Monday, July 02, 2007

Dino Rossi the Undisclosed Candidate

Goldy at writes about an incredibly important topic; lack public disclosure in the political process. Specifically he's writing about Dino Rossi's shadow campaign for Governor in '08.

Rossi's political campaign “nonprofit, nonpartisan” think tank is staying within the letter of the public disclosure law, but it's giving a big ol' one fingered salute to the spirit of public disclosure and openness in the political process. As Goldy says:

So then… what happened to the $324,000 he’d raised for his official 2008 campaign? What happened to the computers, office furniture and other assets his 2008 campaign bought? What happened to the $79,000 he had left over in the bank? Did he really shut down his campaign and start Forward Washington, or did he just hang a different shingle on the door?

Now Rossi claims that he was only raising money to pay for his lawsuit? Well, he was either lying to the PDC back in December of 2004… or he’s lying to the PDC (and the public) now.

There’s no question that Rossi is intentionally skirting the law, but if the PDC determines that this is technically legal, than he has laid out a roadmap for killing public disclosure and campaign contribution limits in Washington state. Every candidate can be “undeclared” or “undecided” until officially filing. Every candidate can run a shadow campaign, hiding contributors, and directly drawing a salary.

The public has a right to know: who is paying Dino Rossi’s bills? The only thing stopping this disclosure is Dino Rossi.

Since Rossi's "foundation" says "Our goal is to promote and offer proposals that will improve the quality of life and economic opportunities for all of Washington’s citizens.", what possible reason could they have for hiding who their contributors are? Anyone with any business sense knows that it's great PR to contribute to civic minded endeavors; so if Rossi's "foundation" really was pursuing those noble goals, why wouldn't all the contributors be clamoring to be recognized as sponsors?

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