In Seattle, the public financing of local campaigns is a real thing. In Spokane, voters haven’t gone that far left decision – at least not yet.
But much like Jay Inslee is abusing the taxpayers by utilizing taxpayer funded security, his fellow Democrat Spokane Council President Ben Stuckart appears to be receiving Spokane taxpayer support — without their consent — in his run for Mayor.
In fact, there seems to be little happening to stop it, even though it’s a violation of the Spokane Code of Ethics which prohibits campaigning in Section K(5):
“City Officers and employees are encouraged to participate in the political process on their own time and outside of the workplace by working on campaigns for the election of any person to any office or for the promotion of or opposition to any ballot proposition, but shall not use or authorize the use of City facilities of resources for such purposes except as authorized by the provisions of RCW 42.17.13.” [Emphasis added]
These major ethics violations appear to have been happening for more than a year, discovered by a Public Records Request, and posted to the Facebook page, “Spokane’s 8thMan”.
The below screenshots appear to show Stuckart active on his campaign Facebook page using his taxpayer funded computer during work hours.
Additionally, his campaign Facebook page is being operated from his taxpayer funded email account.
Lest you think Stuckart is just an oblivious local politician, accidentally running afoul of the rules, we remind you that he’s been in office for almost 8 years and should know better. Afterall, this is far from Stuckart and his staff’s first brush with city ethics violations.
But what really takes the cake here, is that Stuckart and his aide apparently knew they were skirting the rules, and continued fleecing taxpayers anyways, as exposed in this text message between the two:
If that’s not enough, it appears Stuckart was even so brazen as to lie about this very topic to the Spokesman-Review. In an article from April 19 the paper reported, “Stuckart said he doesn’t engage in campaign activities on city property and he’s been careful to keep his campaign and council president activities separate since he ran for re-election in 2015.”
That is clearly false, as the screenshots above clearly contradict that claim.
Why does this matter? Because there’s an important election going on in Spokane and it seems Ben Stuckart is willing to break the city’s ethics codes – and possibly state public disclosure laws – to win. And he’s apparently arrogant enough to think he can get away with it, and not have to answer to those pesky taxpayers.
How’d his aide put it? Ah yes, “not the type of people we want to appeal to anyways.” Your move, Spokane media! Wake up.