Judge blocks Wash. limit on recall contributions

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SEATTLE (AP) -- A federal judge in Tacoma is blocking Washington state from enforcing campaign finance laws with respect to an effort to recall the Pierce County assessor.

A woman named Robin Farris is heading the effort to recall Dale Washam over concerns about dysfunctional management, and two local attorneys provided her campaign with free legal services worth tens of thousands of dollars. The state's Public Disclosure Commission accused her of violating state law that says most donations to recall campaigns cannot exceed $800.

U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan in Tacoma issued a preliminary injunction Friday that blocks the state from enforcing the contribution limits, but only in regard to the Washam recall effort. The judge said the limits infringe on the First Amendment rights of the campaign and the lawyers who volunteered to help it, and the state had not justified those restrictions..