Elections

Groups file complaint over ‘misleading’ mailer in Thurston County commission race

E.J. Zita, who sits on the Port of Olympia commission, said she is supporting Tye Menser, a Democrat running for Thurston County commissioner.
E.J. Zita, who sits on the Port of Olympia commission, said she is supporting Tye Menser, a Democrat running for Thurston County commissioner.

A coalition has filed a complaint with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission over campaign mailers sent to voters in Thurston County and elsewhere in recent days, calling them a “blatant attempt to mislead voters.”

The mailers urge voters to write in the names of progressive officials and former candidates instead of voting for the Democrat on the ballot. They include the logos of groups that previously endorsed the proposed write-in candidates.

In Thurston County, the mailer suggested voters write in Port of Olympia Commissioner E.J. Zita for Thurston County Commissioner, instead of voting for Democrat Tye Menser.

Zita told The Olympian on Saturday that she had nothing to do with the flier and had no interest in being County Commissioner. Zita is supporting Menser, and she called the mailer dishonest.

Similar mailers went out to voters in the 6th, 19th and 26th legislative districts.

The complaint filed Monday is against conservative activist Glen Morgan and political action committees he manages that sent the mailers.

The coalition that filed the complaint — which includes the progressive advocacy group Fuse Washington, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii and various labor groups — argues the mailers violate state campaign finance law by falsely implying endorsements in the upcoming election.

“These ads contain misleading, defamatory, and otherwise unlawful information, and have been disseminated broadly to over 100,000 voters across the state of Washington,” the complaint states.

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Morgan said Monday he complied with state laws and will defend the mailers before the PDC.

Abby Spegman: 360-704-6869
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