King County Councilwoman Jane Hague has been hit with a new problem that, like her recently revealed drunken-driving charge, could be damaging politically as well as financially.
The staff of the state Public Disclosure Commission, in an administrative complaint Friday, accused her of multiple violations of campaign-finance laws.
It said the Bellevue Republican was late, sometimes by more than 13 months, in filing numerous reports of campaign contributions, expenditures and bank deposits; failed to disclose occupations and other required information about contributors; and accepted contributions in excess of the allowable limit of $700 from eight donors.
The complaint said Hague also violated laws governing surplus funds accounts, which are strictly regulated accounts for leftover campaign funds. It said she illegally filed several expenditure and fund-transfer reports late, some by as much as 15 months, and reimbursed herself for expenses — including campaign contributions to other politicians — for which surplus funds can’t be used.
The charges arose from and largely affirmed a voluminous complaint filed against the veteran politician by her election opponent, Richard Pope, a lawyer and perennial candidate who is running as a Democrat but without Democratic Party support.
He has brought successful public-disclosure complaints against previous election opponents but has never won an election.
And when our friend Richard Pope loses this election, I suggest the PDC hire him as an independent investigator to look for all the disclosure scofflaws the PDC doesn’t currently look for. He could probably make a good living just off commissions from the fines. That is, if he loses this election. At some point voters may just grow so fed up with this shit, they’ll throw Hague out of office regardless of her opponent.
And when she was arrested on the drunken-driving charge in Bellevue on June 2 — in an incident that wasn’t publicly known until Aug. 21, — an obscenity-spewing Hague reportedly blamed the arrest on her husband, Ed Springman. He was a passenger in her Mercedes convertible.
A state trooper said in a written report that Hague, 61, “became irate and (used) expletives” and “said it was her husband’s fault that she was in the back of a patrol car and being treated like a criminal, and her husband would have to find the best attorney” for her.
When the officer suggested she could speak to a public defender if her husband — a wealthy Eastside developer — couldn’t find her one, Hague reportedly “stated she would not talk to any second-rate attorney.”
A separate report written by a county sheriff’s deputy who arrested her said she declared in a slurred voice that he was wasting his time. He said she exclaimed, “This is fucking ridiculous, don’t you have rapists to take off the street?”
After she failed several roadside sobriety tests and the deputy transferred custody of the handcuffed councilwoman to the state trooper, the deputy’s report said she complained, “This is fucking ridiculous, I don’t need handcuffs.”
Too bad no quality Dem had the balls to file for this race. It would be a gimme.
On a curious side note, my good friend Stefan (fondly known by his pals at the local diner as “Mr. Pink“) has apparently been too busy defending his honor to read the papers, for I haven’t seen (u)SP mention Hague’s DUI even once. Odd for a blog that describes itself as a “sound commentary on current events in Seattle, Puget Sound and Washington State,” especially considering his hard stance on drunk driving, repeatedly mentioning state Supreme Court Justice Bobbe Bridge’s DUI, calling her a “drunken embarrassment,” and tenuously using the incident to attack Chief Justice Gerry Alexander.