A legal dispute over the Building Industry Association of Washington’s support for Republican Dino Rossi’s 2008 gubernatorial campaign got new life this week.
On Monday, the state Court of Appeals handed down a split decision that orders additional judicial review in a 4-year-old case that alleged improper campaign finance activities by BIAW and its failure to register as a political action committee. At issue was whether the group needed to register as a PAC, due to its use of members’ insurance rebates to support Rossi in the 2008 race.
The majority ruled the evidence submitted in the King County case created a genuine issue of material fact that the BIAW was a political committee under the expenditure heading of state campaign finance law.
Attorneys for BIAW say the builders have not decided which course to take, though they did suggest the ruling raises important questions around the right of free speech that the Supreme Court ultimately needs to review.
In a separate case in Thurston County in 2008, the state sued BIAW over its concealment of the funds earmarked for Rossi. That case ended in a settlement. (The Olympian)