By Jerry Cornfield Herald Writer
Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna hauled in $250,000 for his gubernatorial campaign in the three-day thaw in fundraising between the regular and special sessions of the Legislature.
The cash infusion pushes McKenna’s total to right around $4 million — a sum on which he will be stuck until state lawmakers wrap up their special session sometime in the next 30 days.
Campaign finance laws bar state officials seeking legislative and statewide offices from collecting donations whenever lawmakers are in session.
That means for McKenna the fundraising window opened at midnight Thursday and slammed close at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
He’ll have to return any contributions received on days lawmakers are in special session, even mailed donations postmarked March 9, 10, or 11, 2012, according to a memo sent to state officials by the state Public Disclosure Commission.
McKenna’s campaign made a fierce effort — sending out appeals via email, Twitter and Facebook. By late Monday, with tallying still under way, they predicted the total would eclipse $250,000.
The ban on fundraising does not apply to federal lawmakers vying for a state office like Democratic U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, who also is seeking the governor’s seat.
Inslee has taken in $4.22 million as of Feb. 29, according to information shown on the PDC web site. His campaign did not provide any figures for fundraising over the weekend or the first two weeks of March.
McKenna and Republican Party officials point out Inslee’s total is as high as it is because he’s received generous donations from the state Democratic Party and transferred a batch of money left over from his federal campaign account.
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; firstname.lastname@example.org.