PAC supporting Mallahan for mayor fined for elections violations



Posted on October 30, 2009 at 5:56 PM

SEATTLE – A political action committee supporting Seattle mayoral candidate Joe Mallahan was fined $2,500 Friday for elections violations.

The PAC, called "Working for Seattle," failed to report more than $100,000 in donations and didn't report it until this week, after many voters had already mailed in their ballots.

"Voters had a right to know about this contribution 21 days before election before a single ballot was mailed," said Wayne Barnett, Seattle Elections Commission.

The PAC money comes from the Seattle firefighters union, the Master Builders Association, Republican contributor Bruce McCaw and the Washington Association of Realtors.

"I was horrified when I found out that these reports had not been reported," said Kenny Stewart, head of the Seattle firefighters union and treasurer for "Working in Seattle.

The PAC money paid for a commercial endorsing Mallahan and two Mallahan fliers.

"Look at his funders. They include tunnel contractors, eastside developers, interests that don't support light rail or environmental protections," said Mike McGinn, Mallahan's opponent.

Stewart says failure to report the money in Seattle on time was an unfortunate error on the part of a staff member. However, they had reported it elsewhere.

"We filed with the state (public disclosure commission) and with the county appropriately and timely," said Stewart.

The PAC was told, if it happens again, they'll be fined another $2,500.

The ethics violations are against the PAC supporting Mallahan, not against Mallahan's own campaign.

Mallahan's campaign did not have a comment about Friday's findings.

Ballots will be counted Tuesday.