BIAW Gets Hit, But Survives The Attack

The BIAW has escaped mostly unscathed from the most recent effort to shut down its Dino Rossi-funding money machine. In the latest in a long line of attempts to get at the BIAW's cash gusher, a pair of Seattle attorneys filed a complaint [large PDF] last month with Attorney General Rob McKenna. They claimed that the BIAW's workers' comp program, which supplies it with millions of dollars in money for campaign activities, should have to register as a "political committee" because one of its "primary purposes" is to raise and spend money on campaigns.

The Attorney General passed the complaint to the state Public Disclosure Commission for analysis, and the PDC just sent back its findings to the AG. Their conclusion: The "political committee" allegation just doesn't stand up, since the BIAW spends most of its workers' comp income on administering the program (though it does reap a healthy profit for use on those nasty anti-Gregoire ads).

However, the PDC did determine that the BIAW had likely broken campaign-finance laws last year by directly asking its various local associations to donate extra workers' comp profits towards the 2008 campaign. More than a half-million dollars was raised with that gambit. According to the PDC, the evidence suggests the BIAW "committed multiple apparent violations" of the law, "by failing to report the contributions it solicited, received, and retained."

A meeting on the matter is scheduled by the commission for Monday morning. No doubt a vigorous wrist-slap is forthcoming.

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