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Complaint made against Madore

It says county councilor allegedly used public resources to campaign

By Katie Gillespie, Columbian Education Reporter
Published: February 18, 2016, 7:05pm

Clark County Councilor David Madore is once again under fire for his use of the county’s website.

In a complaint to the Public Disclosure Commission, Clark County resident Chuck Green alleges Madore used public resources to campaign in the 2015 election — a violation of state campaign law — when he linked to materials on the county C-Grid website in Facebook posts campaigning for fellow Republican Rep. Liz Pike and against Marc Boldt, no party preference, during the Clark County chair race.

Madore was scrutinized for his use of the C-Grid, a page containing a variety of documents located at www.clark.wa.gov/c-grid, by Boldt and Republican Councilors Jeanne Stewart and Julie Olson at a council meeting earlier this month. The Republican councilor said his goal in using the page was to improve transparency. Ultimately, the board agreed to freeze the C-Grid and stop posting to it.

Email records show Madore asked county IT staff to build the C-Grid in late 2014 as they were working on the public Grid, the county’s hub for public documents and meeting agendas. Madore described the page as a “new grid for saving reference documents.” Only Madore has used the page since it was built more than a year ago.

“I’d rather not have somebody who has access to county resources have an advantage in a campaign,” said Green, who first became aware of the page when he was running his own campaign for the Clark County council District 2 seat.

In the complaint, Green — a vocal critic of Madore and one of the administrators of citizen watchdog group Clark County Citizens for Good Governance — lists two specific Facebook posts made at the height of the Clark County council chair race. Madore spent more than a quarter million dollars on the write-in campaign for Pike.

One post from Oct. 1 thanked the Camas Republican for “tackling fatal flaws in the Growth Management Act.” The post went on to share a letter from Jerry Olson, principal engineer of Olson Engineering Inc., to Pike that pointed out flaws in the GMA. That same letter is posted on the C-Grid, listed among documents for the 2016 Comprehensive Growth Management Plan update.

Another post from Sept. 29 criticizes Boldt for voting to approve a developer agreement as a Clark County commissioner in 2012 for a commercial shopping center near the Interstate 5 interchange at 179th Street. The post accused Boldt of making an “illegal gift of public funds that is derailing new business and killing jobs,” and linked to the developer agreement on the C-Grid. Though that has since been removed from Madore’s Facebook page, Green provided a screenshot of the post in his complaint.

“I’m hoping that the PDC will investigate, and even confirm that my suspicions are correct, (that Madore) used the county C-Grid website to post his own documents that had to do with electioneering,” Green said.

Madore did not return a request for comment. Email records show the PDC contacted the councilor for a response to the complaint.

Columbian Education Reporter