10/24 Update: In light of the new mailers in LD 47, the coalition filed a request with the Public Disclosure Commission to refer the case to the Attorney General's office for immediate investigation. You can read the new letter here.
Coalition Files PDC Complaint Against Republican Glen Morgan for Voter Deception Scams
Morgan Used Outdated Endorsements to Mislead Voters in Support of Fake Write-In Campaign
Seattle – A coalition of groups today filed a complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission against Republican operative Glen Morgan for lying to voters about the groups’ support for progressive candidates. Fuse, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, AFT-Washington, AFSCME Council 28, and UFCW 21 signed the complaint against Morgan and the four PACs he’s using to orchestrate his misleading campaign in Thurston County and Legislative District 6, 19, and 26. The full complaint is available here: https://fusewashington.org/pdf/Morgan_Complaint.pdf.
“I’m outraged that these PACs are intentionally lying to voters about the endorsements of my union,” said Sue Wilmot, a grocery worker and executive board member of UFCW 21. “We are calling on the Public Disclosure Commission to punish the perpetrators and send a clear message that these tactics are illegal.”
Voters in these four areas received similar mail pieces over the last few days urging voters to write-in the name of a progressive candidate who had previously run for office instead of voting for the Democrat on the ballot. The mailers include the logos of progressive organizations that had endorsed the write-in candidates in past years and quoted extensively from Fuse’s previous Progressive Voters Guide recommendations dating back to 2013. You can find pictures of the mail pieces here: https://www.fusewashington.org/news/fuse-response-dirty-and-deceptive-mail-pieces
“This is one of the most abhorrent and dishonest actions by Washington Republicans I have ever seen,” said Treasure Mackley, Vice President of PPVNH. “Planned Parenthood is a trusted voice and we will not let Glen Morgan and his Republican backers lie to voters in our name.”
The complaint shows that Morgan falsely implied the endorsements of the groups on the mailer, which is illegal under state law. In addition, the complaint shows how Morgan’s attacks harmed the Democratic candidates on the ballot, harmed the organizations listed on the mailer, and harmed the reputations of the supposed write-in candidates. Above all else, these underhanded tactics undermine the democratic process and hurt voters seeking to make an informed choice when casting their ballot.
“This is a new low for Washington. Republicans have become addicted to bald-faced lying and shameless deception, and it has to stop, “said Aaron Ostrom, Fuse’s Executive Director. “Since 2008, Fuse has invested an enormous amount in making our Progressive Voters Guide a trusted and credible source of voting information for hundreds of thousands of voters each year,” continued Ostrom. “Republican Glen Morgan’s dirty tricks not only seek to confuse voters and hurt Democratic candidates, but also aim to undermine the credibility of our guide.”
The complaint also outlines multiple other violations by Morgan, including not listing the party ID of the candidates on his piece, failing to list the officers of his PAC, and failing to include other information on his PAC forms.
Fuse is the state’s largest progressive organization – people creating change online, on the ground, and on issues that matter. Together for Progress