Sen. Maralyn Chase rebuttal to REALTORS PAC

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Excerpt from REALTORS PAC that Sen.
Chase is referring to. Complete flyer
side 1 HERE and side 2 HERE
By Senator Maralyn Chase

I am writing in response to the misinformation in the mailer sent out by Washington Association of Realtors (REALTOR PAC) to voters in the 32nd Legislative District, and repeated in the SAN. (see Statement from the Washington REALTORS PAC)

The Public Disclosure Commission has never claimed that I made an ethics violation. However, back in 2002 the Seattle Times published an article asserting an ethics violation for my asking a question about the legality of the district organization accepting a campaign donation. I asked if it is legal for a person to donate directly to the legislative district in addition to my campaign. The answer ‘no,’ so no donation was made to the legislative district from that individual. End of story.

Unfortunately somebody notified The Seattle Times, which roared into action with a factually incorrect and misleading article which falsely reported that there had been an ethics violation. If the Seattle Times had simply lifted the phone, they would have heard firsthand from the PDC, that there was indeed, no violation.

The PDC exists to implement and enforce campaign rules and they did their job. They did not file a campaign violation report because it is not in violation of the rules to ask a question. Candidates regularly call the state PDC to ask questions about campaign rules. It is not a violation of ethics to ask questions about rules. The public should know that it is the PDC’s job is to answer questions from candidates who are running campaigns, and that the people at the PDC are also available to answer questions from the public.

Journalistic ethics and standards require that print media, and other media, report truthfully, accurately and impartially. The Seattle Times failed to be accountable to the public by correcting their article with an accurate and truthful account of the PDC’s findings. It is worth noting that an incorrect article in the Seattle Times does not constitute an ethical violation on my part. I leave you to decide whether or not failure to correct specious or inaccurate articles is a violation of journalistic principles.

Based on the uncorrected article in the Seattle Times, the Washington Association of Realtors asserts that there was a PDC ethics violation on my part. That’s slander. They owe voters, and me, an honest statement about the position of the PDC.

The Seattle Times has not satisfied their responsibility to fulfill the duties of a free press to accurately report the news. My campaign did ask the Seattle Times to retract false statements in their article, but they chose not to. The choices made by the Washington Association of Realtors undermines the public’s right to truthful information and undermines our democracy.


Anonymous,  November 6, 2018 at 10:24 AM  

Ms Chase - I voted for you in spite of the negative campaigning (or perhaps because of it?). I can draw my own conclusion about you asking a question about donations - to expect candidates to know all the nuances of campaign law in addition to being well=informed on issues is incredible. The idea that you want to pass a law for families to only have two children also does not disturb me. Most proposed bills are modified many times before being passed in to law - at the very least, you would have perhaps raised a discussion about multiples issues - education, health-care, environment, etc. - all the issues that impact our society in a variety of ways when people "choose" how large a family to have. Perhaps it would have even engendered a discussion about "choice" and how few or many people in our state have that opportunity due to education, access to birth control etc.

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