On Friday, congressman and Democratic candidate for governor Jay Inslee disclosed the details of a near-$200,000 rollover from his federal campaign fund, a transaction completed at the end of June. The Republican candidate in the race, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, called the transfer into question on several grounds, precipitating a partial reversal of the Public Disclosure Commission’s earlier signal of thumbs-up to Inslee. In late July, the Public Disclosure Commission determined that the transfer was permissible, but that individual donors would need to be identified and their contributions would have to be counted against limits in this election cycle. The PDC also implied that donors should consent to having their contributions rolled over.
Finally, a month after the PDC required the Inslee campaign to submit the itemized account of names and amounts, the list was dumped on the election finance watchdog the day before a lazy Labor Day holiday weekend. But based on NW Daily Marker’s analysis, though Inslee has edged closer to fixing errors in the reporting his campaign finances, it now appears that he has taken several thousand dollars in campaign contributions above legal limits.
A list of ten individual contributors in the PDC database are shown to have contributed more than the $1,600 allowed for each election (primary and general) to Inslee’s gubernatorial campaign fund. Three donors have exceeded the limit for both elections. The total amount of contributions over the maximum is $12,500, perhaps small compared to the total amount in Inslee’s campaign coffers but where dollars are concerned, zero-error tolerance is a universal standard.
Inslee spokesperson Jaime Smith implied to The Seattle Times on Friday that they were aware infractions may have occurred, but were not sure what the exact numbers were:
Spokeswoman Jaime Smith said some donors had rolled over their federal money and given on top of that. She said the campaign would be disclosing some refunds next week, but she didn’t have a final number available.
Inslee’s amended C3 cash receipt report also changed the amount of small donations (those under $25) received on a single day – June 27th – from $388 to $2,523.
[photo credit: flickr]