The Washington State Democrats and attorney Knoll Lowney released information today showing that Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi participated directly in the Building Industry Association of Washington's illegal fundraising efforts on behalf of Rossi's campaign. In Washington State, it's illegal for a group to raise funds for a candidate if it fails to register as a political committee. Earlier this month, state Attorney General Rob McKenna sued the BIAW, alleging that it had concealed "its solicitation and receipt of $584,527.53 in campaign contributions.
The records released today show that Rossi himself made fundraising calls seeking money from at least one chapter of the BIAW for the BIAW's pro-Rossi campaign war chest, which, to date, has spent more than $2 million on its anti-Gregoire campaign.
The BIAW's contributions to Rossi's campaign came from refunds to BIAW members' worker compensation funds. Two weeks ago, the state Public Disclosure Commission unanimously ruled that a BIAW subsidiary had illegally concealed its role in bundling workers' compensation refunds and donating them to the BIAW's political committee, which is working to elect Rossi over Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire.