It appears liberal billionaire Tom Steyer broke Washington State campaign finance laws by pumping millions of dollars in Washington state after the legal deadline to do so. The goal of his NextGEN PAC? To influence the senate race in the 26th District by propping up the appointed liberal successor to Derek Kilmer’s seat, Nathan Schlicher. According the campaign finance laws:
During the 21 days before the general election, no contributor may donate over $50,000 in the aggregate to a candidate for statewide office, or over $5,000 in the aggregate to a candidate for any other office or to a political committee.
The Washington State Republican Party filed a Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) complaint against NextGEN PAC, but the PDC dismissed the complaint after an investigation that amounted to asking NextGEN if it broke the law. Of course, billionaire Steyer’s attorney said the PAC didn’t spend any of the late money in Washington State, so it was all okay — but did PDC staff really expect them to just admit to it?
New evidence was found days later by activists which proved NextGEN was spending money on a website and other online activities. The WSRP renewed the complaint, but the PDC has yet to respond and is dragging its feet.
Fortunately, even with Steyer’s millions, he wasn’t able to fool the voters. Jan Angel appears to be the next State Senator for the 26th District.
But the larger question remains, given the way the agency charged with enforcing our state’s campaign finance laws bent over backwards to let a California billionaire escape scrutiny in the closing days of high-profile campaign – since when did the PDC become the Public (non)Disclosure Commission?