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Sunday, November 4, 2007

And Another Thing About Those GOP Donations

posted by on November 4 at 17:33 PM

If the $176,700 in that GOP fund (detailed here) wasn’t earmarked for Republican KC Prosecutor candidate Dan Satterberg, why didn’t any of the other GOP candidates—Bob Edwards for Port, Bill Bryant for Port, Jim Nobles for KC Assessor, and Jane Hague for KC Council—get any of last week’s $119,000 download?

For example, with the exception of Hague (whose Party help is coming exclusively from the County Republicans), the State GOP originally gave all of those GOP candidates, along with Satterberg, comparable contributions from the Party—in the $750 to $5,000 range—earlier this month.

However, after a wave of mid-October contributions to the GOP from Satterberg supporters, the Party made a massive contribution to Satterberg exclusively.

Again: 78 percent of the money in the account, $139,500 out of $176,700, came from Satterberg supporters, most of whom had already maxed out to the candidate.

RSS icon Comments


It's not like the campaign donation limits mean anything to Republicants.

Ethics is on a par with actual morality with them - they talk about both and lack them as well.

Posted by Will in Fremont | November 4, 2007 6:54 PM

Why didn’t any of the other GOP candidates get any of last week’s $119,000 download?

Maybe because if the King County GOP can't get someone as nonpartisan as Dan Satterberg elected, they know they can't get ANYBODY elected, so this is an important race for them? Because keeping someone so incredibly more qualified than his opponent in such an important position as the KC Prosecutor is considered a bigger priority than various port races? Because if Jane Hague can't beat Richard Pope, it's her own damn fault?

No, you're's more likely that there's a conspiracy here.

Posted by Nonpartisan4Satterberg | November 4, 2007 6:57 PM

um, why can political parties support candidates in non-partisan races? would it be too much to suggest that for non-partisan races, political parties shouldn't be allowed to contribute to "non-partisan" campaigns? or would that force the issue that "non-partisan" offices are truly a sham and are just as partisan as the rest of them?

Posted by kinkos | November 4, 2007 7:07 PM

Kinkos @3--are you being sarcastic? or are u actually confused. PAO is partisan right now.

Posted by Gidge | November 4, 2007 7:26 PM

Thank you Josh (and your Unpaid intern) for doing this research. This is why you get one of the Bill of Rights all to yourselves. Campaign finance reform is desperately needed both state and nation-wide. And the noise that is thrown up that it is part of a free speech is weak and miscontrue's the founder's intention on free speech and the individual (which Federalist Paper is that? - None, Madison was sitting of the "Bill of Rights" as he wanted the Constitution approved). Also, I think Sherman will win handily. LTM

Posted by Lawrence Molloy | November 4, 2007 7:35 PM

Note that according to the PDC's Contribution Limits page, the only entities that can make unlimited contributions in the last three weeks of a campaign are state party organizations. It's interesting, then, that those deep-pockets people gave their large contributions to WSRP instead of the KCGOP (remember, it's a King County office, not a state office).

Where is all that money going? I haven't seen many (any?) Satterberg ads on TV this weekend. Perhaps it was to pay for all the ads he already ran on TV. After all, just a few days ago it looked like he'd overspent his contributions, that his campaign was in debt. Maybe Dan already knew these huge contributions were in the laundering process...

Posted by N in Seattle | November 4, 2007 8:27 PM


If I read your posts right-- Josh and Goldy are bummed the Democrats did not spend more, and think it is outrageous that the Republicans did.

I think the big donations from both parties in this race only prove that we need to get party politics out of prosecutor races. As I read somewhere, a law enforcement job should not be viewed as a partisan political prize. It should be a non-partisan position.

If you are going to do a tally -- where did the $30k that the dems gave Sherman come from ? And how many Republicans have given money or endorsed Sherman?

Satterberg has drawn a lot of big name Democrats. In fact - in tracking the PDC list, you skipped over quite a few prominent and active Democrats that gave thousands to Satterberg -- like Peter Goldman, Ron Perey, John Wolfe, Patty Eakes, Gerry Johnson and Becky Roe. In my quick look -- he has got a lot of Democrats giving to him.

