Grocery Manufacturer's Association documents to be unsealed in campaign finance lawsuit

By Mark Iandolo | Feb 19, 2016

OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) – Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that his office reached an agreement with the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) that allows for the state to unseal documents related to Ferguson’s campaign finance lawsuit.

Ferguson’s office believes the unsealed documents provide further detail of GMA’s systematic effort to conceal who provided $11 million in contributions to oppose Initiative 522.

In 2013, GMA financed a campaign against Initiative 522, which aimed to require labeling on genetically engineered products. The case, State v. Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, concerns this financing.

“GMA engaged in an elaborate scheme to unlawfully shield its members’ contributions from public scrutiny,” Ferguson said. “They need to be held accountable.”

The state notes internal documents that allegedly show GMA communications on how to set up funding to shield the names of members who contributed.

On Jan. 22, both GMA and the state filed for summary judgment. A hearing on these motions takes place this month in Thurston County Superior Court.

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