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Monday, June 25, 2007

Democrats File Complaint Against Rossi’s Non-Profit

posted by on June 25 at 12:59 PM

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.

RSS icon Comments


And Josh I am sure your shit smells like roses too and your piss is like a sweet summer rain.

Really, get off your high horse and stop acting like Bill O'Reiley when he is right on that so rare occasion.

Posted by Just Me | June 25, 2007 1:16 PM

Um. Who's Rossi?

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 25, 2007 1:31 PM

@1 Where is that accusation of hypocrisy coming from? Sounds like some awfully bitter grapes.

I say well called on both Edwards and Rossi. No one gets a free pass on campaign corruption, whether we like their positions or not.

Posted by lostboy | June 25, 2007 1:35 PM

Just for the record, I never heckled you for singling out Edwards.

I don’t think the New York Times is a very reliable source for info on politics and that article in particular seemed to be totally biased on personal opinions and innuendo that somehow Edwards is breaking the law when he, you know, isn’t. It was just a clumsy political hit piece, and a not very clever one at that.

Great quotes, though:

“Of course, some of the people who worked for Senator Edwards in the government and on his campaign continued to work with him to fight poverty and send young people to college,” he added. “Perish the thought: people involved in politics actually trying to improve peoples’ lives.”

Then there are the molly-coddlers at the IRS:

“I can’t say that what Mr. Edwards did was wrong,” Mr. Owens said. “But he was working right up to the line. Who knows whether he stepped or stumbled over it. But he was close enough that if a wind was blowing hard, he’d fall over it.”

Huh? What the frak does that even mean?

If Rossi is doing something wrong then let’s prove it.

Posted by Original Andrew | June 25, 2007 2:08 PM

@3 -

What do you know about the accusations against Edwards and Rossi? You seem willing to slam both of them, but you don't provide any evidence. Perhaps you believe everything you read. Talking Points Memo poked a lot of holes into the NY Times story on Edwards. And of course, I always rely on the State D's for objective reporting.

Josh, do you also believe everything the NY Times and Washington State Democratic Party puts out, or do you actually do any research on these things?

Posted by Ebenezer | June 25, 2007 2:14 PM

Calling the supporters of the Republicans zombies is rather fresh coming from a lefty zombie like Josh Feit.

Posted by Gomez | June 25, 2007 2:16 PM

I was calling the Democrats zombies for getting all defensive about the NYT's look at Edwards's non-profit. I wasn't calling the Republicans zombies.

And now that the State Dem Party is looking at Rossi's non-profit, I'm wondering what those same Dems think.

I wrote: "y'all heckled me for picking on Edwards...what do you partisan zombies say now?"

Sheesh Gomez. Pay attention.

Posted by Josh Feit | June 25, 2007 2:27 PM

Why don't you read the complaint before you get all high and mighty?

Posted by DOUG. | June 25, 2007 3:19 PM

I do NOT think Edwards, or any other politician of any party, should get a pass on ethics violations. His non profit should be investigated to determine if it is legit or not. So should Rossi's.

That being said, I'm highly skeptical of articles and/or press releases that appear to be hit pieces, smear campaigns, or swiftboating.

The Dem's press release reeks of a smear campaign and sour grapes. It just makes them look bad. I fully support them filing a complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission, but I wish they'd tone down the rhetoric until something is actually proven.

Posted by SDA in SEA | June 26, 2007 12:14 AM

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