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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 30, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 40
Eyman charged with campaign finance violations
Section One
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Eyman charged with campaign finance violations

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Initiative promoter and Donald Trump supporter Tim Eyman has been charged with multiple violations of Washington state campaign finance laws, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced on Sept. 23.

Ferguson filed papers in Thurston County Superior Court, located in Olympia, in three separate cases. Eyman, his associates Jack Fagan and Mike Fagan, three of their political committees, and the committees' treasurer, Barbara Smith, were all charged.

'Washington's campaign finance laws require, and Washingtonians deserve, fair, accurate, and timely disclosure,' Ferguson said. 'When political committees create confusion rather than transparency, I will hold them and the people in charge accountable.'

One complaint alleges that the 'Tougher to Raise Taxes' committee improperly repaid loans totaling over $1 million it received from Eyman and three individuals, because it lacked any kind of written loan agreement. The committee also failed to report to the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) in-kind contributions it received from other committees in the form of interest payments, the complaint says.

The second complaint alleges that the 'Bring Back Our $30 Car Tabs' committee violated state disclosure laws by failing to file an independent expenditure report disclosing its spending on campaign ads against candidates who had opposed a separate Eyman-backed initiative. The complaint also alleges that the committee failed to accurately disclose $3,297.75 in interest payments it made on a loan for 'Tougher to Raise Taxes.'

A third complaint alleges the '2/3rds-for-Taxes Constitutional Amendment' committee failed to accurately disclose a $599.66 interest payment it made on a loan for 'Tougher to Raise Taxes.' The complaint also alleges that the committee failed to account properly for all contributions it received.

Eyman denied wrongdoing in a Sept. 26 statement, but he also promised to revise his reporting to comply with state law.

'This year, our committees reported all loans, web videos, and other activities,' he said.

'After complaints were filed about some of our reports, our committees contacted the PDC asking for help and guidance on how to amend the reports to respond to the complaints. Our committees subsequently filed amended reports with the help and guidance of the PDC. We were told this morning that despite our best efforts to follow the help and guidance of the PDC, it is now alleged that the changes made to our amended reports were insufficient. In response, our committees will once again work toward amending our reports to address any new issues.'

Senior Assistant Attorney General Linda Dalton and Assistant Attorney General Chad Standifer will handle the Eyman cases for the state, the attorney general said.

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