Washington’s elections watchdog altered its interpretation of state law Friday, placing strict limits on how Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee will be able to use $1 million stashed in a federal campaign account.
Public Disclosure Commission Executive Director Doug Ellis said staff took a closer look at the law after a story by The Associated Press last weekend. Ellis said staff incorrectly considered Inslee’s federal campaign to be similar to a state campaign.
“We have no jurisdiction over federal campaigns,” Ellis said. “It’s money that’s outside of the state campaign finance laws.”
Inslee political director Joby Shimomura said they want further clarification.
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State candidates are allowed to create dedicated surplus accounts that can then be rolled into future elections without limitations, according to the PDC.
The commission initially agreed with Inslee’s interpretation of the law.
Under the new interpretation, he will still be able to ask donors to shift the surplus donations, but the money will count toward the maximum amount an individual can donate – $3,200 for the entire election cycle.