PDC fines in primary race

  • Sue Waldburger<br>Enterprise writer
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:50am

Bart Preecs, a candidate for Edmonds City Council Position 3, was found in violation of the public disclosure law for filing campaign reports late. He was assessed a penalty of $400 with $200 suspended.

Preecs’ campaign activity began in July but was not reported until Sept. 15, five days prior to the primary election. He filed seven campaign reports between nine and 45 days late.

Once it was apparent financial requirements were not being met the campaign changed treasurers and tried to play catch-up, according to Preecs, who garnered about 12 percent of the vote, placing him third in the primary race behind Ron Wambolt and Jeff Wilson. The two top vote-getters advanced to the Nov. 8 general election.

The question of why one-half of the fine was suspended with no conditions — typically, no more violations within two years — was posed to PDC Commissioner Ken Schellberg, who conducted the Oct. 18 hearing involving Preecs’ violations.

Schellberg responded that in a telephone interview with Preecs the candidate was “cognizant of the violations and recognized the need for complying with the public disclosure laws.” He added that he didn’t want to “unduly call attention to his (Preecs’) primary loss or to further discourage Mr. Preecs from seeking public office again.

“My background involves numerous campaigns as treasurer of political campaigns, and I recall the difficulties in learning the filing requirements. Also, I admire citizens who participate in our system by running for public office, and, after a loss, one is usually reluctant to try again. In Mr. Preecs’ case, I believed the election loss and the finding of violations with an appropriate fine should close the book on the 2005 campaign.”

Preecs, according to the PDC, has 30 days from the date of official notification to pay the fine.

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