Last week, I reported that local media firm Media Plus was lining up TV ad time on credit for its stable of Republican clients—Rep. Dave Reichert, Dino Rossi, Rob McKenna, and Douglas Sutherland.
The arrangement, in which Media Plus secured hundreds and thousands of dollars worth of TV time for its GOP clients before the candidates cut any checks (or even had the money in their accounts to pay for the ads), ticked off the Democrats who cried, “illegal loan!”
Both the Washington state Democrats and Darcy Burner’s campaign against Rep. Reichert filed complaints— the Democrats with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission; Burner with the Federal Elections Commission. The complaints accused Media Plus of lending money to its clients, which translates into a contribution.
Unfortunately for the Republicans, the dollar figure for such expensive TV buys exceeds contribution limits.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, however, it isn’t likely that either the FEC or the PDC will get to either complaint before election.
This means illegal fundraising may affect the outcome of this year’s elections.
The Media Plus deal is particularly disturbing in Reichert’s case where the $1.7 million ad buy exceeded Reichert’s budget by nearly $600,000.
On the morning he was drafting the complaint, Burner’s attorney complained : “Media Plus probably doesn’t extend credit to any of their [other] clients in an amount greater than the amount the client earned all of the previous quarter.” (Reichert raised $524,000 in the most recent quarter.)