The fact that he needs to raise money to overcome the big "D" advantage is a reality -- it only changes if there is no "D" or no "R" in the race.


Posted by Erick Davis | November 4, 2007 8:44 PM

The law allows for the WSRP to designate money given to them in any way they see fit. In case you haven't noticed, Josh- the PA race is the only race in town this year- or at least the most significant race. So it should be no surprise they have downloaded the money to Dan- just as the Dem's have downloaded 30k to Bill.

Both candidates have agreed they want the office to be non-partisan. But for now, it is not. Since I assume both Bill and Dan are in it to win it, they'd be fools not to accept any and all legitimate support.

Not last minute try to make an issue for Bill though....

Posted by Tdog | November 4, 2007 10:15 PM

last line should read "Not a bad last minute try...."

Posted by Tdog | November 4, 2007 10:17 PM

I'm tired of having to right-click "Open Link in New Tab".

Posted by Amelia | November 4, 2007 10:54 PM

Y'know, Tdog, there's an entire state out there. Are you trying to say that the WSRP doesn't have any interest whatsoever in elections anywhere else in Washington?

Clearly, the state Republican party doesn't care about, say, the Clallam County Commission, or County Councils in Snohomish and Whatcom Counties, or the Snohomish County Sheriff, or the Treasurers of Snohomish and Whatcom, or Snohomish and Whatcom County Executives, or a couple dozen mayoral races, or any Port Commission except Seattle's, and so forth.

I hope the citizens of 38 counties remember next year that the Republican party doesn't give a goddam about them.

Posted by N in Seattle | November 4, 2007 10:57 PM

I honestly don't know what races are going on in other counties, N in Seattle. But I'd venture to guess none are nearly as big or as critical as this one.

And I hope you're right about the citizens of the other 38 counties. Fuck the republicans. As long as Bill "Bart Simpson" Sherman doesn't bullshit his rookie self into running the largest law enforcement office in this state, I'd be happy if we D's swept very other race.

Posted by Tdog | November 4, 2007 11:28 PM

Amelia @ 10 is right--what's up with the Slog comments this weekend? If I don't right click, I get the comment pop-up and my main window goes to the comments page. Please fix.

Posted by Gidge | November 4, 2007 11:39 PM

It's probably because the Rs have held that seat for sixty to seventy years. They don't want it going to anyone who isn't (at least nominally) an R.....

Posted by NapoleonXIV | November 4, 2007 11:41 PM

No, Napoleon- it's because they don't want the seat going to a rookie who isn't even qualified to supervise a single JV lawyer in the office, far less run the whole place.

Posted by Tdog | November 4, 2007 11:45 PM

election spoils go to those who run and win

what a concept, not hardly just invented

should liven up return night, I voted for sherman but can live with dan

remember maleing had the brains to do a good hire, sherman might be so endowed as well, and not be such a bad minister

Posted by Adam | November 5, 2007 1:50 AM

You R's are so shameless.

Trying to equate huge amounts, all from Satterburg supoprters, in the last days, with relatively small amounts that wuld be normal for a party organization.

You don't need a smoking gun ("a document that says "we hereby agree to conspire") to prove earmarking. You only need parallel action or unusual coincidences, as Josh as shown exist here.

The result is Satterburg is accepting massive ILLEGAL donations. The acting prosecutor is STEALING this election.

But you R's don't care.

You have no shame.

Posted by unPC | November 5, 2007 5:20 AM

What do you want Satterberg supporters to do, give to the Democrats? It's already been pointed out that his contributors include a number of prominent Democrats (a number of whom are defense attorneys and regularly oppose the Prosecutor's office in court). Dan Satterberg has clearly received more bipartisan support than any other candidate in King County in recent memory (more, even, than Norm Maleng likely received).

So if you don't believe that R = Devil (and I realize that excludes most regular SLOG readers), why not support Dan Satterberg?

