An election mailer circulating in the Puyallup-centered 25th Legislative District says House candidate Shelly Schlumpf’s campaign is heavily funded by partisan special interests.
“If 80% of your contributions come from special interests will you vote with them 80 percent of the time?” it reads. The Washington State Democratic Central Committee paid for the mailer, which advocates for Schlumpf’s opponent, Dawn Morrell, saying, “we deserve a Representative 100% committed to US!”
A separate mailer from a group called Working Families for the 25th hits the same campaign finance theme, highlighting donations to Schlumpf from insurance and pharmaceutical companies, banks and a company owned by the billionaire Koch brothers. The Working Families group’s top contributors are a Washington State Labor Council PAC, the House Democrats’ Truman Fund and Washington Federation of State Employees.
Schlumpf, a Republican, has received thousands in donations from partisan and special interest groups, according to state Public Disclosure Commission records. As of Tuesday, she’d raised $211,447 total, including $50,000 from the House Republican Organizational Committee. Other top contributors include Bank of America State & Federal PAC, Farmers Employees & Agents PAC, AstraZeneca and Builders United in Legislative Development.
But Morrell, a Democrat, also has accepted thousands from political groups and special interests. She’s raised a total of $232,529, including $40,000 from the House Democratic Campaign Committee and about $15,600 from 25th Legislative District Democrats, according to the PDC. Other top contributors include the Washington Education Association PAC, Washington Teamsters Legislative League, Washington State Council of County and City Employees, and Washington State Troopers Association.
WHAT THE CANDIDATES SAY:
Schlumpf said the donors – from companies large and small as well as individuals – support her because they feel she’s the right choice for the 25th District. She said the money won’t tie her hands.
“The money coming in – where it comes from is not going to dictate how I will vote,” she said.
Morrell draws a distinction between her donors and Schlumpf’s, saying her support comes from “first responders, teachers, people who build our roads.” She said she “will never apologize for getting money from working people.”
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Both mailers accurately point out that Schlumpf has taken money from special interests, funding a large share of her campaign with those donations. But so too has her opponent, Morrell.
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