Last week, SHIFT reported on how Working America—a national organization allied with the AFL-CIO—appears to be violating Washington State campaign laws in its effort to give Jay Inslee a State Senate majority for his higher taxes agenda. Yet, despite aggressively campaigning in top Democrat target districts, Working America has not filed any paperwork with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) to indicate where its money is coming from.
It was last month that Sen. Andy Hill found his re-election bid in the 45th Legislative District at the center of Working America’s illegal efforts. The big labor group paid canvassers to doorbell neighborhoods in the 45th LD with flyers which distort and disparage Sen. Hill’s proven legislative record.
Working America’s fingerprints are also all over the 30th LD’s State Senate race where Republican Mark Miloscia—a former state representative and long-serving community leader—is taking on Democrat Shari Song, who moved to the district in order to run for the open seat. According to our sources, paid canvassers are going door-to-door with a flyer that looks very similar to the group’s attack on Sen. Hill.
Ironically, one of Working America’s main grievances against Miloscia involves his vote for HB 2836 when he was in the state House. Working America points out that the bill led to tuition hikes at state universities. What the big labor group omits is that HB 2836 was actually the 2009-2011 Supplemental Biennium Capital Budget—which, of course, was passed under complete Democrat control of the state Legislature and signed by a Democrat governor.
We suggest that if Working America is truly concerned for the well-being of future university students, it consider supporting—not actively opposing—the election of Republicans who would join the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC). With Sen. Hill as budget writer—in conjunction with the efforts of Republicans like Sen. Mike Baumgartner in the MCC—Washington State prioritized education over non-education spending at a 4:1 ratio and froze tuition for the first time in 30 years.
But, of course, Working America is not really concerned with students—or the truth for that matter. The big labor group is looking out for the interests of, well, big labor. And, with that as its primary objective, who better to support for public office than Democrats?
Working America’s failure to abide by basic campaign laws highlights the Democrats’ apparent strategy for the 2014 mid-term elections – skirt campaign laws to the benefit their candidates, and then take whatever fines are eventually assessed for the law-breaking and pay them once the election is over. If winning means breaking PDC rules, it is clear Democrats are more than willing to deal with the consequences later.
You can view Working America’s flyer below.