Lawsuit hits Wash. contribution limits in recalls

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SEATTLE (AP) -- A federal lawsuit is taking on Washington state's law limiting campaign contributions to recall efforts.

The law bars anyone except political parties from giving more than $800 to campaigns seeking the recall public officials.

The libertarian public-interest law firm Institute for Justice filed the complaint Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, in connection with an effort to recall Pierce County Assessor Dale Washam. The recall campaign received letters from the state Public Disclosure Commission alleging that it was receiving in-kind contributions of free legal help from a University Place law firm far in excess of the $800 limit.

The lawsuit says the law prevents volunteer attorneys from working on an issue of public importance. It also says it's unconstitutional to allow certain groups such as political parties contribute more than ordinary citizens.

A spokeswoman says the PDC had not yet had a chance to review the lawsuit Tuesday.