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Family PAC files report with PDC ‘under protest’

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Oct. 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
October 25, 2012 5:56 pm

A group that has fought the state in court since 2009 filed a two-page campaign-finance report today disclosing legal services of $146,000 provided over the past three years by an Indiana law firm.

“Though we don’t think they are required, we are, under protest, going to file them,” said Family PAC’s treasurer, Joseph Backholm.

That didn’t keep the Public Disclosure Commission in its meeting today from turning over the case to the attorney general’s office for possible legal action. PDC investigators say the group, Family PAC, violated the law by not reporting the services long ago and that its last-minute report is incomplete.

The Bopp Law Firm didn’t charge for its services, and now state government will have to pay for them unless it’s successful on appeal. A court struck down Washington’s law restricting last-minute large contributions to ballot measure campaigns. The group says it can’t be required to report the costs of a federal civil-rights lawsuit.

Backholm, who leads the Family Policy Institute of Washington, commented on the disclosure issue for the first time today. He argeued the PDC is retaliating because of the court defeat. “This is a negotiation tactic on their part,” he said.

The case began over the rules Family PAC had to follow while campaigning against Referendum 71, the 2009 “everything but marriage” law.

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