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1. In the continuing saga of MomGate (1st Congressional District candidate Laura Ruderman's mom is funding an independent expenditure campaign, raising questions about the rule that there needs to be a firewall between candidate's and IEs), comes another red flag: After US Sen. Patty Murray called on the group, Progress for Washington, to stop doing negative campaigning, the group's latest filing with the Federal Elections Commission mischaracterizes its latest hit piece.

Describing the $21,000 mailer—which ridicules Ruderman's opponents (Suzan DelBene is DelRomney and Darcy Burner is a loose cannon who fudged her resume and hates on President Obama)—Jeremy Pemble, the group's treasurer (and a Ruderman donor) simply says the piece "supports" Ruderman. (The filing questionnaire explicitly asks if the expenditure "opposes" any candidates.)

Darcy Burner, who was added to mom's enemy list in the new mailing (initially, PFW was only going after DelBene) told PubliCola:
“We’re focused on talking with voters about ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing our troops and the $100 billion per year we’re spending there home; getting our economy back on track by building roads and schools and making sure every hardworking American can get a good American job; and fixing our broken Congress so that we have government of, by, and for the people, not government bought and paid for by multimillionaires and large corporations.

“I’ve known Laura’s mother for many years, and I am hoping for the miracle that allows her to beat the cancer she’s fighting so that she’s with us for many years to come.”

2. In other MomGate news, Ruderman, in addition to publicly calling on PFW to stop running negative TV ads (in which DelBene morphs into Mitt Romney), sent a letter to the group yesterday telling them "to immediately cease any forthcoming attacks on my Democratic opponents" adding: "I love my mother very much, but I cannot condone the path this independent expenditure has taken."[pullquote]"I love my mother very much, but I cannot condone the path this independent expenditure has taken."[/pullquote]

No word, however, on the notion of post-Citizen United IEs themselves which allow unlimited corporate spending—something Ruderman criticized earlier in the campaign.

3. Three organizations that typically contribute to Republicans --- Builders United in Legislative Development (the Associated General Contractors' PAC), the Trucking Action Committee (the Washington Trucking Association PAC), and the Washington Restaurant Association PAC have given money to Brett Phillips, a Democratic candidate in the crowded race for the open 36th District state house seat.

Each PAC gave Phillips $500. The only contribution from any of the three PACs to any of the four leading candidates in the 36th District intramural? $500 from BUILD, to Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton.

Although all three groups give far more generously to Republicans, all three groups also gave to some Democrats in this year's elections, including 46th District state house candidate Sylvester Cann ($1,800 from the WRA); 41st District state Rep. Judy Clibborn ($800 from BUILD); and state Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen ($1,000) from the truckers' lobby.

We have a call out to Phillips' campaign.

 4. Graduate Washington, a student-driven higher-ed advocacy group issued some early endorsements for the state legislature this week, picking some obvious lefties such as all-star Seattle state Sen. David Frockt (D-46, N. Seattle) and young Democrat, state Rep. Derek Stanford (D-1, Bothell, Edmonds, Lynwood).

However, the group also gave an early nod to state Rep. Hans Zeiger (R-25, Puyallup), who Democrats had labeled a right wing extremist when he first ran in 2010. Zeiger, who has emerged as a moderate and bridge bulider, got the early endorsement for championing GW's cause to mandate public comments at Board of Regents meetings—where important policy, such as tuition hikes, are often debated.