By Jerry Cornfield
The duel to become Washington’s next governor moved to a different battleground Thursday when Democrat Jay Inslee claimed Republican Rob McKenna ran afoul of state disclosure laws several times in the past year.
Inslee alleges McKenna’s campaign didn’t report $21,000 in expenditures and failed to disclose another $85,000 in expenses in the timeframe set out by law, according to a four-page complaint filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission.
The complaint also questions the source of money used to pay three people who did political work for McKenna in the days before he formally entered the race for governor on June 8, 2011.
The trio worked in late May and early June and were paid out of the fund McKenna maintained following his 2008 re-election as attorney general, according to the allegations.
Their tasks, the complaint claims, all supported the GOP candidate’s bid for governor and included helping to organize the kick-off event and launch a website.
Under state law, candidates cannot use political contributions collected for one campaign to pay expenses incurred in a campaign for a different office
Last summer the Public Disclosure Commission staff questioned McKenna about the build up and spending from the pot of money earmarked for another possible run for attorney general. Andrew Garber of the Seattle Times lays out the details here
“For the top lawyer in the state to knowingly submit false financial disclosure forms raises serious questions about his ethics and whether he can be trusted to govern openly and honestly,” Inslee spokeswoman Jaime Smith said this morning.
A PDC official confirmed receipt of Inslee’s complaint and said staff must review it before deciding if a formal investigation will be conducted.