Campaign finance complaint: PAC repeatedly violated law while Executive Director was busy complaining about others

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Yesterday, Walter Smith of Smith & Dietrich Law Offices PLLC notified state authorities at the Attorney General’s Office and in Thurston County of over one hundred apparent violations of Washington’s campaign finance laws committed by a political committee or “PAC,” Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights, between 2015 and the present. The information cited in our citizen action notice was freely available to anyone with an internet connection, chiefly through the Public Disclosure Commission’s own website. You can access our notification letter here, and the attached spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel format here.

The cited violations include failures to timely file contribution and expenditure reporting on forms C-3 and C-4 on 99 occasions, including almost all of the PAC’s reporting for the Presidential election year of 2016 (which was mostly filed in May 2017). Additional apparent violations cited in our notice include failures to disclose debts, orders, obligations, and in-kind loans, and to file lobbyist employer reports.

Public Disclosure Commission documents available online show that the Executive Director for the Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights, Mr. Glen Morgan, filed a large volume of campaign finance complaints against other entities in Washington throughout late 2016 and continuing to the present day. Evidently, during the same time, his own committee was seriously out of compliance with the same laws. Our notice cites these facts to show that the PAC’s violations were intentional. State authorities have 45 days to complete their initial review of the allegations in this notice; we will provide an update when one is available. In the event that all notice requirements are satisfied and the State does not file an enforcement action based on the allegations in our notice, by law, we are allowed to proceed with a campaign finance enforcement action against the Respondent in the name of the State.

If you would like to discuss campaign finance compliance duties and how our firm can help you remain in compliance or address allegations of wrongdoing, contact us today.

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