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UPDATE Tacoma: Chairman of PAC that sent attack mailer about Jack Connelly apologizes for mistakes to PDC

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on Aug. 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
August 1, 2012 12:52 pm

UPDATE: Wed. Aug. 1, 12:32 p.m.

As of today, two people have filed complaints with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission against the Tacomans for Integrity in Government PAC for failing to file required campaign finance reports, PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson said.

The complaintants include Tacoma resident and Jack Connelly campaign contributor Virginia Douglas, and Olympia lobbyist Jim King Jr.

Anderson said today the PAC still has yet to file its required reports.  The failure continues despite PAC chairman Ken Miller‘s acknowledgment email sent Tuesday (see below), and a PDC staff member’s phone call to Miller, in which Anderson said the reporting requirement was made clear.

“We have not received anything from them, even after the phone call,” Anderson said.

The PDC will review King’s complaint and determine if further enforcement is warranted, Anderson said.

Original post (July 31)

Ken Miller, chairman of the Tacomans for Integrity in Government political action committee, sent an email of apology today to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission for failing to properly report independent expenditures and contributions.

As of today, Miller’s PAC — which is responsible for a recent mailer that accurately reflects 27th District Senate candidate Jack Connelly‘s ties to a nonprofit that misspent state grant money – failed to report spending $8,000 on the mailers some nine days after it should have.

Spending on the mailers, which were distributed independently of Connelly’s opponent, state Rep. Jeannie Darneille, are required to be attributed to Darneille’s campaign in public reports because they benefit her.

Here’s Miller’s email to the PDC, which he also cc’d to The News Tribune:

I’m writing on behalf of Tacomans for Integrity in Government, a political action committee making independent expenditures.

We have failed to report both spending and contributions received in July, 2012. I’d like to explain our failure, and assure you it won’t be repeated.

Actually we made two mistakes – or more precisely, I did.

First, after reading the “Resources for Filers” section of the PDC web site, I came away with the impression we had two weeks from the time we first spent money before we were required to report. Obviously this is a badly mangled recollection of the rules; but it’s what I thought was correct.

Second, instead of sending each check to our treasurer as it was received, I held checks until several expected contributions arrived. Then I mailed them to our treasurer. This has caused further delay. [You might ask, why not have checks sent directly to the treasurer at the PAC's address? Because the Postal Service would not deliver PAC mail to our address, which happens to be the treasurer's post office box.]

Our only defense: we’re amateurs.

In no way did we intend to obscure the names of our contributors, the amounts of their contributions or the uses to which we put their funds.

You’ll note we listed top contributors on our mailing, in an effort to be transparent. In so doing, we complied with possibly the single most important IE rule: disclosing contributors.

We will do everything possible to meet both the letter and spirit of Washington’s campaign finance laws in the future. Please let me know what questions the Commission may have for us.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best wishes,

Ken Miller

 

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