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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

8th District Hardball Begins

Posted by on April 12 at 10:30 AM

Eastside Republican Congressman Dave Reichert doesn’t even kick off his reelection campaign until next week, but with his opponent, Democrat Darcy Burner, having out-fundraised him by 2 to 1 in the first quarter, the gloves are already coming off.

The State Republican Party today announced it is filing a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission about Burner’s handling of contributions. I’ll post a response from Burner’s campaign as soon as it arrives.


April 12, 2006

8th District Democrat named in campaign violation complaint

Seattle, WA The Washington State Republican Party today filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging that US Congressional candidate Darcy Burner violated numerous federal election laws in her bid to unseat incumbent 8th District Congressman Dave Reichert. Diane Tebelius, Washington State GOP chairman, asked the FEC to look into alleged violations of federal campaign reporting laws including receipt of excessive contributions and failure to properly report disbursements.

This complaint paints a picture of a campaign that is unable to comply with federal election rules and regulations. Earlier this year Burner pledged to adhere to the highest ethical standards if elected to Congress. This latest revelation makes that pledge sound hollow. "Darcy Burner makes a mockery of her own pledge with her inability or unwillingness to follow even the most basic campaign finance rules,” commented Chairman Tebelius.

The complaint stems from Burner's involvement with "Eastside Democracy for America", a spin-off of Howard Dean's Democracy for America Political Action Committee (PAC). The complaint alleges that the eastside group paid for a campaign event that was not listed in any of Burner's federally-mandated campaign disclosures. Additionally, it was noted that the group produced and distributed a videotape of the event, the cost of which likely exceeds the $5,000 contribution limit for Political Action Committees. Other concerns focused on the fact that Eastside DFA's status as a political action committee is unclear raising questions about whether Burner accepted corporate in-kind donations, a violation of federal campaign finance law.

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Diane Tebelius - now, where have I heard that name before?

Oh, yeah.

She's sooooo credible...

Darcy has an ace consultant - Blair Butterworth. Too bad they are going to learn the hard way to do the money exactly to the letter.

Just makes her look like a rank novice.

And is hardly hardball. EVERY campaign checks out this stuff and makes it public if there are any mistakes.

Oh boy are they ever scared of Darcy! Dukes up girl!

The campaign's initial response was to pull down the video from her website.

LOL Reichert.

If the Burner campaign has done nothing wrong, they should welcome the opportunity to rebuke this assbag stunt and show proof that they've followed the law.

They have raised a high amount of money for the time period, though. Rather high.

Hey Eli, when are we going to hear about Burner's positions? You promised them, I'd love to support her, but need some info. Or is it just about the win?

Dishonest, Dave.

Eli's piece, which served to introduce Burner to our readers, also included her positions on many issues. And Eli posted a Slog item about Burner on the Iraq war.

I've read everything Eli has posted. Am a fan of his writing. Am not criticizing him, but am honestly wondering when we get to hear more about Burner because I've been waiting. So far we know she won't vote against a contitutional ban on Gay Marriage, and she is somewhere sort of against the Iraq war but not having a solid plan of how to get out. Ok, cool, so what else? I want to get as excited as the political junkies who are excited about her fundraising and insider political press, but I get excited about ideas and I am hope Burner has some. Assuming she does, let's hear them. Where is she on No Child Left Behind, Iran, Immigration Reform, Health Care, Drilling in Alaskan Wildlife Refuge, Media Consolidation, Radio Payola, The Microsoft Anti-Trust case, minimum wage, whate's her energy policy, etc, etc, etc. I am exctied to see a true progressive win in the 8th. Is she one? What are her three top ideas she is going to bring with her to Congress that she will turn into legislation?

Yeah, so far it seems to be all about the win. And the win for what, exactly? For the exclusive rights to cliche phrases like "Helping families who work hard and play by the rules get ahead" and "as we phase out of Iraq". If that doesn't convince you to vote for her, read more of her website. Guaranteed to provide empty rhetoric from now til....November?

Isn't it enough that she's not against stopping the war in Iraq right now? Or is it ok to keep killing kids for the time being, as long as the Democrats are saying it's alright? How twisted.

That's a little too dense on your part, Dan. The reason behind the dissenting contentions is that, after Eli's pieces, it's still unclear what Burner herself is about. We know what her campaign managers and the Democratic boosters want, though.

Meinert, etc:

I've run into Burner twice at Drinking Liberally, and she always seems eager to discuss her stance on issues, and incredibly open to people approaching her with questions.

For example, two weeks ago a man at DL interrupted my conversation with Burner to ask her thoughts on alternative energy, and they proceeded to have a 10-minute conversation about the topic. I didn't get to eavesdrop on the whole conversation, but I did hear Burner say that ideally, she'd like to see fuel cell energy utilized as much as possible, but there were many steps that needed to be taken before that ideal could be reached.

My point: This dude felt completely comfortable walking up and asking her to explain herself. They chatted for 10 minutes. If you are really that keen to hear her take on things, and if The Stranger coverage is dissatisfying, then take some freaking initiative, walk down, and ask her yourself. She'd be thrilled.

We post about these events before hand for that very reason.

That sounds encouraging, Cienna, no sarcasm. However, why isn't she this candid with the media and similar forums? Save for the handful of quotes cribbed from Eli's interview for the cover story, there isn't much else for the common observer to go on concerning her in particular.

And the vast majority of 8th District voters who will decide her fate will never meet Darcy Burner in person. They'll never know what you just told us. But they will she how she portrays herself on TV and in the news. What platform she presents to the outside world means so much more than what she's willing to discuss at a meet-and-greet with a passer-by.

To cite that isolated incident as a negation of our concerns is fallacy. Her conversation went unnoticed by anyone who wasn't there.

My attempt wasn't to negate your concerns, Gomez, but to illustrate that the best way to ensure that your concerns/issues are vocalized and addressed is to take a little initiative.

I have no doubt that Burner's stances will be aired, dissected, praised and criticized by plenty of sources from now until the election. And Eli is a fantastic reporter; he'll be on top of things.

It is sad that with all the ink Burner has recevied so far we still know nothing about her positions on specific policies or what type of legislation she will be for or against. If the only answer is that she is easy to talk to at a bar full of Dem wonks, well, that's even sadder. Eli and Dan have been claiming for weeks that the feature on Burner was just going to be an introduction and that there would be indepth coverage of her positions coming. So far all I've read about is her rambling about Iraq and how much money she has raised. I'll go back to my original take on this - the Dems can't expect a Dem revolution without some ideas. If fundraising and poll numbers and some rambling about Iraq is all the Dems have, we're in trouble. I hope Burner has more. I believe she must, but every day that goes by without hearing her speak directly to voters about her policies and specific ideas is a day that belief fades.

Instead of the pro-Burner journalists and bloggers being defensive, it would be great to see them do their jobs and report to us some facts about Burner's positions. Trust me, if she doesn't define herself soon, Reichart will do it for her.

My work here is done.

Eli certainly writes good stuff, and I hope he helps the region get to know more about Darcy Burner and what she intends to do in office... and minimize this Reichert sniping we're seeing too much of lately. Okay, he's the 8th District Antichrist. We get it.

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