Another investigation into the anti-tax activist is being referred to the Washington state Attorney General’s Office.
OLYMPIA — Washington state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) staffers are recommending that the state Attorney General’s Office take action on another set of campaign-disclosure allegations made against anti-tax activist Tim Eyman.
The investigation stems from a May complaint by Washingtonians for Ethical Government against the campaign known as “Bring Back Our $30 Car Tabs — VWMC — 2016.”
That campaign was formed to promote Initiative 1421, which concerns motor-vehicle taxes and fees but is not expected to materialize on the November ballot.
Its officers include Eyman and other associates of the campaign committee known as Voters Want More Choices.
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This spring, the campaign reported paying for web videos for a cause different from I-1421.
The videos identified legislators and candidates who opposed a proposal to require a two-thirds supermajority vote for tax increases, according to the PDC investigation.
The videos, according to the investigation, urged viewers to “Vote Them Out!”
The investigation alleges that some of the videos against candidates met the threshold as an independent campaign expenditure.
Campaigns are required to disclose independent expenditures against candidates and also must have a special disclaimer tag for such ads. The PDC investigation alleges Eyman’s campaign did neither on some of the videos.
The investigation also found that the disclaimer tag on the ads listing the top five donors for the committee may have been incorrect.
The complaint is what the PDC calls a citizen-action complaint, and the agency doesn’t make a decision on penalties for those, according to PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson. But in its investigation, PDC staff recommended that the Washington state Attorney General’s Office take action on the allegations.
The PDC is scheduled to discuss the case in a special meeting scheduled for Friday.
In an email, Eyman attorney Mark Lamb wrote that, “At no time was the public, the press, or legislators deprived of their right to know who was sponsoring and paying for these web videos.”
But, “Following the complaint my clients sought additional advice from the PDC and, once advice was given, in both instances amended forms were filed soon after,” Lamb added.
The Attorney General’s Office already is investigating Eyman in an unrelated case stemming from 2012 that also alleges campaign-disclosure violations.