JASON RANTZ

Rantz: AG Bob Ferguson campaign getting rich off Trump lawsuits

Nov 6, 2017, 7:18 AM | Updated: 7:32 am

Bob Ferguson...

Attorney General Bob Ferguson. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Maybe now we know why Attorney General Bob Ferguson is so trigger happy in firing off lawsuits against President Donald Trump. Ferguson’s campaign is getting rich off of it, which will come in handy when he inevitably runs for governor.

Thanks to outstanding reporting from Sean Robinson with the Tacoma News Tribune, we learned that Ferguson has been mailing frequent fundraising letters (“sent once per week or more between Sept. 20 and Nov. 2”) about his lawsuits against Trump. One of the letters included an invitation to a fundraiser asking up to $1,000 in campaign donations. And he’s been getting a lot of money coming into his campaign in what appears to be wholly unethical.

Robinson reports:

Records show the push is paying off. Campaign finance reports show Ferguson has raised more than $305,000 for his re-election campaign since mid-July, including $212,000 in August, September and October.

His campaign is emphasizing small contributions. A handful of individuals have donated $4,000 apiece, but hundreds more have donated smaller amounts, down to single digits. Ferguson’s fundraising letters also note that he won’t accept contributions from corporate political action committees.

Ferguson, as of now, is running unopposed. So this kind of haul is wholly unnecessary unless you plan on shifting the funds to a campaign for Governor.

This is beyond unethical to me; it’s outrageous.

Ferguson appears to voluntarily involve himself in anti-Trump lawsuits — spending tax dollars and resources — where his campaign benefits hundreds of thousands of dollars. So you and I are paying for him to waste tax money on pursuits where he personally benefits.

Regardless of your personal politics, including your love or hate for Trump, this is something we should shout out against. Using your office to pursue lawsuits that personally benefit funds coming into your campaign? How are we to know you keep our best interest in mind when deciding what lawsuits to file? How do we know you’re not simply wasting time and money so that you can have an excuse to fire off another fundraising email? Indeed, according to Robinson, “Ferguson has filed or joined more legal actions against the federal government than his predecessors, in a far shorter time frame.”

But, even viewed through an ideological lens, both Republicans and Democrats should be outraged. Republicans should be upset since he’s raising money to run for office off your tax dollars. Democrats should be upset because he’s preying on your hatred for Trump to deceive you into giving him money to continue the fight. He seems more interested in your dollars than he does in the fight against Trump. Maybe it’s why his camp didn’t provide comment for the News Tribune.

There’s certainly no easy line to draw in deciding when figuring out if moves in office are being done for financial campaign gain. If you’re running for re-election, generally, everything you do can be seen as trying to raise funds and awareness so you can stay in office. But the number of fundraising emails sent and unnecessary lawsuits being files by Ferguson is alarming and sure seems unethical.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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