California billionaire Tom Steyer, who seemingly remains under semi-investigation by Washington State’s Public Disclosure Commission, is in the news again, announcing on the front of the New York Times that he might spend $100 million this year to impact elections across the country.
As noted campaign finance expert Fred Wertheimer points out:
“A small number of the richest individuals in America are attempting to use their enormous wealth to purchase government decisions to advance their own personal interests.”
The PDC is familiar with Steyer’s willingness to ignore our state’s campaign disclosure laws based on his involvement here in the last election, when he was part of a losing effort to defeat Jan Angel in the special Senate election in the 26th district.
Steyer has so-far avoided a full-fledged investigation into his shady actions, when he first put an illegal donation into his Washington State political action committee, then told the PDC that was a mistake. The PDC – moving with unusual swiftness – agreed with the liberal mega-donor within hours, and allowed him to stop filing reports in Washington and keep his campaign funding secret for the rest of the election season.
Two additional complaints have been filed against Steyer since that initial PDC decision, each pointing out that Steyer had misled our state’s election watchdog to keep his donations secret. The PDC has said that matter remains under review, though over four months have passed with no public comment on the case.
Perhaps this latest revelation will wake the PDC up.
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