THIS POST WAS UPDATED AT 3:50pm
The Public Disclosure Commission sent a letter to the Washington State Democrats today letting them know the Commission will investigate the Democrats’ complaint alleging that Republican candidates Dino Rossi, Rob McKenna, and Douglas Sutherland (for Governor, Attorney General, and Commissioner of Public Lands respectively) received illegal contributions from GOP media firm Media Plus.
Media Plus secures ad time on credit which allows its clients–political candidates in this case–to run ads without paying first. It’s a pretty sweet set up for campaigns, which typically don’t have much cash on hand in the final days of a race. The Media Plus deal conceivably allows the Republicans to get on TV when they don’t have the money on hand to pay for it. For example, according to Rossi’s most recent campaign finance filing, he was $203,030.83 in the red, yet he had $700,000 worth in media buys running during the last week of the campaign. (Rep. Dave Reichert, who also uses Media Plus, appeared to be getting ad time without the cash to cover it as well.)
The Democrats contend that the advance amounts to a contribution. Rossi did over $6.5 million in business with Media Plus. McKenna did nearly $800,000 in business. And Sutherland did about $320,000.
Let me repeat the first line of this post: The Public Disclosure Commission sent a letter to the Washington State Democrats today.