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Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson pulls contributor to candidate Hans Zeiger off recount

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Nov. 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm with 5 Comments »
November 29, 2010 5:27 pm

Seventy-five election workers today started the weeklong process of recounting votes for Democratic Rep. Dawn Morrell and her Republican challenger, Hans Zeiger, who led her by just 47 votes in the first count.

One counter is sitting out this week. An election worker who gave money to Zeiger’s campaign won’t participate in the recount, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson said today.

Anderson said she pulled the temporary employee, Janet Mullen, from the schedule after learning about her $750 in contributions to Zeiger.

Such contributions are legal. But “I have a higher duty to the public good,” Anderson said, “and that includes the perception of any conflict of interest.”

Anderson said she scoured campaign reports last week for other contributions and turned up nothing for the 11 full-time employees and 64 extra hires like Mullen who are sorting ballots and counting votes this week.

Mullen worked during this year’s primary and general elections.

Anderson said if Mullen had been a full-time employee, it would have been harder to change her duties. Pierce County has restrictions on campaign contributions by its employees, but Anderson said they are poorly written. The county ethics code (see 3.12.030) bars donations of more than $100, but only if they go to county officials.

Anderson wants to tighten restrictions for her own agency to head off future incidents. She said she plans to make changes before the next general election, after conferring with the county prosecutor’s office.

A local resident inquired by e-mail to Anderson about the contributions, as well as campaign contributions by someone who lives at the same address as Mullen. It is her husband, Anderson said.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. pen_mightier_than_sword says:

    Where are the Rossi worshippers hollering about unfairness iun recounts?

  2. Hats off to Ms. Anderson for taking action and performing the duties of her office in a manner that puts the good of the public first. This is an example of how ALL public officials should act. I’m glad that she holds the office

  3. She should post on her website ALL the contributions made by ANYONE in her office or under her supervision. That would be true objective transparency.

  4. Zeiger should have called the foul on himself on this matter. It just illustrates his “win at any costs” plan. The question now is what “legacy” if any has been left by his supporter in the count so far. What position did this supporter have ? If she was a signature validator, have those non valid votes been discarded and destroyed ?
    Well done Ms Anderson on taking the high road.

  5. PumainTacoma says:

    Come on it’s called CYA (cover you’re a**). Great real folks.

    Ms. Julie also got caught when she got the zero % property taxes for her remodeled home via the Landmark Preservation Commission, the same commission she appoints and approved when she was a city council member. Say conflict of interest? Bo was also on the commission and approved her 0% taxes. Only when she got caught by John Hathaway (New Takoman) did she fess up. This is just another Julie tactic.

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