OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) — Washington state Attorney
General Bob Ferguson has announced his office has filed a complaint against the
Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County (the EDB) and the
Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce (the chamber) over allegations of
campaign finance violations. These defendants are port of Tacoma officials.
Ferguson’s office charges port officials violated
RCW 42.17A.555 by taking public funds and facilities, and using them to litigate
against two ballot propositions by the group “Save Tacoma Water.” Additionally,
the officials allegedly violated RCW 42.17A.255 by not disclosing independent expenditures.
“Washington’s campaign disclosure laws demand transparency
and accountability,” Ferguson said. “Washington elections, including the
financial forces that drive them, will take place in the clear light of day.”
Ferguson’s office seeks penalties and injunctive relief. The
defendants have 20 days from the date the complaint was filed to respond.
Enforcing state campaign finance laws is a major prerogative
for the Attorney General’s Office as it works to ensure free, open and fair
elections in Washington, the office says.