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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

Builders’ response: “bogus” complaint is a “smokescreen”…

After a liberal-backed group complained to the state's campaign finance watchdog that the conservative Building Industry Association of Washington (among others) were breaking campaign laws, the builders say there's nothing to complain about.

So how'd they get that up-close video of a beaming, sign-holding, earnestly-conversing John Groen for their TV ad, if they didn't illegally collaborate on the "independent" ad?

Answer: BIAW had a film crew show up unannounced at an Aug. 17 candidate's forum in Pierce County. "Nothing was staged. Nothing was collaborated," the group said in a press release.

And why didn't they list their top five contributors on a video-screen billboard alongside Interstate 5?

Answer: Because under state law, such video screens are considered billboards, not TV.

The group maintains that it "scrupulously follows the letter of the law" in all its campaigning.

"These ticky tack accusations have no legs, and (Chief Justice Gerry) Alexander's supporters know it," said the group's spokeswoman, Erin Shannon.

Stay tuned. You know there will be more of this back-and-forth. The primary election's Tuesday.

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.