Three prosecuting attorney challengers file PDC complaint

Comes now, the three candidates challenging Prosecuting Attorney Russ Hauge to lead Kitsap County’s criminal and civil prosecutors, alleging those same lawyers are cooperating with Hauge and are breaking campaign finance laws.

The complaint to the state Public Disclosure Commission was received Wednesday and is signed by the campaign managers of the three primary challengers to Hauge.

The complaint alleges that the guild’s independent expenditure of $6,300 to buy a series of print and web ads in the Kitsap Sun was not truly independent.

Here’s how it works: Groups or people can buy ads promoting a candidate, such as the prosecuting attorney guild has done, and not have them considered “campaign contributions,” which are subject to individual limits. However, they may not coordinate or involve the candidate at all, nor may they duplicate campaign materials, said Lori Anderson, spokeswoman for the commission.

I noticed the Hauge ads probably at the same time as the three challengers, when I saw them in the Sun. I made a few calls. One to the commission, one to Chad Enright, the guild president, and one to Hauge. I was told by Hauge he wasn’t involved, and Enright said Hauge wasn’t involved, and they plucked the picture of Hauge from his campaign website.

Here is Hauge’s campaign website.

Here is the attachment from the complaint, as is, which outlines the alleged campaign finance violations committed by the guild.

What do you they think?

On July 24, 2014 an online advertisement began to appear on the Kitsap Sun website (see Figure 1 and Figure 2). The ad stated the following “Re-Elect Russ Hauge Kitsap County Prosecutor Democrat.” The ad claims that “No candidate authorized this ad” and states that the ad was paid for by The Kitsap Deputy Prosecuting Attorney’s Guild (the “Guild”). The ad contains a picture of Mr. Hauge that appears to be identical to the picture from Mr. Hauge’s official campaign website (www.reelectrusshauge.com) and the coloring, design and lettering for most of the ad appear to have been taken directly from the banner of Mr. Hauge’s campaign website (See Figure 3). When you click on the ad paid for by the Guild you are taken directly to Mr. Hauge’s campaign website home page (See Figure 3). The online ads paid for by the Guild continue to appear with great frequency on www.kitsapsun.com.

The Guild has placed at least two 1⁄4 page print ads in the Kitsap Sun newspaper on July 26 and 27. (See Figure 4). The print ads paid for by the Guild appear to have an identical banner (language, picture, art work, and color) to the banner used on Mr. Hauge’s official campaign website (www.reelectrusshauge.com). In addition, there is a very prominent endorsement quote in the Guild ads from Congressman Derek Kilmer. The language used in the quote appears to be identical to the language that is found in the same quote from Congressman Kilmer on Mr. Hauge’s official campaign website. (See Figure 5).

The Kitsap Deputy Prosecuting Attorney’s Guild filed a C6 form with the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) on July 25, 2014. (See Figure 6). The Guild claimed to have spent $6,300 on “newspaper” with the Kitsap Sun in support of Russell Hauge for Kitsap County Prosecutor. The Guild checked the box claiming that this money would be spent for “Independent Expenditure Ads.” The president of the Guild, Chad Enright, signed the form under penalty of perjury. Mr. Enright swore that the expenditure listed in the form “was not made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, a candidate’s authorized committee, or an agent of a candidate nor does it otherwise constitute a contribution under RCW 42.17A.005.”

The evidence contained in this complaint demonstrates that the advertisements purchased by the Guild as Independent Expenditure Ads are actually replications of campaign materials produced by the Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge Kitsap County Prosecutor. In addition, there is evidence that there was cooperation and coordination between the Guild, Mr. Hauge and the Committee to Elect Russ Hauge in the production of the Guild’s ads. Therefore, it appears that these expenditures are in violation of campaign finance laws.

There appears to be a close association between the Guild, Mr. Hauge and the Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge. All of the members of the Kitsap Deputy Prosecuting Attorney’s Guild are Mr. Hauge’s employees. A number of Guild members have been active in Mr. Hauge’s campaign. (See Figure 7). About 80% of Guild members have endorsed Mr. Hauge (See Figure 8) and about half of the Guild membership have made financial contributions to his campaign (based upon an examination of individual contributions made to the Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge on the PDC website and a comparison with the employment roster of the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office).

The president of the Guild is a Deputy Prosecutor named Chad Enright. Mr. Enright has been involved with Mr. Hauge’s campaign. (See Figures 7, 9, 10 and 11). Mr. Enright has also contributed $250 to Mr. Hauge’s campaign (See Figure 12) and endorsed him publicly (See Figure 8). Mr. Enright has been seen attending a number of Mr. Hauge’s campaign events including the 23rd District Democrats endorsementmeeting where Mr. Enright spoke publicly urging the 23rd District to endorse Mr. Hauge, the Bainbridge Island 4th of July Parade, the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues forum, the League of Women Voters forum and the Silverdale Whaling Days Parade.

