All Politics is Local

Glen Morgan strikes again in Clark County (Updated)

A conservative activist has filed lawsuits against two local Democratic politicians alleging that they violated the state’s campaign finance laws.

Sound familiar? It should if you’ve been following the story of Glen Morgan and his crusade to enforce the state’s campaign finance laws — at least for Democrats.

I’m running out of ways to present pretty much the same story just with different people. This time, Morgan’s targets are Sen. Annette Cleveland and state Rep. Sharon Wylie, both Vancouver Democrats, as well as their campaign committees. The lawsuits, filed in Thurston County Superior Court last week, essentially allege that the legislators failed to properly file documents detailing campaign expenditures and contributions, as well as illegally transferring funds to other committees.

Here’s the backstory: Morgan has filed hundreds of complaints with the state Public Disclosure Commission. Almost all have been against Democrats. He’s followed up some with lawsuits. He says he’s just trying to make sure the law is upheld. His detractors say he’s picking on volunteer-run campaigns and using the state campaign laws as a weapon.

If you want to find out more, he was a guest on Clark Talks, The Columbian’s podcast. The Seattle Times also has a good article on what he’s up to.

Regardless of what you think of his crusade, Morgan has made some of these complaints stick.

State Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver, settled a complaint with him. The 49th Legislative District Democrats legally dissolved after being targeted by Morgan. He’s also targeted former state Rep. Tim Probst, D-Vancouver.

Neither Cleveland nor Wylie provided comment.

Update:

After this blog ran, Wylie sent me an email noting that neither the state attorney general nor the PDC took action on Morgan’s complaint.

“It is my position that most of the complaints were unfounded or minimal and did not violate the intent of the law, which is to ensure that information about where money comes from and how it is spent is available to the public,” said Wylie in a statement. “At this point I feel that I have done my best to be open and to comply with our laws. I have not yet decided how I am going to respond to this lawsuit.”

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