Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Sound Familiar? | Little Hoods »

Sunday, November 4, 2007

More on Those Suspicious Satterberg Donations

posted by on November 4 at 13:40 PM

Cross reference this list of Dan Satterberg donors with this list of donors to the Washington State Republican Party.

You’ll find that people who made big donations to Satterberg, the Republican candidate for KC Prosecutor, subsequently made large donations to a Washington State GOP account that has now downloaded about $125,000 to Satterberg.

Of the 18 donations to this GOP account, 13 donations were made by big Satterberg supporters. Or put another way: 78 percent of the money in the account, $139,500 out of $176,700, came from Satterberg supporters.

Was the GOP soliciting money from Satterberg donors, telling them the money would go directly to Satterberg—and then making good on that promise? That would be illegal: Parties cannot earmark donations for specific candidates. The GOP denies they earmarked the money.

However, Bill Sherman, Satterberg’s Democratic opponent, is reportedly filing a complaint with the State tomorrow alleging that the money was, in fact, earmarked for Satterberg.

It certainly looks like Satterberg donors and the GOP are circumventing contribution rules: As I posted yesterday, the special GOP account downloaded a last-minute payload directly to Satterberg—$81,015 on Friday night and $38,274 on Thursday. Additionally, on October 19, the State GOP contributed about $5,300.

Here’s just some of the Satterberg donors you’ll find when you cross reference them with subsequent donations to the GOP account.

Again: Nuprecon CEO John Hennessy donated $5,000 to the GOP on 10/16. Well, it turns out he also contributed $300 to Satterberg on 7/25.

Richard Derham gave $1400 to Satterberg on 6/27. He donated $1,000 to the GOP fund on 10/11.

Kevin Hughes gave $1400 to Satterberg on 7/30. He donated $2,000 to the State GOP fund on 10/30.

Michael Malone donated $700 to Satterberg on 10/3. He donated $5,000 to the State GOP on 10/26.

Bruce McCaw maxed out to Satterberg before he contributed a total of $25,0000 over two contributions to the State GOP on 10/11 and 10/15.

Mike McGavick and his wife Gaelynn had each contributed $700 to Satterberg on 10/8. McGavick donated $5,000 to the State GOP on 10/11.

George Rowley gave $1400 to Satterberg on 7/20. He gave $50,000 to the State GOP on 10/15.

Jim Snyder gave $700 total on 9/17 and 10/03 to Satterberg. He contributed $5,000 to the party on the 10/12.

Mikal Thomsen gave $1400 on 7/13 and 9/6. He contributed $5,000 to the State GOP on 10/12.

P.s. I apologize if the links to the donor lists aren’t working. If they are not: You can go to the PDC website and search under “Detailed Contributions to Candidates and Political Committees.” You can easily generate both lists by searching WA ST REPUB PARTY NON-EXEMPT and then SATTERBERG DANIEL T.

RSS icon Comments


Follow the money.

Posted by Will in Fremont | November 4, 2007 6:55 PM

Great work here - the 50K donation really stands out. If they are circumventing the campaign finance laws in an election for county AG - this really is a nasty state of affairs. Even the appearance of impropriety.....with someone who claimed to be non-partisan (uh huh)...looks reaaly bad.
We need to keep on this one - especially since it seems to have been done at the last minute after a lot of people have already voted.
GOP = POC (Party of corruption)_

Posted by correctnotright | November 4, 2007 8:21 PM

Good work. I'm not convinced yet, but given the circumstantial evidence I'm glad that Sherman and the press are looking into it. An additional piece of evidence I'd like to see would be a look at the donation history of these same supporters in previous elections. Are these regular Republican donors who tend to give to the state party and trust that party officials know where the money is most needed? Or are these Satterberg supporters with no previous links to the state party? Again, that wouldn't be a smoking gun, but it would be further evidence that something's fishy.

Even so I'm not as quick as some to call smart politicking by my opponents "corruption". Even if these donors haven't given to the state party in the past, there are perfectly valid reasons for the Republicans to be funneling money into this particular campaign. If I were Satterberg and a maxed-out supporter asked me what else I could do to help, I would take a look at how many high-profile races there are right now (very few) and figure that at least a sizable fraction of any money given to the state party would make its way to my campaign. While I'm not a campaign-finance lawyer, my understanding of the rules is that Satterberg would be doing nothing wrong to urge his supporters to donate to the state based on that calculus. And the political parties obviously shouldn't be disallowed from funneling money to important races just because the donors are interested in those races. The problem arises when promises are made that money will go to a particular place; there will be circumstances where no promises are necessary for everyone to have a pretty clear idea what will happen to the money. Just because you can't conspire to make this happen doesn't mean that everyone's blind to the most likely outcome.

Posted by Exile in West Seattle | November 4, 2007 11:28 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).