Bill Sherman is one rung above a rookie prosecutor. He hasn't managed anybody, ever, and certainly hasn't done so in the Prosecutor's Office. He's demonstrated that he has political ambitions to higher office, meaning that this position is just a stepping stone for him.

Dan Satterberg has proven, after 17 years as Chief of Staff in the Prosecuting Attorney's Office, that he has no ambition to do anything other than work as a Prosecutor in a way that will garner broad, bipartisan support.

So if you want to support a candidate who is so obviously more qualified to be the County's Prosecuting Attorney, how do you accomplish that? You give to the Republican Party. It shouldn't be surprising that someone with such broad support as Dan Satterberg is prompting donations to the Republican party from people who would never otherwise donate to that party. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist that if you donate to the Republican party this fall, a lot of that money is going to go towards their most prominent race.

Posted by nonpartisan4satterberg | November 5, 2007 5:45 AM

why not support Satterburg?

because he is accepting massive ILLEGAL contibutions to STEAL the election when he should be ABOVE any taint as a law enforcement official.

How you know this is right: posters like the person above mainly change the subject. Then when they get to the subject iof the illegal donations they in effect LIE by talking as if these are all normal, ordinary levels of donations, from a cross section of folks, at normal times, instead of MASSIVE donations from SATTERBURG donors at the LAST MINUTE when there is a news blackout to STEAL the election.

Who wants a prosecutor who accepts this dirty money?

Posted by unPC | November 5, 2007 5:58 AM

why not support Satterburg?

because he is accepting massive ILLEGAL contibutions to STEAL the election when he should be ABOVE any taint as a law enforcement official.

How you know this is right: posters like the person above mainly change the subject. Then when they get to the subject iof the illegal donations they in effect LIE by talking as if these are all normal, ordinary levels of donations, from a cross section of folks, at normal times, instead of MASSIVE donations from SATTERBURG donors at the LAST MINUTE when there is a news blackout to STEAL the election.

Who wants a prosecutor who accepts this dirty money?

Posted by unPC | November 5, 2007 5:59 AM

To unPC: Please cite the law that Satterberg has broken in accepting campaign donations.

Posted by nonpartisan4satterberg | November 5, 2007 6:43 AM

This isn't complex,

1)A very small number of wealthy Republican Satterburg
supporters have given the maximum allowed by law for individual campaign contributions to his campaign.

2) In the few days of the campaign these Satterburg supporters suddenly give very large contributions to the state Republican party and the state Republican party simultaneously gives large cash contributions of almost identical size directly to Satterburg's campaign while giving no last minute cash to any other Republican races.

3) Coincidently, Satterburg's campaign had just gone into debt for advertising in an amount roughly equal to the contributions in question.

4) Avoiding individual campaign contribution limits by earmarking contributions to the party organization for a specific individual is illegal.

The way these contributions from top Satterburg supporters flowed to Satterburg is on its face is way beyond coincidence, but the best our acting KC prosecutor and his supporters can say in his defense is "you'll never be able to prove it in a court of law because you don't have smoking gun."

I hadn't had a strong negative feeling about Satterburg before this, but now my faith in his "integrity" "honesty" and "non-Partisan commitment to the rule of law" is basically at zero.

Posted by cracked | November 5, 2007 7:41 AM

The big test here of Satterburg's character is what did he do when he suddenly got afraid he might lose despite defacto incumbancy and a seemingly overwhelming cash advantage.

It's not pretty.

Posted by cracked | November 5, 2007 7:49 AM

George Skip Rowley (Rowley enterprises) for all intents, invented the idea of laundering cash through the GOP to his chosen candidates. He has been in the top 5 GOP contributors year to year since 91. In Rossi's first race for Senate, Rowley gave him free office space and then, even though their were no limits, he gave $5,000 to the KCGOP and on the same day they gave Rossi $5,000, just to mask the source.
In the 96 race Rowley was limited in how much he could legally give Rossi, so he formed one of the states first PACs Mobility 21 gave it 99% of its money and spent it all for Rossi.
After Rossi was elected property owned by Rowley received millions in state funds to move a Salmon stream from the center of his property to the side property line and enlarging culverts under I-90. Rowley kicked in $500,000 and his property value went up several million.

