The State Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit in Thurston County Superior Court against the Service Employees International Union 775NW (SEIU 775) and its political action committee (SEIU 775 PAC). The lawsuit alleges that SEIU 775 and SEIU 775 PAC have violated campaign law by failing “to timely and properly file reports of in-kind and monetary contributions as required under the state’s campaign finance laws.”
The lawsuit is the result of a complaint filed by the Freedom Foundation accusing SEIU 775 of repeated campaign violations. Based on that complaint, the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) found that SEIU 775 “may have violated the requirement to report in-kind contributions of staff time to operate and manage its political action committee.”
Reviewing the evidence, the AG took the allegations a step further than the PDC. The AG Office’s news release states,
“Following a review of the PDC’s information, the AGO conducted further investigation and found evidence that SEIU 775 and SEIU 775 PAC failed to file reports of both in-kind and monetary contributions. The complaint alleges that SEIU 775 failed to file reports of monetary contributions totaling $1.39 million as well as in-kind contributions — including staff time, office space, postal and web services, and telephones — made to the SEIU 775 PAC from 2010 to 2015. While SEIU 775 PAC reported receiving the monetary contributions, the PAC failed to properly file reports of any in-kind contributions received from SEIU 775.”
It’s clear that SEIU 775 was attempting to hide its election activities from the people who pay for them through forced union dues and from the public as well. The state is seeking penalties and injunctive relief.