Public Disclosure be Damned! So say Dino Rossi and the BIAW in their early starting rematch with Governor Christine Gregoire. Both are conducting efforts to get Rossi elected and both are not reporting to the PDC their real campaign efforts .
As Andrew over at the NW Progressive Blog writes in his post Walking for Washington, the BIAW (Building Industry Association of Washington) is the main funder behind the Walking for Washington PAC which it turns out is once again a “Walking for Rossi” PAC. They have been going door to door canvassing for a number of months now asking voters survey questions starting out with a “Would you vote for Rossi or Gregoire for Governor?”‘ first question.
The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission reports that Walking for Washington has raised some $125,618 total. The BIAW gave $90,000 in cash and $15,193 in kind. The remainder was transferred from another BIAW PAC, It’s Time for a Change, which has the same BIAW address and treasurer, as the Walking for Washington PAC.
Where the BIAW and it’s Walking for Washington PAC skirt state law and are a stealth campaign, is that they never report for what candidate they are spending money doing the survey and voter id work for. They are trying to slide this work under the radar so to speak. They have never filed paperwork with the PDC declaring what candidate or candidates they are spending money supporting or opposing. They merely report expenditures for individual contractors with no mention of the race or candidate they are involved with.
In fact they repeatedly check off as no the statement “During the Reporting Period, did the committee make an independent expenditure (ie an expense not considered a contribution) supporting or opposing a state or local candidate?”
OK please explain to me how a committee which previously supported Rossi and that is asking voters about issues to micro target them and that asks them if they would vote for Rossi or Gregoire for Governor is not making an expenditure supporting Rossi and opposing Gregoire?
It is obvious that they are opposing Gregoire and supporting Rossi from both the questions asked about the Governor’s race and the fact that this is the identical work of micro targeting based on a list of issues the voters support or oppose, just as they did for Rossi in his 2004 Gubernatorial campaign.
Meanwhile Rossi himself is running as a candidate without filing with the PDC as a candidate. He is doing this through his traveling and speaking for his foundation Forward Washington. David Goldstein writes about this in a post entitled “Forward Washington, Rewind Rossi”
We first wrote about this this in a post last December entitled “Rossi Starts Run for Governor”
So what’s wrong with these guys? Why can’t they be straightforward with Washington voters and admit what they are up to? Why are they bending over backward to skirt state law rather than be honest with the voters as to what they are up to.
Voters should interpret this behavior for what it is – dishonesty. It is a ridiculous attempt to hide campaign activities. Who do they think they are fooling? Voters should read Rossi’s actions as indicative of the type of Governor he would be.
It portrays Rossi as a politician that you can’t trust to tell the truth or that doesn’t care to treat voters with respect. It’s one of “I don’t give a damn about public disclosure and the voters knowing what I am really doing.” Let it be a warning – a flashing light or a buzzer that gives you pause and makes you wonder just how open and honest Rossi would be as Governor.