With less than a week left before the general election, Seattle mayoral candidates Cary Moon and Jenny Durkan are now attacking each other through complaints about campaign finance violations.

The Cary Moon for Mayor campaign announced on Wednesday, Nov. 1, its filing of a campaign finance violation complaint against the Jenny Durkan for Seattle camp with the Seattle Ethics & Elections Commission.

Less than a week before the general election, Moon’s communications director submitted a complaint to SEEC executive director Wayne Barnett alleging Stephanie Formas of Waggener Edstrom has been serving as Durkan’s official spokesperson while the campaign has failed to report a salary or in-kind contributions for her or the communications and public relations firm.

The four-page complaint includes a number of examples since July of times when Formas spoke to the media on behalf of the Jenny Durkan for Seattle campaign.

“Formas frequently communicates on behalf of the campaign during regular work hours, and provides in-person professional services to the candidate at media functions and other events during weekdays, as wells as evenings and weekends,” the complaint states.

It continues by stating Formas is not reported as a staff member with the campaign, Waggener Edstrom employee or individual making an in-kind contribution on campaign C4s.

Cary Moon for Mayor communications director Bre Weider points out that Microsoft is one of WE’s major clients, and that Durkan recently returned a campaign contribution from the tech company. It was less than $1,000, though Microsoft is also a major contributor to a PAC sponsored by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, which is backing Durkan.

The complaint states Formas’ services should be reported as an in-kind contribution by her or WE, though Weider also states the services provided by Formas exceeds the $500 in-kind limit. This is based on the $5,000 per month Formas made in salary while working for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last year, according to the complaint.

“We request that the SEEC thoroughly investigate this flagrant violation of our campaign finance laws by the Jenny Durkan for Seattle campaign and consider appropriate enforcement measures,” the complaint states.

Durkan’s campaign fired back later in the day, stating the complaint from Cary Moon for Mayor was a distraction from its debt and having received advanced funds from Moxie Media to continue printing and sending campaign mailers to the tune of more than $160,000. Jenny Durkan for Mayor followed the statement by releasing two complaints against Moon’s campaign that were filed that day with the SEEC and Washington Public Disclosure Commission.

The full statement from Jenny Durkan for Mayor is here:

“There is no violation here. Stephanie has volunteered to help elect Jenny by making phone calls, entering in data, staffing events, knocking on hundreds of doors, and marching with Jenny at Pride. Her involvement in the campaign has grown in recent months to include some communications work independent of her full-time employment, and she is being compensated separately for those professional services through Sound View Strategies. The campaign's payments to Sound View are duly reported in our campaign filings.

"This complaint is a smokescreen complaint to hide the fact that the Moon campaign filed a new disclosure form late last night that shows that they are now carrying $190,000 of debt, including nearly $160,000 of debt to Moxie Media, their campaign consultant. These fresh deficit payments are a blatant violation of campaign finance restrictions, and constitute both an illegal contribution to the campaign from Moxie Media and a massive violation of the 21-day candidate self-contribution limit. We will be filing an amended complaint (See below) with the SEEC shortly, as well as filing a new complaint with the state Public Disclosure Commission, detailing the mockery that the Moon campaign and her consultants are making of important campaign finance restrictions."

The SEEC complaint against Moon by Jenny Durkan for Mayor states that Moon’s campaign filed a C4 on Oct. 31 — a day before sending its complaint against Durkan to the SEEC – that shows more than $160,000 in debt to Moxie Media. City election rules state a vendor who extends credit beyond what it normally would constitutes a contribution equal to that amount of credit, the complaint states.

“Moxie Media’s normal business practices (as well as industry practice) are to have campaigns make payments directly to JR Mailing service for postage and mailing services prior to a mailing being sent,” the complaint states. “The Moon C4 clearly shows that Moxie advanced those funds to JR Mailing, a clear violation of the rules. Further, Moxie is extending credit to a campaign that clearly does not have the resources to pay its expenses.”

The complaint, which is a follow-up to a previous filing against Cary Moon for Mayor, accuses Moon and her consultant of playing a “financial shell game” to hide the fact that the urban planner has contributed almost $400,000 of her own money to her campaign, “making her the single largest contributor to a candidate campaign in Seattle’s history.”

The general election is on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Locally, residents can find a ballot drop box outside Seattle Central College on Broadway.

 

SEEC Complaint 11-1-17 by branax2000 on Scribd

SEEC Complaint Part 2 by branax2000 on Scribd