Democrat dark money groups have helped make the battle for control of Washington State’s Senate the most expensive in state history. California billionaire Tom Steyer and big labor groups have pumped millions into Democrat candidates, hoping to remove the only obstacle to Jay Inslee’s extreme agenda—the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC). By using illegal and deceptive campaign tactics, it has become clear that the dark money groups—and Democrat candidates alike—have adopted a strategy of taking the inevitable monetary penalty if it means these tactics lead to wins.
During this election-cycle, SHIFT has worked to shine the light on these dark money groups, their illegal tactics and the complaints that have been filed against them. On this Election Day, we are reviewing the most egregious campaign tricks Democrats have used to get ahead.
- Dedicated to attacking MCC member Sen. Tim Sheldon, American Values First—an unregistered PAC with ties to the national Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC)—has violated multiple state laws all while engaging in high deceptive campaign schemes.
- Working America—a national organization allied with the AFL-CIO—has not registered with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC). That minor detail did not stop the special interest group from aggressively attacking Andy Hill in his re-election bid, or GOP state Senate candidate Mark Miloscia.
- The New Direction PAC—funded by California billionaire Tom Steyer and the who’s who of liberal special interests groups—has worked to defeat (under the direction of Moxie Media) Sen. Doug Ericksen, Sen. Steve O’Ban, Sen. Andy Hill and Republican candidate Mark Miloscia via the use of phony named PACs. With New Direction acting as the “parent” organization, billionaire Tom Steyer and special interest donors – the labor-supported Kennedy Fund, the State Labor Council, the Conservation Voters, FUSE Votes (previously identified by SHIFT as a front group for the Progress Alliance of Washington) and the SEIU State Council—have managed to launder money through the phony PACS in a coordinated attack effort.
As previously mentioned, Democrat dark money groups have not been alone in using illegal and deceptive campaign tricks to get ahead. Democrat candidates appear to have also adopted the win-at-all-costs strategy.
- Mike Wilson, Democrat candidate for state representative in the 44th Legislative District—used his position as a high school cross country coach to recruit students to volunteer for his campaign. During practice, students were sent home with doorbelling packets complete with home addresses, maps and a script. Additionally, a public records requestfor Wilson’s emails revealed that the Democrat used public resources to benefit his campaign. The Everett School District launched two investigations into Wilson’s illegal campaign activities.
- An anonymous website dedicated to attacking GOP State Senate candidate Mark Miloscia crossed the line into pure bigotry when it condemned him for his Catholic faith. The website portrayed Miloscia as an anti-Catholic caricature complete with a confederate flag suitcase, accusing him of representing “the people of the Vatican” and not “the people of Federal Way.” The website’s creator was revealed to have close ties with Democrat Shari Song. Washington Democrats were noticeably silent on the bigoted attack.
- Democrat candidate for state Senate Tami Green’s husband, Don Green—chair of the 28th Legislative District Democrats—sent out about 5,000 letters this week to voters in a desperate attempt to help his wife unseat state Sen. Steve O’Ban. The letter did not list an author, nor did it identify a donor. Mr. Green claimed that the overall cost did not reach the required threshold ($1,000) to list a sponsor—of course, that’s not possible. Candidate Green claims that she did not know her husband planned to send out the mailers. Due to deliberate distortions of an editorial, the New Tribune editorial board called the illegal mailer “one of the most dishonest fliers” they have ever seen.