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Angel asks AG, PDC for injunction against political action group
State Rep. Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard) called for the state Attorney General and Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) to seek an immediate injunction against the NextGen Climate Action committee and to prosecute California billionaire Tom Steyer to the fullest extent of the law because of money used for anti-Angel political ads.
Angel called a Oct. 24 morning press conference at her Port Orchard home to discuss the illegal contributions attempt by a Wall Street speculator to purchase a Washington state senate seat.
Angel, who has served in the state House since 2008, is running against Sen. Nathan Schlicher (D-Gig Harbor) for the 26th Legislative District state senate seat. Schlicher, an emergency room doctor from Gig Harbor, was appointed to the Senate earlier this year. He replaced Derek Kilmer, who was elected to Congress in 2012.
Also, Angel called upon She Changed Political Action Committee (PAC) to return $455,000 that it received from Steyer. She also called upon Comcast to follow through with a cease and desist letter sent Oct. 18.
“My campaign is asking them to pull this dishonest ad from our airwaves,” said Angel. “They have been shown by The Seattle Times to be false.”
The Seattle Times published a story Oct. 23 about anti-Angel ads and found them misleading.
The article stated while Angel did sign onto a bill that would have repealed state health-care mandates for insurance companies, the ads leave out important context — namely that the measure would have replaced state mandates with those required under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare.
The Affordable Care Act does require preventive-care coverage, including mammograms for women over age 40. Under the federal law, the services must be covered without cost-sharing or deductible requirements.
The She’s Changed PAC, which backs Schlicher, paid for the commercials attacking Angel. The group bases its mammogram claim on House Bill 1361, which was introduced in 2011, reported The Times.
Angel was not the bill’s sponsor, as claimed in some ads. She was one of 12 co-sponsors who signed onto the legislation, according to the House clerk’s office. The bill in the Democrat-controlled House never got a hearing.
She said Steyer’s $455,000 contribution can be tied to She Changed PAC and $250,000 in direct contributions to She Changed PAC, $275,000 in contributions to the Washington Conservation Voters, which in turn gave $150,000 to She Changed PAC and $55,000 to the Kennedy Fund which gave $217,000 to She Changed PAC.
“These are just the dollars we can trace,” said Angel. “Should we just call this the Tom Steyer She Changed PAC sponsored by Tom Steyer?”
Angel said while Steyer pretends to be an environmentalist, he has made his fortune by investing in tar sands, oil fields, gas pipeline drillers, and a zinc and mining company that is responsible for poisoning children.
“Now he is trying to buy our state senate seat with a last-minute and illegal $3 million political contribution,” Angel said.
Angel asked Schlicher to ask She Changed PAC to return “tainted money” from Steyer and to denounce untruthful ads that Steyer purchased against her.
Schlicher said Thursday afternoon that Angel’s comments about Steyer were “very interesting.”
“It’s been reported by many media outlets that none of the money in question from last week has anything to do with our campaign,” said Schlicher. “So I don’t know why she is talking about it and avoiding the issues, the vote and the concerns of the people in the 26th District. Seems like she is trying to hide from the issues and distract attention away that has nothing to do with our district or voters.”
NewGen no long active in state
The PDC said a committee representative with NextGen Committee stated the group is no longer active in Washington state.
PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson said that on Oct. 23, the Public Disclosure Commission received a complaint from the Washington State Republican Party (WSRP) alleging that the NextGen Climate Action committee had received more than $5,000 from Tom Steyer within the last three weeks before the general election, a violation of RCW 42.17A.420.
Anderson said the NewGen committee was already a registered SuperPAC reporting to the Federal Elections Commission when it decided earlier this year to spend money in state campaigns.
According to Anderson, Washington state’s campaign disclosure requirements were not satisfied by the committee’s federal disclosure, which resulted in the committee registering as an in-state political committee and filing contribution and expenditure reports with the PDC.
On Friday, the NextGen committee sent a written confirmation that it was no longer active in the state when the subject contribution was made and thus no longer subject to state’s campaign finance laws and rules, Anderson noted
“This will resolve the issues complained of by the WSRP and the PDC staff will take no further action concerning the complaint,” Anderson said.
The PDC has not received any complaints regarding false political advertisements regarding Angel, Anderson added.