Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Phony EFF complaint against Locke dismissed

From The Olympian:
A state ethics board has dismissed a complaint against former Gov. Gary Locke over his solicitation of tens of thousands of dollars in corporate donations for the National Governor’s Association in 2003.

The ethics law usually forbids any solicitation and it puts a $50 limit on gifts.

Locke, who made about 30 fundraising phone calls and also sent letters on NGA stationery, was raising money to help defray costs of Washington’s role as host for the annual policy conference of the NGA, which was in Seattle that year.

The NGA helps the states craft national policy goals on education and other issues, but its Seattle meeting relied on at least $720,000 in donations from about 18 companies with about 155 state contracts, according to the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, which filed its complaint last year.

In its ruling issued last week but released Tuesday to The Olympian, the state Executive Ethics Board found the complaint was “obviously unfounded or frivolous.”

“There is no evidence that Governor Locke granted contributors direct access to the governors during the only events that he could have controlled access to: the ‘unofficial’ social events,” the board’s formal written report stated.

It also found that contributors, including The Boeing Co., received “no special access” to the nation’s governors by virtue of giving to the NGA in 2003.
This is certainly a welcome development. Like Governor Locke, we are pleased that this phony complaint has been entirely tossed out. The EFF ought to think twice about merit before filing another ethics complaint.

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