Washington AG Ferguson getting demands to reveal donors in gubernatorial campaign

Jul 11, 2023, 10:24 AM | Updated: 10:44 am

Ferguson donors...

FILE - Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson talks to reporters. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is facing a complaint to reveal his donors in recent campaign transfers for his bid for governor.

A complaint filed last month contends the individual donors of those contributions must be identified, and their past donations – originally for Ferguson’s re-election and now considered “surplus” funds – should count toward contribution limits in his campaign for governor.

The complaint alleges that between April 28 and May 10 over the course of during six transactions, the Robert Ferguson Surplus Funds account transferred more than $1.18M to the Bob Ferguson for Governor Exploratory Committee.

Absent such transparency, it is likely some individuals or groups have now exceeded contribution limits for his new endeavor, argued Tallman Trask, the Seattle attorney who filed the complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission June 27.

Ferguson’s team has declined to comment.

Bob Ferguson is Washington’s 18th attorney general. He is a fourth-generation Washingtonian and a graduate of the University of Washington and New York University law school.

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This is the second complaint regarding Ferguson’s handling of campaign funds. The first, filed in May, is still being investigated.

Both raise the question of whether Ferguson must abide by recent commission actions to require greater disclosure of the source of surplus funds.

“We respect the Public Disclosure’s Commission decision today to change that guidance and look forward to following the new rules going forward,” Ferguson said in a statement May 11.

Ferguson announced May 2 he was launching an exploratory campaign to run for governor, less than 24 hours after current Gov. Jay Inslee said he would not run for a fourth term.

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Washington AG Ferguson getting demands to reveal donors in gubernatorial campaign