Alarmed by a recent report in The Stranger ("Presto Change-o! Is One Tim Eyman Campaign Secretly Funding Another?") State Representative Reuven Carlyle and former state Department of Transportation head Doug MacDonald have asked the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) to conduct "a full and prompt investigation" of allegations that Initiative 1185 funds were used to improperly purchase signatures for Initiative 517.

Carlyle and MacDonald, co-chairs of the No on I-1185 campaign, made their request in a September 5 letter (pdf) addressed to PDC chair Jennifer Joly.

All inferences plausibly drawn from media reporting and all related matters raised in the complaint already before the Commision must, in our view, receive the immediate attention of the Commission via a full and prompt investigation.

[...] The investigation must embrace the entire signature gathering operation and those responsible for its direction and execution, including signature gathering firms and subcontractors and the sponsor, Mr. Tim Eyman, the I-1185 and I-517 principal. The law provides for serious sanctions if violations are established, as detailed in RCW 42.17A.750.

Carlyle and MacDonald also ask that the PDC conduct its investigation using "independent counsel" rather than trusting the impartiality of Attorney General Rob McKenna, who "has already declared his public support for Initiative 1185." This latter request is important because the PDC has neither the resources to fully investigate a scheme as complicated as the evidence depicts, nor the statutory authority to impose a penalty harsh enough to match the alleged violation.

It's a welcome bit of public pressure that hopefully will push the PDC to give this complaint the serious attention it deserves.