Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Jan 29 2016

OLYMPIA — The Attorney General’s Office today announced it has filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court alleging campaign finance violations by the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC).

Specifically, the Attorney General alleges the WSLC failed to timely and properly file reports of in-kind and cash contributions as required under the state’s campaign finance laws.

WSLC is the state federation of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), with about 400,000 Washington union members.

The Attorney General’s Office received a Citizen Action Complaint from the Freedom Foundation against WSLC alleging multiple violations of the state’s public disclosure laws. The matter was referred to the Public Disclosure Commission, which opened a formal investigation.

The state Public Disclosure Commission reviewed the allegations, and the Commission reported back that its investigative findings determined that WSLC had not violated state law on the majority of the allegations. However, it appeared that WSLC had violated the requirement to report in-kind and cash contributions it made to state political committees, including its affiliated committees.

Following a review of the PDC’s reports and recommendation, the AGO found evidence that WSLC failed to file reports of both in-kind and cash contributions to state political committees.

The lawsuit alleges that WSLC failed to file reports of cash contributions totaling $133,345, as well as in-kind contributions — including staff time, office space, postal and web services, and telephones — made to its two political action committees and other registered political action committees in Washington.

The committees receiving the contributions did report them in accordance with campaign finance law.

A copy of the complaint can be found here.

The Attorney General’s Office is charged with enforcing the state’s campaign finance disclosure law to ensure free, open, and fair elections in Washington state.

-30-

The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

Contact:

Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov