Over the weekend, the Seattle Times editorial board went from calling for Democrat State Auditor Troy Kelley to “come clean” to calling for his resignation. The quick turn-around came after a week of Kelley continuing to dodge media questions concerning the ongoing (at least two-year) federal investigation into his past business dalliances. Kelley also refused to testify before lawmakers regarding his knowledge of the criminal investigation last Wednesday.
Kelley expects the public to believe that he is “puzzled” over the federal investigation, as Shift reported. However, based on the timeline of the investigation, his claim is more than a little difficult to believe. In fact, according to the latest information, Kelley knew of the federal investigation for at least two years. Kelley also hired his former business associate and man at the center of the federal investigation, Jason JeRue, mere months after he assumed office as State Auditor. Concrete evidence exists that he created the position for JeRue.
Evidence based on lawsuits over the past decade involving Kelley and business associates link the current state auditor to misappropriation of $3.8 million from mortgage borrowers, money laundering, tax evasion, and even burglary. It’s an [alleged] example of Democrat corruption at its finest. And, it isn’t the first—and won’t be the last—example of it.
As Shift previously pointed out, the federal investigation involving Kelley is the latest in a long series of corruption scandals involving Democrats in Washington State. Unfortunately, not all the corruption scandals led to serious consequences—i.e. resignation—for these Democrats. Here are four Democrats that got away:
- In 2012, Jay Inslee admitted to breaking campaign finance rules after a complaint filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) accused him of misappropriating congressional campaign funds. It appears that Inslee used congressional campaign funds to launch his gubernatorial bid. Unfortunately, Democrat-controlled PDC staff decided not to act. Rather, they granted Inslee an exemption to the law. Since becoming governor, Inslee has been able to bypass similar campaign finance laws with the help of California billionaire and extreme “green” hypocrite Tom Steyer.
- Last year, Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler faced allegations of undue influence over an independent judge charged with reviewing third party complaints over insurance plans offered by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange’s Healthplanfinder. The Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) ended up settling the complaint at a cost of $450,000 to taxpayers. Interestingly enough, it was Troy Kelley who decided not to pursue an investigation into Kreidler.
- In 2008, news broke that then-candidate for state superintendent of public schools Randy Dorn lobbied the Legislature for the two years “to allow him and one other person to increase their pensions by thousands of dollars a year.” In 2007, the state House voted to allow Dorn to collect a pension based on the $137,705 he earned as director of the Public School Employees Union, rather than the $57,720 he earned as a principal at Eatonville High School. The bill, however, died in the state Senate. If the bill had become law, state officials estimated that Dorn and his lobbying buddy would have collected nearly $600,000 in additional retirement benefits. Dorn was elected state superintendent of public schools despite the scandal. He has since lived up to his past—in 2010, Dorn was arrested on a DUI charge.
- Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark may not have broken campaign finance laws, but he certainly is guilty of being a campaign finance hypocrite. And, like so many of his fellow Democrats, allowing a special interests agenda to influence him financially. In 2008, Goldmark “pledged that he was the candidate to do away with backroom deals and restore trust to the office.” He promised he would not accept money from industries he would be regulating as commissioner. However, over the past three years, Goldmark has accepted about $100,000 in campaign contributions from… companies he would be regulating. In fact, contributions from timber and wood-product companies make up 20 percent of the money Goldmark has collected. Critics accuse Goldmark of losing the state a lot of money in order to appeal to his big donors. Goldmark still servers as the state Commissioner of Public Lands.