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Tag: Americans for Prosperity


PDC staff recommends Americans for Prosperity case be dismissed

Conservative group Americans for Prosperity-Washington didn’t run afoul of Washington election law, the staff of the state’s campaign watchdog agency has determined.

The group led by Kirby Wilbur, now chairman of the state Republican Party, attacked incumbent Democratic state lawmakers in ads and mailers and didn’t report the spending to the Public Disclosure Commission until after the November 2010 election.

Democrats complained, especially because they saw it as similar to campaign attacks on Republicans by liberal and labor groups using a Democratic consultant, Moxie Media, which has come under scrutiny for misleading voters.

But the PDC staff determined the

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Democrats accuse Americans for Prosperity of campaign violations

Could this be the Republicans’ Moxie Media?

As Publicola has reported, the conservative group Americans for Prosperity Washington, a chapter of a national group with ties to the tea party movement, sent out mailers attacking Democratic state senators without reporting the spending to the state.

Voters can’t find the group on the Public Disclosure Commission’s website, so they can’t see who gave money to it — much as they couldn’t identify the donors behind hit pieces against state Sen. Jean Berkey put together by liberal consultant Moxie Media.

Attorney General Rob McKenna is suing Moxie. Now Democrats are pushing for a similar lawsuit against Americans for Prosperity. State party Chairman Dwight Pelz today filed a complaint with the PDC, Democrats’ second against AFP-Washington,  saying the “secretive,” “right-wing” group is “refusing to disclose the source of its funds, in blatant violation of state law.”

While federal campaigns have turned into a free-for-all of nondisclosure in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, it’s supposed to be different in Washington.

Groups that run ads identifying a state candidate less than 60 days before the election are supposed to report it as an “electioneering communication,” even if they don’t explicitly tell people to vote for or against a candidate, like these mailers. Pelz said he didn’t know when the ads were mailed.

I haven’t yet been able to reach Kirby Wilbur, state director of Americans for Prosperity. (He’s also running for state Republican Party chairman, the Everett Herald reports.)

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