Even though Washington state’s campaign finance laws aren’t exactly riveting, it’s essential to know that they limit the amount of money any single donor can give to any candidate in any election cycle. However, the next gubernatorial election, scheduled for 2024, might be affected by an ambiguity in the interpretation of that law.
Suppose Governor Jay Inslee does not run for a fourth term, as no Washington governor has ever done successfully. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is seen as a possible favorite in that case, according to The Seattle Times. His choice is likely to be made public this month.
Since 1980, no Republican has been elected as governor of Washington. Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, who may have been a contender, said in March that he would not seek the Republican nomination.
Ferguson is now leading the Democratic pack in the polls. Although he has not formally declared his candidacy, he has already raised nearly $3 million. A sizable portion of it is leftover from previous election campaigns.
If you donate to a candidate and they don’t run for the office you wanted them to, they may slush your money over to their next campaign. What if you wish to reward the new race with extra benefits? Your accumulated wealth up to this point will not count against you.
That paves the way for a mechanism functionally similar to a shell contribution. The exact origin and total amount of all donations are concealed. Seattle attorney Tallman Trask expressed concern about this issue Thursday (April 27) before the state’s public disclosure panel. He is asking for their opinion based on their law knowledge.
Here is what you need to know now about recent events in Washington State:
- Washington State Passes “My Health, My Data” Bill.
- Washington State Lost 14,000 Residents but Gained $200 Million.
Two attorneys representing state public lands commissioner and possible gubernatorial candidate Hilary Franz joined Trask at the press conference. Franz is a Democrat. With just around $30,000 thus far, she is well behind Ferguson in early surveys and doesn’t even come close to the amount of money Ferguson has raised.
During the meeting, Derek Schoonmaker, an attorney for Franz, said, “These guidelines undermine equity by allowing some donors to effectively give double the applicable contribution limit to a given candidate.”
On May 11, they will have a special meeting to discuss publicizing their interpretation of the law and hear other perspectives.