The state Public Disclosure Commission said Wednesday it is investigating two campaign-finance complaints against Susan Hutchison's campaign for King County executive.
The state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) said Wednesday it is investigating two campaign-finance complaints against Susan Hutchison’s campaign for King County executive.
Doug Ellis, assistant director of the agency, said investigators are looking into a complaint that Hutchison’s campaign staff is using a Laurelhurst home for campaign work without disclosing it as a contribution.
The agency also is investigating whether the campaign is in violation of limits on contributions in a single election, either in-kind or cash, because of the value of the use of the home to the campaign. The complaint alleges that the value of using the house is up to $20,000 over the $800 contribution limit.
The rental house is managed by a company owned by Bruce McCaw, who was a major contributor to a $150,000 independent expenditure ad campaign against Hutchison’s opponent, Dow Constantine. Her campaign manager lives in the house.
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The PDC also is investigating $19,282 in expenditures by the campaign last summer, Ellis said. Hutchison’s campaign noted those expenditures in filings to the agency but did not provide adequate documentation as to how the money was used, Ellis said. “We are trying to figure out what happened to that money,” he said.
Hutchinson’s campaign also is being reminded to file reports that are complete, including the occupations of contributors, Ellis said.
The complaints were filed by Suzie Sheary, chairwoman of the King County Democrats.
No time frame was set on the investigation. If the PDC finds merit to the complaints, possible outcomes include requiring the candidate to re-pay the contributions, as well as fines.
The agency is also investigating a complaint against Constantine’s campaign, alleging that it coordinated with an independent expenditure campaign against Hutchison. There is not supposed to be any connection between candidates and independent campaigns.
None of the complaints will be resolved before Election Day, Ellis said.
Lynda V. Mapes: 206-464-2736 or firstname.lastname@example.org