Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Category: Campaign finance

May
22nd

PDC rules Tacoma PAC that sent attack mailers against Connelly violated campaign finance law

A Tacoma political group that distributed mailers attacking state senate candidate Jack Connelly last year violated campaign finance law by failing to report its donations and spending in a timely manner, the Public Disclosure Commission ruled Wednesday.

The political action committee known as “Tacomans for Integrity in Government” now has 30 days to pay a $200 fine assessed for the violation.

Ken Miller, a local political activist who chaired the Tacomans PAC, described his group’s belated financial filings on Wednesday as an honest mistake.

“I didn’t dispute the facts,” Miller said in an e-mail. “I misunderstood the

Read more »

April
17th

Tacoma: Van Dyk challenges Lonergan for 5th District city council seat

A second candidate has emerged to challenge an incumbent in this year’s Tacoma City Council races.

Justin Van Dyk officially filed his candidate’s registration with the state on April 5, declaring his intent to run for the council’s District 5 seat representing south Tacoma now held by Joe Lonergan.  

Shortly after Van Dyk registered, Lonergan himself filed his own candidacy paperwork and today officially announced in a press release that he’s seeking re-election.

In a phone interview today, Van Dyk, 25, said he is

Read more »

Jan.
17th

Activists asking Legislature to take a stand on controversial U.S. Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance

Getting a federal constitutional amendment passed is a tall order at best – if not a fool’s errand in some cases. But activists from a handful of groups worried about the influence of money in politics brought an estimated 12,000 petition signatures to the state Capitol Thursday, seeking legislative support for exactly such a federal campaign.

The activists gave their petitions to state Sen. Adam Kline, a Seattle Democrat who is introducing a bill that would ask Congress to draft the constitutional amendment for adoption by the states. Kline hasn’t dropped his bill into the hopper but he says his

Read more »

Oct.
30th

GOP says Democrats still ‘dancing with the devil’ after JZ Knight money shuffle

State Republican chairman Kirby Wilbur says his Democratic counterpart, Dwight Pelz, has not gone far enough in divesting itself of JZ Knight’s donations now that the Yelm-based spiritualist has come under fire for anti-gay, Semitic, Catholic and Mexican comments.

Republicans said new campaign finance filings show that the Democrats received money from Knight into their hard-money account, which can be used to directly help candidates. But when the party decided to distance itself from Knight by giving her money away, the party took $35,000 from its soft-money account – which is not subject to contribution limits and can only

Read more »

Oct.
30th

Denny Heck giving JZ Knight donation to SafePlace shelter

Democratic congressional candidate Denny Heck is giving a $3,500 campaign contribution received from Yelm-based spiritualist JZ Knight to the SafePlace’s sexual and domestic violence program in Olympia.

Knight’s comments about Catholics, gays, Mexicans and Jews have prompted other Democrats to also forfeit her campaign contributions, which she began making in 2012.

Heck’s campaign spokesman Phil Gardner said in an email today: “On Friday Denny made arrangements to donate the entirety of the contribution to SafePlace Olympia, a non-profit that works to assist survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.”

Heck, a Democrat from Olympia, is running in the 10th

Read more »

Oct.
25th

Family PAC files report with PDC ‘under protest’

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

Read more »

Oct.
23rd

PDC staff sees violations by group opposing 2009 gay-rights referendum

Staff at the Public Disclosure Commission have outlined what they say are “multiple apparent violations” of campaign-finance disclosure laws by a group called Family PAC that fought a 2009 gay-rights law, and its treasurer Joseph Backholm.

Backholm is also campaigning for voters to reject the 2012 gay-marriage law, which is not at issue in this case.

The group’s lawyers contend the PDC can’t legally require disclosures of its legal fees. The commission will consider at its meeting Thursday whether to accept investigators’ conclusions and forward the case to Attorney General Rob McKenna for legal action.

While opposing the “everything-but-marriage” Referendum 71 in 2009,

Read more »

Oct.
22nd

September a strong month for presidential candidates in Pierce County, but Obama leads in cash

Newly released data from the Federal Election Commission shows both presidential candidates reported their best month yet across Washington State.

Among contributors giving $200 or more, President Obama nearly tripled Governor Romney’s statewide totals for the month of September – $3,111,891 to $1,202,326. In Pierce County, the difference was more modest – $131,757 to $63,283 – just over double. The gain over August’s numbers in the county for Obama was 33% and for Romney, 9%.

Based on available itemized contributions (only donations greater than $200 in aggregate are required by law to be reported to the FEC), the President leads

Read more »