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PDC staff recommends dismissal of Inslee complaint vs. McKenna

Post by Brad Shannon / The Olympian on Oct. 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
October 19, 2012 4:51 pm

Staffers at the state Public Disclosure Commission are recommending dismissal of a campaign finance complaint brought against Republican Rob McKenna’s gubernatorial campaign by his Democratic rival, Jay Inslee.  The full report, which did find errors by the McKenna campaign, is here.

The PDC staff’s recommendation to drop the case is the same conclusion it reached last week about a complaint McKenna’s team filed against Inslee’s campaign.

The commission on Monday then rejected the McKenna complaints against Inslee. The recommendation on the complaint against McKenna now goes to the five-member citizen commission on Thursday, Oct. 25.

At issue is the McKenna campaign’s alleged failure to report $33,000 in liabilities for rented facilities used for fundraising events last November and other campaign-finance irregularities with telemarketing expenses, and payments by McKenna’s former attorney general campaign for expenses that should have been born by the governor’s campaign.

In its recommendation, the PDC found flaws in how McKenna’s campaign handled some matters. But as finance specialist Tony Perkins wrote, it did not cause public harm:

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“The McKenna for Governor campaign failed to disclose estimated debts or obligations associated with two campaign events, and failed to correctly identify the AG McKenna Re-Election campaign as the recipient of other expenses. However, all cash outlays by the campaign were timely reported, and the campaign took the necessary actions to correct its reports well before the Nov. 6, 2012, election. The public was not deprived of important information at a crucial point in the election campaign.

“No evidence was presented or found that General McKenna’s staff expenses during May of 2011 were inappropriately paid with AG McKenna Re-Election campaign funds, or that General McKenna became a candidate for governor prior to June 1, 2011.

“For these reasons, PDC staff recommends that the Commission dismiss the allegations in Kelly Wicker’s complaint against the Rob McKenna for Governor campaign, received on August 9, 2012.’’

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