Based upon the content of the Guild’s political advertisements and the close relationship between Mr. Hauge and the Guild and its President, Chad Enright, it appears that the Kitsap Sun advertisements purchased by the Guild were made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of Mr. Hauge or his campaign committee. If true, this would mean that the expenditures must be classified as a contribution to the Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge (under RCW 42.17A.005(13)(a)(ii)) and would therefore violate campaign contribution limits of $950.

The second potential violation of state campaign finance laws comes from RCW 42.17A.005(13)(a)(iii). RCW 42.17A.005(13)(a)(iii) defines a contribution as “the financing by a person of the dissemination, distribution, or republication, in whole or in part, of broadcast, written, graphic, or other form of political advertising or electioneering communication prepared by a candidate, a political committee, or its authorized agent.”

The advertisements purchased by the Guild appear to use identical photographs, artwork, language and endorsements to the official campaign materials used by Mr. Hauge and his Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge. In addition, the online advertisements purchased by the Guild have a direct link to Mr. Hauge’s official campaign website: www.reelectrusshauge.com. Therefore, the $6,300 of advertising purchased by the Guild to support Mr. Hauge’s campaign should be classified as a contribution under both RCW 42.17A.005(13)(a)(ii) and RCW 42.17A.005(13)(a)(iii).

It is important to note that the Guild has already contributed the maximum amount allowable to Mr. Hauge’s campaign. On June 18, 2014, the Guild contributed $950 to Mr. Hauge’s campaign for the primary election. (See Figure 13). Therefore, any funds spent by the Guild on the advertisement used to promote Mr. Hauge’s campaign website should be found to be in excess of the PDC’s contribution limits. (See Figure 14).

This apparent unlawful campaign activity has irreparably harmed the campaigns of Mr. Hauge’s three challengers in the primary election: Bruce Danielson, Tina Robinson and Bob Scales, all of whom have adhered to the PDC campaign contribution limits. It should be noted that an expenditure of $6,300 for newspaper advertising is extremely high and will likely have a significant impact on the outcome of the primary election for Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney. By contrast, the other three campaigns for Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney have raised a comparable amount of cash donations for their entire campaigns (Bob Scales $7,120, Tina Robinson $6,455, Bruce Danielson mini-reporting option).

The campaign committees for Bruce Danielson, Tina Robinson and Bob Scales are urging the PDC to put an immediate end to the apparent unlawful advertising paid for by the Kitsap Prosecuting Attorney’s Guild and the apparent unlawful contributions given to Russell Hauge and the Committee to Re-Elect Russ Hauge Kitsap County Prosecutor.

 

11 thoughts on “Three prosecuting attorney challengers file PDC complaint

  1. Why is the story that this is linked to been locked out for the past two days and says:

    Temporarily Down For Maintenance.
    We are performing scheduled maintenance. We should be back online shortly.

    Are you waiting till after the election to complete the maintenance?

    Thanks!

  2. Also noticing an amazing lack of Letters-To-The-Editor opposing Mr. Hauge. I know they have been sent in as I am one of those letters. I addressed how my life has been affected by felons during Mr. Hauge’s time in office.

  3. What do I think? I think that anyone who believes that Chad Enright –

    A. Who is a Deputy Prosecutor in the Prosecutor’s office and as such is an employee of Prosecuting Attorney Hauge;

    B. Who, as President of the Kitsap County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney’s Guild, signed on 7/25 the Guild’s Independent Disclosure Form C-6, under oath, that the $6300 paid for a campaign ad was an “independent” expenditure; AND

    C. Who on the very next day, Tuesday, July 26th, provided a Hauge campaign update to the membership meeting of the 23rd Democrats in Poulsbo –

    does anything related to the campaign of the Kitsap County Prosecutor without consulting his boss or his boss’ campaign is naive at best or duplicitous.

    Couple that with the recent exposure of extortive attempts to generate additional fees

    – see the 3 1/2 minute video in http://q13fox.com/2014/07/31/shady-collection-company-agency-teams-up-with-prosecutors-office-harasses-struggling-mother-for-cash/

    by a debt collection company, contracted by the Prosecutors office, which issued written and phone message threats using the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and name as part of the Prosecuting Attorney’s “Check Enforcement Program,” might lead one to look underneath the impressionistic picture of his office painted by the current Prosecutor. So far, numbers 1. & 2. have been colored in.

    Given the looming primary date, Prosecutor Hauge could best serve the citizens of Kitsap County – and certainly the Democratic Party – by withdrawing from the Primary immediately so that the vote of those that have or will have voted for him will not be wasted as his campaign spirals down the legal rabbit hole.

  4. Actually, the PDC complaint was filed electronically on Monday afternoon (July 28th), around 4pm. The hard copy likely reached the PDC on Wednesday.

    It seems glaringly obvious that Chad Enright is an ‘agent’ of Mr. Hauge. Enright has represented the Hauge campaign and spoken on behalf of the Hauge campaign on numerous occasions in the past two months. He is a subordinate of Mr. Hauge in the very office for which Mr. Hauge seeks re-election. Mr. Hauge is a Democrat. Mr. Enright is a Democrat PCO and has taken an active role in the Hauge campaign. This is exactly what is meant by ‘agent’ in the PDC rules.

