Some Washington state politicians spend the money left over in their campaign accounts on wasteful extravagances, like donating to charity or paying tuition for continuing education at Harvard. But not Lt. Governor Brad Owen:
Surplus accounts are intended to allow candidates a way to hold onto cash between elections and to provide politicians options for how to properly disperse money that's not needed. Candidates can donate cash, but one umbrella option frequently used by officials allows them to spend the money for what the law terms "public office-related expenses."
Lt. Gov. Brad Owen spent about $760 from his surplus-funds account at an Olympia liquor store, reporting the items were for various functions, dignitary gifts and attorney dinners. Owen said drinks were served at after-hours events for state staffers and at other functions at his home. He said all of it was linked to his work in the office, noting that he wouldn't have been able to purchase alcohol with government money.
"If there was ever a question, we'd just use the fund," Owen said.
It's hard to see why The Stranger has been so loathe to endorse Owen considering that he so clearly shares one of our core priorities.