This Washington

Sen. Tom with Republicans Again, This Time as Subject of a Campaign Finance Complaint

By Josh Feit March 27, 2012

Seattle resident Kimberly Christensen, a newbie Democratic Party activist who was energized by Obama's 2008 campaign, filed a complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission on Monday against ten Republican state legislators and one Democrat. (The Democrat is state Sen. Rodney Tom, D-48, Bellevue, who many in the Democratic Party consider to be a Republican these days for joining with the GOP to vote for Republican budget leader Sen. Joe Zarelli's, R-18, Ridgefield, recent budget coup.)

The complaint, which uses screen shots of online fundraising pitches taken on March 26, two weeks into the current special session, (see the one below from Republican house minority leader Rep. Richard DeBolt), charges that the legislators are soliciting campaign contributions during the session—a violation of the law.  (The fundraising freeze law has gotten some attention this year because it's creating a disadvantage GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna.)

Christensen filed the complaint against Reps. John Ahern, Gary Alexander, Katrina Asay, Cathy Dahlquist, Richard DeBolt, Lawrence Haler, Edmund Orcutt, Kirk Pearson, Jay Rodne and Sens. Randi Becker and Tom.

Christensen, who worked with a gang of Seattle liberals going through candidate web sites, says, "At a critical time when our senate and legislature are in special session wrestling with our budget, we have Rodney Tom and 10 other conservative lawmakers flouting a law that is designed to separate moneyed interests from the interests of the everyday people that the lawmakers supposedly represent."

Given Christensen's crew's progressive agenda (they call themselves the "65th Street Change Gang"), I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't scour progressive Democratic candidates' web pages quite as closely.

Meanwhile, I've got a call in to the PDC to see if simply having solicitations up (and perhaps not attending to them) counts as a violation.

Here's the shot she submitted from Tom's website:

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