    To claim that the ad was “independent” is an amazingly brazen contortion. All one has to do is look at Mr. Hauge’s website and compare it to the Guild’s ads and it is obvious to the most casual of observers that there was “cooperation, consultation, or concert with or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, a candidate’s authorized committee, or an agent of a candidate…” of the Hauge campaign.

    Chad Enright signed, under penalty of perjury that this was an ‘independent expenditure’. It is sad, to me, that he can so callously and deceptively swear an oath which appears so glaringly a misrepresentation of the truth and then, in a complete dichotomy, during his day job he represents Kitsap County (and our citizens) as an ‘officer of the court’.

    Another interesting point about the ads… The ads give the sponsor’s (the Guild) address as one in Poulsbo. The Poulsbo address used in the ads is the same address that Chad Enright used to file as a Democrat PCO in Precinct 445, in May of this year.

    http://www.kitsapgov.com/aud/elections/pcofilings.htm

    The address of the Guild, as filed on the C6 Statement, signed by Chad Enright (under penalty of perjury), declaring the ads as ‘independent expenditures’ is “614 Division Street MS-35, Port Orchard”.

    Why wouldn’t Mr. Enright use the correct address of the Guild? Perhaps to avoid pointing out to the public that the Guild is composed of the employees who work for Mr. Hauge?

    RCW 42.17A.320 requires the use of the sponsor’s name and address. One would expect that would be the correct address of the sponsor. But it isn’t the address used in the ads.

    Go figure.

  5. It does not matter if Mr. Hauge was involved in the construction of the ads. Mr. Enright is an ‘agent’ of Mr. Hauge by active participation in Mr. Hauge’s campaign and by speaking on behalf of Mr. Hauge’s campaign numerous times in the past two months.

    Mr. Hauge has culpability here, though, because he has allowed this transgression of the PDC rules to continue unfettered. He could have insisted that the ads come down as soon as he saw the acute similarity and the use of his campaign photo in the ads. He could have insisted on the ads being taken down when he was contacted by the PDC. But he didn’t.

    If Mr. Hauge’s interest is in enforcing the law then it ought to start with ensuring that his own agents and his own employees comply with the law!

  6. Is getting to be a campaign filled with friction . New just recently read is the way the 23rd district dems gave Bob Scales the brush off , not very polite about it .This was written by Scales campaign manager .

    http://bainbridgenotes.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/painful-partisan-politics/

    Loyalty to Hauge should have nothing to do with the way Scales was treated . Those should be two different issues .

    Political purity may have something about it, but I see it as more of the good old boys concept . If your not in the club , your not worthy . Seen this especially true even among those claiming to only be concerned about issues , some of nastiest folks I ever dealt with claimed to be moderates. Can’t blame democratic elected PCOs for having a better relationship with someone who has been in office for a long time then a stranger . But how they treated Scales as I said is another issue .

    I
    Politics often brings out the worse in all of us . Glad the GOP has some leadership in place that promotes getting a bigger tent instead of hanging on to the one it has .

  7. You are going to a different campground than the majority Mick if you think the local GOP has “a bigger tent”. Both of the local parties are loyal to their members, not the good of the people.

  8. Jane the leadership of the GOP promotes it . If you think changing the meaning of my comments makes your supportive intentions more pure it does not .

    Your living in a totally different world if you think those outside the two political parties have any better ability to serve the folks . You find those who consider themselves above the rest in all walks of life . People choose the avenues do so for a various of reasons . major problem in politics as is life in general is pride . Leaving our egos at the door so to speak helps get things done .

  9. I got your point Jane and it is correct. What good is a bigger tent when it is just used to suffocate any and all opposition for the greater good of said party?

  10. Colleen what good is promoting any views when it tramples on any opposition for the good of the community . That’s a defect in how we treat each other , political parties , the PTA has it . Go to a League of Women Voters meeting and suggest school choice is a good idea .

    Also An example is the group you invited me to become an ally . Non partisan action by varying beliefs . All liberal it appears now .
    So joining your group we have people stating traditional marriage is prejudice , members have Facebook cover pages mocking the last supper , Reagan should had been put on trial for treason , The Tea party folks need to be stopped , and this from a group of people who claim political parties are suffocating others. Really ?
    ?

    No our selfish culture is suffocating others , and your part of that culture , time to admit it and become part of the folks trying to make it better , not worse. we all tumble , but we can all get up and try to do better , republican , democrat or independent .

    First generation in a long time that will be worse off then the one which left it to them .

  11. Mick, you are really not making much sense. We all have our own methods. I don’t agree with yours. Apparently you don’t agree with mine or my participation in and with various diverse groups. I am working with various groups of folks that are in fact making things in this community a whole lot better. They just don’t happen to be your groups. Are you “doing better” and being less selfish by going after me this way?

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