Ferguson backs down on surplus money issue
Plus more pricey carbon credits and we're peacing out through Labor Day
Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s campaign quietly backed down this week on that nagging campaign cash issue that has dogged his gubernatorial bid since the spring.
The campaign amended its disclosures to the Public Disclosure Commission and sent $86,000 back to a surplus campaign account created to store the leftover cash from his previous campaigns for his current job.
That’s an acknowledgment that the money would be afoul of the PDC’s revised guidance on the subject, which requires that surplus money should be reported donor-by-donor and counted against the contribution limit for the donor for the current election.
Ferguson’s campaign had argued that the old guidance, which allowed campaigns to transfer surplus money in bulk without counting it against the current limit, should apply to more than $1 million the campaign moved before the PDC changed its tune in May after a complaint from Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, one of Ferguson’s rivals for the governor’s mansion.
The action likely moots a complaint on the issue pending before the PDC on the retroactivity question. It also means a significant cadre of loyal Ferguson donors is now maxed out without writing a check for the 2024 race. The campaign’s revised disclosures for April are a veritable who’s-who of smart political money.
If $86K seems like a small fraction of $1M+, you’re not wrong. Luna the Intern has been polishing her spreadsheet skills on this problem, and Ferguson’s move gives us a chance to roll out some of her findings.