of Washington agreed today to pay $242,000 in immediate penalties to settle a lawsuit over its one-year delay in reporting money raised to aid Dino Rossi’s 2008 campaign for governor.

The state Attorney General’s Office announced the settlement. The settlement says BIAW’s total fine is $584,000 – with $342,000 suspended – if the builders’ Member Services Corporation can avoid campaign-finance problems through 2016.

The MSC had asked local homeowner groups to set aside a portion of “retro” industrial insurance rebates in 2007 to assist BIAW’s political activities such as helping Rossi against Gov. Chris Gregoire the following year. But the money was not reported to the state Public Disclosure Commision for about one year, the PDC said.

The settlement ended a nasty fight between BIAW and AG Rob McKenna in which state lawyers suggested a $900,000 settlement last October and BIAW countered that it was “extortion.” The parties came together through mediation and the judgment against BIAW’s MSC was signed by Thurston County Judge Richard D. Hicks today in Superior Court.

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