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Over $140,000 in Murky Whatcom Republican Reported Receipts

How much money has the Whatcom County Republican Party (WCRP) raised this year? Outside their own inner circle, no one knows. There are over $140,000 in misreported, over-reported and unreported contributions on the WCRP Public Disclosure Commission filings.

After reviewing the WCRP’s page on the Public Disclosure Commission website — www.pdc.wa.gov — it was found that Whatcom Republicans have consistently:

● Violated PDC rules,

● Hidden contributor’s names and amounts,

● Made uncorrected mistakes,

● Corrected numbers without explanation.

Details of the violations are outlined in a formal complaint sent to the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) by Whatcom Democrats Sept. 29.

The Whatcom Republicans’ PDC reporting violations are numerous and serious: ● An unexplained gain of over $14,500 between the closing balance of 2020 and the opening balance of 2021. Who made those contributions and for how much?

● Earlier this year, Whatcom Republicans illegally accepted contributions of $6,990 from Pacific Growers and $5,775 from Asset Advisors, exceeding the $5,500 maximum allowed by law from businesses. They have since revised that to $3,750 and $4,165. What happened? Did part of the corporate donations become personal donations? Were refunds given? There are no amendments on the PDC web site to explain the reduction.

● Grossly inaccurate reporting of auction proceeds from an April auction. There appear to be duplicate filings totaling $68,640.

● On May 7, a week before filing for office opened, the WCRP Contributions page showed a total of $233,500. But by Sept. 6, that cumulative total had dropped to $106,292. What happened to the missing $127,208? It appears to include the $68,640 over-reported amount mentioned above, as well as $58,568 in unexplained receipts.

Overstating contributions is a serious matter, particularly leading up to filing week. It misleads the public and, whether by design or not, intimidates the opposition party and prospective candidates not supported by Whatcom Republicans.

“The degree to which the Whatcom Republicans are playing fast and loose with public financial disclosures is scandalous,” said Andrew Reding, chairperson of Whatcom Democrats. “These laws exist to ensure transparency in our elections, and this shady bookkeeping does the opposite.”

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