OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) — Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced on July 11 that his office filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court against the Service Employees International Union Leadership Council 14, also known as SEIU Washington State Council, for allegations of campaign finance violations.
Ferguson also recused himself from any involvement in the case, which was started after Ferguson’s office received a Citizen Action Notice in April that alleged multiple violations of the state’s public disclosure laws.
Ferguson’s office looked into the matter and then claimed that Council 14 did not register and report as a political committee in at least 2014 and 2016 despite making significant campaign contributions.
Washington state law mandates that political committees register when they make expenditures and deliver contributions to support or oppose candidates on ballot propositions. While Council 14 has its own registered political committee, the council itself has allegedly acted as a political committee. In 2014, it purportedly spent $902,005 on political contributions, a figure that represents 55 percent of the council’s expenditures for the year. In 2016, it allegedly spent $2.25 million on political contributions, roughly 74 percent of its expenditures and 95 percent of its income for the year.