Former state Sen. Al Bauer filed an ethics complaint with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission on Friday alleging that campaign contributions from Clark County Commissioner David Madore and real estate developer Clyde Holland to the state Republican Party were illegally funneled to Jeanne Stewart’s county commissioner campaign.
“I am filing this complaint with the expectation that those charged with enforcing the PDC codes and (laws) will investigate this matter and follow all guidelines in determining whether there has been a violation of our state laws in this case,” Bauer wrote in a statement.
Bauer’s complaint alleges that the $89,000 the state Republicans recently contributed to Stewart’s campaign came from $115,000 Holland and Madore recently pumped into the state GOP.
Both Holland and Madore had already contributed the maximum individual amount to Stewart’s campaign, $950, and earmarking an amount beyond that would be illegal, according to the PDC.
Bauer says he believes that’s exactly what happened.
“It’s my impression, through years of experience as a state senator, that traditionally when someone contributes to the state party, he is expecting something out of the Legislature in Olympia,” Bauer said. “But Madore, in particular, has not shown any interest in issues in Olympia.”
Craig Pridemore, Stewart’s Democratic challenger, said he is contemplating his own complaint. He said he hadn’t filed one yet because he’d yet to uncover concrete evidence of wrongdoing.
Madore could not be reached Friday for comment. But he told OPB earlier in the week that he provided no direction to the state party and that he simply trusted that the party knew what they were doing.
However, the $89,000 contributed to Stewart’s campaign constitutes the most money the state GOP has thrown at any candidate statewide in 2014, a move that has raised eyebrows.
Bauer, a Democrat who represented the 49th District from 1971 to 1980 in the Washington House and 48th District in the Washington Senate from 1981 to 2001, supplied the PDC with documents showing the timeline of the contributions to the state GOP and then to Stewart’s campaign.
“I’m an old man. I can’t do much anymore,” said Bauer, 86. “But I’m bitter (about this).”
The challenge for Bauer will be proving that the money was earmarked for Stewart’s campaign, said PDC Spokeswoman Lori Anderson. It’s proven difficult in the past because there’s been no hard evidence in those cases.
“That’s the question,” Anderson said. “There has to be evidence.”