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Washington attorney general urges court to rule against Food Democracy Action

By Mark Iandolo | Mar 1, 2016

OLYMPIA, Washington (Legal Newsline) — In an ongoing campaign finance case, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced his office has urged the court to rule that Food Democracy Action (FDA) illegally evaded the state’s laws.

FDA provided financial support in 2013 for a campaign supporting Initiative 522, which would have required labeling on genetically engineered products. FDA raised close to $300,000 in support but did so under its own name without disclosing donor identities.

“The crux of this case is transparency,” Ferguson said. “FDA concealed the identities of thousands of individuals who donated hundreds of thousands of dollars. I will continue to protect the public’s right to know who is funding Washington elections.”

The state filed a motion asking the court to rule that FDA violated the state campaign finance laws. If the court does so, it could impose penalties that may include a monetary fine equal to the amount not reported as required. If the court finds that the FDA violated the law knowingly, the penalties could triple.

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