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Campaign Finance Files for WSLC

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Published:2016-09-23 State
Campaign Finance Files for WSLC    Print Snohomish Times    
Campaign Finance Files for WSLC

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office on Friday announced it had fined the Washington State Labor Council $16,622 for campaign finance violations. It’s just the latest in a series of union-related election offenses identified in complaints brought by the Freedom Foundation.
In a press release, the AG’s Office noted the WSLC – the state’s largest labor organization – had been cited for:

“…failure to timely and properly file lobbyist employer reports of in-kind and cash contributions, as required under the state’s campaign finance laws.”

WSLC is the state federation of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), with about 400,000 Washington union members.

The group agreed to a civil penalty of $18,500, with half suspended for four years as long as there are no further violations of the law; $5,240 in attorney fees and court costs; and $2,132 in investigation costs to the Public Disclosure Commission.

The Freedom Foundation filed a Citizen Action Complaint on Nov. 4, 2015 alleging multiple violations of the state’s public disclosure laws. The matter was referred to the Public Disclosure Commission Nov. 19, 2015, which opened a formal investigation.

The state Public Disclosure Commission reviewed the allegations, and determined WSLC violated the requirement to report in-kind and cash contributions it made to state political committees, including its affiliated committees, on its lobbyist employer reports.
In January, the AGO filed a complaint alleging that WSLC failed to timely file lobbyist employer reports of cash contributions as well as in-kind contributions — including staff time, office space, postal and internet services, and telephones — made to its two political committees and other registered political committees in Washington.

SEIU 775 and 925 have also been sanctioned this year – based on Freedom Foundation complaints -- for “misreporting” campaign contributions.

“There seems to be a pattern here,” said Freedom Foundation CEO Tom McCabe. “These aren’t isolated bookkeeping errors. This is a conscious, willful conspiracy to mislead the public, the Public Disclosure Commission and the unions’ own membership about the extent of their political activity.

“The fact is, union members don’t want their dues money spent to further their leadership’s extreme Leftist agenda,” he said. “And the general public would be appalled if it knew how much money the unions were spending to buy elections.”




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