News Democrats File Complaint Against Rossi’s Non-Profit
posted by June 25 at 12:59 PMon
The Washington State Democrats think Dino Rossi’s non-profit, Forward Washington, is a front to fund his campaign efforts. This would violate state law.
The complaint states:
This complaint alleges that Mr. Rossi has deliberately evaded statutory contribution limits and disclosure requirements by funneling financial support to his gubernatorial campaign through a non-profit entity, the Forward Washington Foundation (“Forward Washington”).
Although it purports to be a non-partisan “think tank,” Forward Washington is nothing more than Mr. Rossi’s unofficial campaign committee. As discussed further below, Forward Washington’s primary purpose and activity is like that of any campaign committee: to solicit and spend contributions in support of a declared candidate for public office. In devising the artifice of Forward Washington, however, Mr. Rossi improperly evades campaign finance rules applicable to other campaign committees. Because Mr. Rossi’s ploy cynically operates to defeat the public’s interest in fair elections and in complete disclosure of election campaign finances, it violates RCW 42.17.
On Friday, I did a Slog post about the NYT article that took John Edwards to task for his non-profit. Edwards non-profit evidently struck the editors at the NYT as a shadow campaign outfit.
In the post, I not so subtly made it clear that Dino Rossi seemed to be up to the same thing. Y’all Democratic Party Slog commenters heckled me for picking on Edwards.
Well, I guess the Washington State Democrats apparently agreed with me. They just filed a complaint with the state saying that Rossi’s non-profit is a shadow campaign organization.
Says the Dems’s press release:
In reality, Dino Rossi is conducting a political campaign: he is currently on a multi-stop, statewide “listening tour” on which he is appearing before crowds of local Republican activists, attacking the Governor and Democratic legislators, and seeking to garner local media coverage for his activities. In addition to financing Dino Rossi’s political travel and paying the salaries of former Rossi campaign political operatives, regulatory filings from his non-profit suggest that Dino Rossi has personally pocketed more than $100,000 from special interests he refuses to disclose for his “non-partisan” “non-profit” “work.” “Dino Rossi is paying himself – with cash from special interests he refuses to disclose – to run a sham, tax-free organization to campaign for Governor,” said Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz. “By using his phony non-profit to circumvent Washington state’s campaign finance laws, Dino Rossi has eliminated all transparency and accountability as he continues his perpetual campaign for Governor.”
What do you Democratic Party partisan zombies say now? Are the Democrats being unfair to Rossi?
I, for one, think the NYT was right to question Edwards’s outfit, and I think the Washington State Democrats are right to question Rossi’s.
The Democrats’ complaint is about 60 pages. So, I haven’t read it yet. I will, and I’ll report more on it.