Democratic state senate candidate Mark Mullet—an Issaquah City Council member who's making a run against Republican incumbent Sen. Cheryl Pflug (R-5, Issaquah)—is sweet-talking the voters.

Mullet is the owner of the Ben & Jerry's on High St. in Issaquah—and his campaign flyer, which also talks about upgrading public school standards, preserving parks, and coming up with "straightforward regulatory and tax policies," comes with a coupon for a free scoop of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

The only election rule against bribing people has to do with exchanging money or services or property for votes and endorsements, so while asking people to "come on by for a free ice cream cone!" on your campaign flyer, right after telling voters you want to talk to them, may be a little unctuous, it's nowhere close to being a violation.



However, there are rules governing this kind of shtick. Corporations are only allowed to contribute $900 to candidates. In this instance, Ben & Jerry's could only give out $900 worth of ice cream minus the pro-rated cost of the flyer (the shop is getting some promotion there).

But treats-loving voters are in luck. Mullet is the sole proprietor of the Issaquah Ben & Jerry's. That means there's no limit on what the shop can contribute.  Mullet says: "It's a popular flier. People are bringing them in."

Mullet's other company, Zeek's, has maxed out to his campaign ($900 in the primary and $900 for the general), there are no contributions from Ben & Jerry's.
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