A Political Action Committee that operates without contribution limits is amassing cash to help a Democrat win the governor's mansion this fall—and thus far the campaign has flown below the radar.
Our Washington PAC has reported $855,320 in contributions in preparation for the November election, according to records at the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. That's a hefty sum—particularly in May—and the PAC's coffers stand to swell further before election season. While it's not stated explicitly in state filings, the group is clearly set to run an independent campaign to elect Democrat Jay Inslee. Or, as these sort of outside PACs are known to do, run a cutthroat campaign to undermine Inslee's opponent, Republican candidate Rob McKenna.
The most telling contribution comes from the Democratic Governors Association, a partisan apparatus to elect governors, which gave $250,000. Other donors comprise a typical roster of Democratic powerhouses, including: Washington Education Association ($250,000), various SEIU affiliates ($200,000), Justice for All PAC ($100,000), and the Washington Federation of State Employees ($50,000).
But the PAC is, for now at least, short on details about its plans. Adam Glickman, spokesman for SEIU 775, one of the contributors to Our Washington PAC, simply says the group will "attempt to educate voters about issues in the upcoming gubernatorial election. While Jay Inslee is fighting for the middle class and has a plan to get our economy moving again, Rob McKenna has the wrong priorities time and time again, and he lines up with national Republicans against Washington's middle class."
Come fall, Our Washington will clearly be a major player—a few million dollars go a long way in statewide races. And, of course, stay tuned for a shadow PAC from McKenna's camp that works to slam Inslee. While that hasn't been filed yet, a few press reports that Our Washington PAC is fundraising—fundraising from out of state to run a hit campaign on a Republican—stands to kindle McKenna's donors.