Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that his office has asked a court to rule that an out-of-state organization and its late-registered political committee illegally evaded the state’s campaign finance disclosure laws.
The case concerns Food Democracy Action!’s (FDA) financial support of a 2013 campaign supporting Initiative 522, which sought to require labeling of genetically engineered products. FDA, an Iowa-based organization, raised almost $300,000 to support the “Yes on I-522” political committee. Rather than registering as a political action committee, FDA made the contributions under its own name without disclosing the identities of its donors.
This is one of two campaign finance disclosure cases related to I-522. The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association is accused of a systematic effort to conceal the sources of $11 million in contributions to oppose I-522. That case, also brought by Ferguson’s office, awaits the judge’s decision on summary judgment.
“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.”