Rowley has run most of his money to candidates through the KCGOP since they always delivered as he intended. In 05 he provided between $8,000 and $10,000 to each of his chosen Issaquah city council candidates all C/O the KCGOP. Issaquah was a city of 12,000 at the time and these candidates raised only between $50 and $500 each in their races, aside from what Rowley dumped in. The county who has never before or since taken anywhere near the interest it took that year in small city politics, ran robo calls and mailers at a cost within $500 of the $45,000 or so Rowley dumped in.

I could go on about Nupricon and Hennissy but Rowley is the key. Kemper and Rowley and Jennifer Dunn all went to Bellevue High together. Now with Esser as party chair, it looks like Rowley has high trust in the StateGOP that they will get the money to "its intended candidate".

Posted by Particle Man | November 5, 2007 9:17 AM

To be accurate for a moment, the real problem is that the huge money going to Satterberg isn't illegal. Individuals are permitted to make unlimited contributions to state party organizations. State party organizations are the only entities to make unlimited contributions to candidates, even in the last 21 days before the election.

This constitutes a huge loophole in the campaign funding process in Washington. It also demonstrates -- in the starkest and clearest of terms -- the hypocritical, two-faced nature of the Satterberg/Republican campaign. They pretend to be above it all, "nonpartisan", in the (contrived) Maleng tradition ... while at the same time sucking ever so deeply at the GOP teat. All the big bucks went to the WSRP instead of the King County GOP, obviously because the KCGOP isn't permitted to make those immense contributions to the campaign. If there were no quid pro quo involved, wouldn't it be "sensible" for those who support Republican candidates in King County to make an appreciable commitment to the party organization of the county? Well, that didn't happen here.

In the end, it's legal but also fishy as all hell. And the appearance of impropriety, especially in a race for a position like Prosecutor, is as important and as telling as would be narrowly legal impropriety.

Posted by N in Seattle | November 5, 2007 9:26 AM

So Satterberg isn't doing anything illegal. To be clear, couldn't the state GOP actively tell donors, "Hey, we're going to be giving the majority of our contributions to Satterberg, so if you want to help him out, just give to us, and it'll go straight to him." There's nothing illegal about this. And if there's nothing illegal about it, there's nothing improper about it.

If the only way that Satterberg can inform the public about the overwhelming advantage he has in experience for the position is to get his wealthy Democratic supporters to donate big sums of money to the state GOP, I'm not sure what's so "improper" about this.

Isn't it more "improper" that many Democratic leaders and supposedly impartial journalists have supported Sherman and ignored his frightening inexperience in order to score points in a highly partisan climate?

Posted by nonpartisan4satterberg | November 5, 2007 9:42 AM

N in Seattle:
I think it is illegal if there was agreement that the individual contributions to the particular WSRP account would be passed on to a specific campaign.

For those with legal knowledge: would it be also be illegal if the individual contributor INTENDED for the contribution to be passed on to a specific candidate but had no explicit agreement with the party officials controlling the account? ie, if their intent was to skirt individual campaign contribution limits and they succeeded?

Posted by cracked | November 5, 2007 9:46 AM

All this "Sherman's inexperienced" stuff is GOP dissembling, plain and simple.

Bill Sherman spent several years in the Interior Department. Bill Sherman clerked for federal judges. Bill Sherman has been an attorney in private practice. In contrast, Dan Satterberg has never worked a day of his life at a higher level than county government. By these standards, Satterberg is dangerously inexperienced and terribly insular.

See? Anybody can play this game.

Posted by N in Seattle | November 5, 2007 11:10 AM

Good point @28. But, remember, lying is second nature (first nature?) to Republicants.

That and avoiding military service themselves.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 5, 2007 11:38 AM

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