It seems that even without a full day having passed since Congressman Jay Inslee’s (D-Wash.) announcement to run for governor of Washington, Inslee’s reputation for giving out slippery facts has begun to infect the media friendly to his campaign.

The site of Inslee’s Monday morning announcement of candidacy was Targeted Growth, Inc, a biotech firm in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle.

Because of a Sunday front-page expose in The Washington Post that documented an uncanny connection between the “clean-tech” companies visited by Pres. Barack Obama on his speaking tours and donations made by the same companies and their employees, journalists are going to be paying more attention than ever to the locations of politicians’ speeches.

Publicola set out to do just that this morning by acknowledging the need to investigate possible linkages between scheduling and donations:

Given the embarrassing bust the Washington Post published on yesterday’s front page about President Obama (raising the question of whether the green companies Obama’s been hyping are real industry leaders or just big Obama donors?), I had to check in on Targeted Growth, Inc., the South Lake Union biotech company where U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee is making his big announcement this morning.

The Democrats pretty much all use the same play book from president to Congressman, so I checked to see if the company was a big Inslee donor.

Nope. According to Federal Elections Commission records, a few folks from Targeted Growth have contributed to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, and former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), but my initial check didn’t turn up any donations from the company or its employees to Inslee.

The Washington State Republican Party independently fact-checked Publicola’s claim and found it inaccurate.

According to the WSRP’s initial research (verified by NW Daily Marker), at least $3,500 in donations to Inslee have been made by lobbyists working for Targeted Growth, Inc. since 2008. The firm of Van Ness Feldman retained by Targeted Growth for lobbying services donated $2,500 to Inslee in 2010, and former staffer for Sen. Patty Murray (D) now-Van Ness Feldman lobbyist Ben Lee McMakin donated $1,000 in 2008.

NW Daily Marker is continuing to research Inslee’s campaign finance records and will update this story as required.

UPDATE: Shortly before this article was published, the WSRP contacted Publicola‘s Josh Feit with their findings. Publicola printed a retraction this afternoon, though the correction did not note that it was the WSRP’s research that located the error.


[photo credit: flickr]