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PDC: Inslee campaign followed rules

The state’s campaign watchdog on Monday rejected complaints about contributions and spending by Democrat Jay Inslee.

 Just days before Washington’s voter get their ballots in the mail and just over three weeks before the deadline to mail them back, the Public Disclosure Commission voted unanimously to reject a complaint against Inslee filed by McKenna’s campaign manager, Randy Pepple…

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The McKenna campaign challenged the way Inslee transferred some money from the federal account for his congressional re-election campaign to the state account for his gubernatorial campaign, and contended he was spending money on his campaign months before filing his paperwork.

PDC staff, however, said the Inslee campaign handled the transfers of left-over congressional campaign money appropriately, and the way it was instructed the agency. When the agency revised its instructions, the campaign complied.

The McKenna campaign also claimed Inslee became a candidate for governor in January 2011 after spending money on polls and research, then missed the two-week deadline to file as a candidate. His congressional campaign did spend some $70,000 between January and April 2011 to research and analyze whether Inslee should run for re-election to the House or for governor, PDC Compliance Director Phil Stutzman said, but that wasn’t a campaign expense. There was no evidence it was used to promote his gubernatorial campaign, and Inslee didn’t meet the legal test to be a candidate until August, Stutzman added.

“It appears that the Inslee campaign was being pro-active and attempting to understand what its responsibilities were,” Commissioner Grant Degginger said in making a motion to dismiss the complaint, which passed unanimously.

McKenna did not attend the hearing, but said earlier in the day he had read the PDC staff report and considered it “fairly astonishing” that the staff concluded it was acceptable to use federal funds for research in the governor’s race.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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