I don’t know what makes me angrier right now, the fact that Dan Satterberg is about to win this election on the back of $170,000 in illegal contributions, or that my friends in the media are allowing him to get away with it without repercussions.
As I predicted eight days ago, the Washington State Republican Party is flooding the prosecutor’s race with money over the final few days of the campaign, laundering huge, lump sum contributions from developers and other special interests, through the party, and back into Satterberg’s coffers. Make no mistake, these contributions were earmarked for Satterberg’s campaign, and Satterberg clearly knew the money was coming. First Satterberg goes $40,000 into debt buying TV time, and then magically, Thursday night, nearly $40,000 gets transfered into his campaign from the WSRP. Then after he books yet more TV time for the final few days of the campaign, the WSRP transfers another $81,000 into Satterberg’s account. That brings the total to over $155,000 from the state and county party in just the past couple weeks.
Where is this money coming from? $75,000 from Eastside developer Skip Rowley, $25,000 from Seattle developer Martin Selig, $25,000 from cell phone billionaire Bruce McCaw, plus a rogues gallery of GOP faithful including Mike McGavick, Reagan Dunn, and Nuprecon Construction’s John Hennessy… all making large contributions well in excess of the $700 limit for the general election, and all timed for the final few weeks of the campaign. This was clearly a deliberate attempt to skirt our state and local campaign finance limit and reporting statutes… and our TV, radio and print media just doesn’t seem to care!
Satterberg ran promising to keep his office out of politics and politics out of his office, and yet he has run the most shamelessly partisan political campaign for PAO in recent memory. He has made a mockery out of his non-partisanship pledge, and fools out of our region’s political reporters by coordinating large, illegal contributions through state and county party organizations, and timing the disclosure for the weekend before the election, when newsrooms are reduced to skeleton staffs, and two-thirds of the ballots have already been cast.
I doubt they left a paper trail, but I have no qualms in stating that Rowley, Selig and the others gave their money to the WSRP specifically for the purpose of funneling it into Satterberg’s campaign, and that Satterberg and his staff operated in coordination with the party and their contributors. Satterberg, the GOP and their contributors have perpetrated a fraud on the citizens of King County, and if they dispute this charge I challenge them to sue me for libel. Of course they won’t, because they couldn’t possibly prove their innocence in a court of law.
So congratulations to my friends in the traditional media: your vaunted “objectivity” and hunger for non-partisanship has once again allowed a savvy politician and his operatives to play you like a violin. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see this coming, and yet you willfully ignored it, because it just didn’t fit your frame. Satterberg’s strategy always relied on your negligence — or complicity — to put this fraud over on the voting public, and he obviously judged you right.