Here's the latest: Republican State Rep. Tom Campbell ( R-2, Ft. Lewis, Spanaway), who PubliCola endorsed by the way, is calling it "the 'Watergate' of our state and our time."
On Saturday, Campbell sent a letter to Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna—who has picked up the investigation into Moxie's handling of independent expenditures —asking McKenna to appoint an independent prosecutor instead. (The accusation against Moxie is that Moxie consultant Lisa MacLean created a Potemkin political committee to hide union and trial lawyer contributors.)
Moxie is a Democratic consulting firm and McKenna is a high-profile Republican. Campbell is concerned there will be political questions if McKenna takes the case.
From Campbell's letter:
Dear Attorney General McKenna,
I am writing you to request that you withdraw your office from the investigation and prosecution of the Moxie Media group and immediately appoint an Independent prosecutor with full power to investigate and charge those responsible.
I respect your office and its staff attorneys. The nature of this case is highly political and is subject to an appearance of fairness question from those involved and especially the general public. I believe this case is critical to correcting deeply flawed election abuse that has gone viral and has indeed entered into my own election here in the 2nd Legislative District. We candidates are subject to outside groups using our name without consent as Moxie has done in the 2nd District and also to a series of questionable PAC’s designed to hide the true source of their funding.
I believe this is the “Watergate” of our State and our time. ...
Rep. Tom Campbell
What makes Republican Campbell's request weighty is this: Campbell was the beneficiary of $100,000 worth in independent spending from Democratic funders himself. Campbell is running against a more conservative Republican, J.T. Wilcox.
The independent spending against Wilcox was funneled through a maze of political committees—For the People, funded by 2nd Defense, funded by DIME PAC and WFSE PAC, which are union PACs for the Washington State Labor Council and the Washington Federation of State Employees respectively.
The lead committees in the convoluted effort, For the People and 2nd Defense, were created by MacLean's Moxie Media.
2. Speaking of three-card monte campaign financing games, Josh will be on KUOW's Weekday this morning to talk about the $6.8 million in undisclosed campaign spending that's poured into this year's U.S. Senate race between Sen. Patty Murray and Republican challenger Dino Rossi.
Tune in 94.9 FM at 9am.
Erica will also be on KUOW today. Tune in this evening at 8:30 PM to get her take on this year's initiatives.
3. I-1098, the high-earners' income tax proposal on this week's ballot, was featured on 60 Minutes last night.
Here's a clip of Bill Gates, Sr., the main sponsor of the initiative, challenging the notion that a tax on the big business class will cripple innovation.
"There's this notion that all innovation is a function of private funding. And that's just sheer nonsense," he says. "The notion that public money is somehow anathema to innovation is just plain wrong."
5. Public Policy Polling's latest poll shows Dino Rossi leading U.S. Sen. Patty Murray 50-48.
PPP's analysis looks at "the enthusiasm gap."
The most worrisome number for Murray within the poll, beyond her small overall disadvantage, is that among voters who say they've already returned their ballots Rossi's advantage is wider at 52-47. Murray's ability to keep the race close is predicated on the 24% of respondents who have not yet done so returning their ballots. That group supports her by a 51-45 margin.
Washington has one of the more severe enthusiasm gaps in the country. Barack Obama won the state by 17 points in 2008 but those planning to vote this year supported him by only a 7 point margin. If Democrats in the state vote at a higher rate than response to our poll suggested over the weekend that would likely be enough to put Murray over the top.
In response to the new poll, The NYT's Nate Silver fired off this tweet from his 538 blog late last night:
"That @PPPpolls survey is a big deal for Rossi. Looks like it'll boost his chance to 25 to 30% in our model."
Previously, Silver had Rossi's chances at 15 percent.