For Immediate Release:
Sept. 13, 2006
Majority Rules Blog
Contact Steve Zemke
stevezemke at msn.com
Majority Rules Blog Files PDC Complaint Against “Americans Tired of Lawsuit Abuse”
A complaint today has been filed today with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission against an out of state PAC supporting the election of John Groen in his race to oust Chief Justice Gerry Alexander from the Washington State Supreme Court.
Steve Zemke of Majority Rules Blog filed the complaint. In his two most recent posts on the Alexander/Groen race for Washington State Supreme Court, Zemke noted that spending by Groen and Groen supporters has exceeded $1.35 million, making it the most expensive Supreme Court race in Washington’s history. And over $400,000 has now been raised and $350,000 spent by a mysterious out of state PAC calling itself Americans Tired of Lawsuit Abuse.
See: Groen Supporters Violate Public Disclosure in their Intent to Deceive and Hide who they are.
Record $1.3 million Spent so far to Elect Groen to Washington State Supreme Court http://www.majorityrules.org/blog/2006/09/record-13-million-spent-so-far-to.html
Zemke’s complaint is based on violation of RCW 42.17.020 (43) which states that the “Sponsor of an electioneering communications, independent expenditures, or political advertising” means the person paying for the electioneering communication, independent expenditure, or political advertising. If a person acts as an agent for another or is reimbursed by another for the payment, the original source of the payment is the sponsor.”
The sponsor not the agent needs to be identified under Washington law. Americans Against Frivolous Lawsuits is obviously just a phony name to hide the true identity of the funds.
Because this election will be decided in the Sept 19, 2006 primary Zemke asks that the PDC tell Americans Tired of Lawsuit Abuse to immediately identify to the public the source of their funding.
The US Chamber of Commerce two years ago tried to avoid identifying themselves as the sponsors of a $1.5 million spending campaign against Deborah Senn when she ran for Attorney General against Rob McKenna. The PDC ruled that they had to tell the public.
Americans Against Frivolous Lawsuits are running TV attack ads against Chief Justice Gerry Alexander and supporting John Groen.
One possible source of the funds is the American Tort Reform Coalition based in Washington DC. Zemke raises the questions of where the money against Alexander is coming from because a local Coalition calling itself the Liability Reform Coalition actually is affiliated with the American Tort Reform Coalition. And the Building Industry Association of Washington, which is itself spending hundreds of thousands of dollars is a member.
You can read more at the two blog links above.