This clearly is not going to make Sen. Jim Kastama popular with his Democratic leaders. But the Puyallup lawmaker said he will introduce a resolution before newly elected Sen. Nick Harper is sworn in Monday to deny him his seat.
Kastama said he believes improper and illegal actions by a Seattle political consultant changed the results of a primary election that saw Harper defeat incumbent Democrat Jean Berkey.
“I cannot in good conscience vote to seat a senator whose election was altered by an illegal action,” Kastama said. “The documents I have seen, including signed affidavits, show there is no doubt that Moxie Media’s actions were illegal and that they were responsible for changing the outcome of the election.
“These actions shifted a sure primary election victory from Sen. Jean Berkey to a razor-thin victory for Rod Rieger, a candidate whose support and campaign efforts were largely nonexistent.”
Moxie Media and its co-owner Lisa Collins MacLean have been sued in civil court by state Attorney General Rob McKenna for four violations of campaign finance disclosure law. They arose out of her efforts to defeat Berkey on behalf of a coalition of labor and trial lawyers groups.
A state Public Disclosure Commission investigation found that MacLean purposefully delayed disclosure and created multiple layers of political action committees to make sure the source of money for the campaign was not made public until after the election.
Part of the effort to defeat Berkey, deemed not liberal enough by the interest groups, was to run a shadow campaign for conservative candidate Rieger, thus denying Berkey votes from both the left and the right. She ended up finishing third in the top-two primary and Harper went on to win the general election. Read more »