Campaign flier draws spending complaint
Group backing McEnerny-Ogle for Vancouver council accused of violation
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The first formal election spending complaint in this year’s political races was filed Wednesday.
Liz Pike, director of political affairs for the Building Industry Association of Clark County, wrote to the state Public Disclosure Commission, alleging that a union political action committee failed to complete the proper paperwork after mailing a flier early this week on behalf of Vancouver City Council candidate Anne McEnerny-Ogle.
In her complaint, Pike says that she could not find evidence that the Unite Here PAC reported its independent expenditure for McEnerny-Ogle within 24 hours of mailing the fliers, which is required by law.
“I am formally filing a PDC complaint against Unite Here. This union organization mailed a post card on behalf of Anne McEnerny-Ogle, candidate for Vancouver City Council, within the last 3 days,” Pike wrote. “It is my understanding that all independent expenditures must be reported on a C-6 form to the PDC within 24 hours of mailing. Since no C-6 form from Unite Here in this time frame appears on your website for this particular mailing, I believe Unite Here is in clear violation of Washington State campaign laws.”
The only report for Unite Here’s spending is from Oct. 19, showing that they spent $32,557 to mail fliers on Oct. 18. It’s unclear if the report is meant to cover both rounds of fliers, or if another report was required.
A PDC spokeswoman said earlier this week that no complaints had been filed in any local races, calling it “surprisingly quiet” in Clark County.
The 11-inch by 18-inch flier, received by many in Vancouver on Tuesday, depicts a soldier saluting a flag, and then also claiming that McEnerny-Ogle is the candidate that will have the respect of Vancouver’s firefighters and police officers, citing her endorsements by both those unions. Candidates by law can have no prior knowledge or approval of any materials produced by PACs.
Unite Here, based in New York City, represents workers in the U.S. and Canada who work in different industries, including the hotel, gaming and food service sectors. Among their members are the workers at Hilton Vancouver Washington, who have been deadlocked with management over salaries and benefits. Local workers have also distributed campaign information on McEnerny-Ogle’s behalf.
The BIA of Clark County endorsed McEnerny-Ogle’s opponent, Bill Turlay, in the race for city council Position 5.
Andrea Damewood: 360-735-4542 or email@example.com or www.facebook.com/reporterdamewood or www.twitter.com/col_cityhall