Dori: Lynnwood councilmember charges up to $10,000 in ‘irregular’ campaign expenses

Nov 11, 2021, 3:50 PM | Updated: Nov 12, 2021, 9:32 am
Lynnwood councilmember...
via Josh Binda for Lynnwood City Council

Taken from Thursday’s edition of KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show.

A couple of weeks ago, KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show told you about a story involving a Lynnwood City Council candidate, who has since been elected. He is a 21-year-old Black Lives Matter activist named Josh Binda with incredibly suspicious campaign spending.

That spending was detailed by The Lynnwood Times’ Mario Lotmore. All of us in the media need to be watchdogs of government, and I love spotlighting allies who are keeping government honest.

The Lynnwood Times’ report details a number of campaign expenditures that Lotmore considers irregular. They include, among others, the following:

  • Almost $300 for concert tickets
  • More than $300 for dental work
  • Almost $500 for groceries
  • More than $200 for haircuts
  • $88 for a necklace

How in the world are any of these things legitimate campaign expenses?

“They’re not legitimate campaign expenses,” Lotmore replied in an interview. “And hence, that’s why I believe when you saw in our second report that Lynnwood Councilmember Binda already reimbursed the campaign $1,970. However, these expenses add up to far more than that.”

“Binda [told me] that these are accounting errors, and that he’s already been reimbursing their campaign,” Lotmore said. “So obviously by him reimbursing, he knows that these weren’t legitimate charges. What I thought was interesting was him stating that he didn’t have the card in his possession at the time.”

All told, the Lynnwood councilmember charged almost $10,000 in questionable expenses, of which he has reimbursed less than $2,000. He’s still been elected, and I’m just baffled by how cavalier some people are with their vote.

If you have somebody who was trying to sneak through $10,000 in shady campaign expenses, then what kind of a politician is he going to be? And what kind of person is he going to be? Lynnwood has a huge city budget, and the council is in charge of that. How in the world did this guy get elected?

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: Lynnwood councilmember charges up to $10,000 in ‘irregular’ campaign expenses