McKenna fucks up his own campaign cash roll-over and tries to shut down Inslee’s cash roll-over

Gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna (R) has his undies all atwist over gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee’s (D) plans to forward up to $1 million of congressional reelection surplus to his gubernatorial election war chest:

Republican candidate Rob McKenna’s campaign, responding to an inquiry from The Associated Press, characterized the money as simply “illegal.”

“He’s trying to claim that because it would be convenient for him to try to grab that money and evade Washington state law” McKenna campaign manager Randy Pepple said.

“Babbled” would have been a better last word for the sentence.

He added that the campaign or someone else would likely challenge any formal opinion that would allow the money transfers.

The PDC has reviewed the law and, in their opinion, finds such a transfer acceptable:

PDC staff believes Inslee’s interpretation is correct, and agency spokeswoman Lori Anderson said past candidates have taken similar steps.

“I don’t think that’s a fuzzy area,” Anderson said. “It’s spelled out well in our statutes and our rules.”

PDC officials pointed to a section of state law that allows candidate’s with dedicated surplus funds to roll them over to future elections for the same office without the money being subject to contribution limits. Because Inslee is running for a different office, officials also turned to a separate section of law that allows candidates who are running for a new office to get approval from donors to use past donations for a new campaign.

Those laws combined show Inslee’s interpretation is correct, Anderson said.

Three amusing observations:

First, the sitting state Attorney General should NOT have his campaign stooges give uninformed legal babble opinion—it reflects badly on the legal prowess of the Attorney General.

Second, the AP story points out:

After his 2008 campaign for attorney general, McKenna rolled an extra $40,000 over to the 2012 election cycle. Because that money was mingled with new cash, it is all subject to campaign contribution limits, according to the PDC.

Anderson said that McKenna could have placed that money into a dedicated “surplus” account and got the same benefits as Inslee.


In other words…McKenna’s campaign royally fucked up its own campaign cash roll-over. And now they presume to tell the PDC how the process is supposed to work for Inslee?!?


Third, as Jerry Cornfield points out, if the McKenna campaign sues the PDC over its interpretation of the law…

…[t]his could create an interesting situation down the road because McKenna’s office typically defends PDC interests in court.

That’s an amusing irony—kind of. And it reminds me of an episode from the chronicles of Horsesass involving McKenna’s predecessor.

Back in early 2003, when it became clear that Goldy’s Horses Ass Initiative, I-831 might conceivably make it to the ballot, then state Attorney General Christine Gregoire sued to keep it off the ballot.

Goldy lost the case. But just in case he won, and the initiative subsequently became law, Goldy was prepared to sue over the legality of the law. Doing so would have put Gregoire in the position of defending the new law.

Of course, McKenna has an easy out, by virtue of his own precedent: McKenna could simply refuse to provide the PDC with legal representation.

Problem solved.


  1. 2

    rhp6033 spews:

    As McKenna demonstrated in his confrontation with someone trying to videotape a campaign speech, he frequently goes far beyond his area of expertise. What’s troubling is that he seems to be completely confident that he knows what he is doing, and yet is operating on only a general overview of the law, without having studied it’s details.

    For example, he confidently asserted that he needed the permission of everyone in the room before his campaign speech could be videotaped. But the Washington state law prohibiting voice recordings only applies only to conversations where there is an expectation of privacy between both involved in the conversation. Here, there was no expectation of privacy because (a) the meeting was conducted in a public facility, (b) the lease terms prohibited discrimination in entry into the facility, (c) McKenna himself said the videotaper was free to stay as long as he ceased videotaping, and (d) the meeting was advertised to the public.

    Similarly, he thinks he has the right to refuse to defend the Dept. of Natural Resources in an appeal, although it is bound to do so in the state Constitution.

    Likewise, it appears that in this instance he was relying upon what he THOUGHT he knew about the law, without having studied the details. That’s a dangerous combination.

    Maybe rather than considering electing him as governor, we should consider recalling him as attorney general. Let him go back to the practice of corporate law and screw up their affairs for a while.

  2. 3

    MarkS, Puttybutt is a Koch sucker spews:

    Two sets of rules.

    One for the Republicans. The other for the rest of us.

  3. 6

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’ll admit the campaign finance rules can be confusing. But if I were running for office, I would dive into them for weeks at a time before announcing my candidacy, to make sure I knew the details. Because I, as the candidate, would bear the cost of any mistakes.

    We have a saying for guys like McKenna. They know just enough to be really dangerous. And they think they know a lot more than they really know.

  4. 7


    Because Inslee is running for a different office, officials also turned to a separate section of law that allows candidates who are running for a new office to get approval from donors to use past donations for a new campaign.

    Soon after Jay announced his candidacy for governor, I received an email asking me for exactly that permission.

    I said yes … with pleasure.

  5. 8

    Richard Pope spews:

    If McKenna had fiscal skills, he should have saved more than 40k from the record 1.9 mil that he raised for re-election to Attorney General in 2008. McKenna won re-election by a record margin and carried 37 out of 39 counties.

    In 2003, McKenna raised over 300k for an uncontested re-election to King County Council, and basically spent it all. Nothing left over to run for AG the next year.

    Inslee’s fiscal skills are better. He has had a series of weak challengers, and has saved over a million bucks in campaign funds that he didn’t need to spend. Now he can use this money to run for Governor.

    Inslee’s legal skills also appear to be better than McKenna’s, even though McKenna may very well have an even higher IQ than Inslee.

  6. 9

    correctnotright spews:

    McKenna is the supposed Attorney General of our state. The fact that he can’t even get the basic rules straight on his own campaign before shotting off his big mouth shows that he is unqualified and ill-prepared to be governor.

    What does McKenna think? that he can just make up the rules as he goes along – since he is the AG? How sad….

  7. 10

    Ekim spews:

    9. correctnotright spews:
    What does McKenna think? that he can just make up the rules as he goes along – since he is the AG? How sad…

    Maybe he is a Koch whore like Governor Scott Walker.
    Who needs brains when you have a Koch sugar daddy?

    Speaking of Koch whores, where is the ButtPutty?