Politics & Government

Republicans file FEC complaint over Gov. Inslee ad bashing Trump

The Washington State Republican Party has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission over this ad, paid for by the campaign of Gov. Jay Inslee.
The Washington State Republican Party has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission over this ad, paid for by the campaign of Gov. Jay Inslee.

Republicans have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that one of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s campaign ads violates U.S. election laws.

The Washington State Republican Party alleges that the Inslee TV ad is illegal because it targets not just Bill Bryant, Inslee’s Republican opponent in the governor’s race, but also Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee. The Inslee ad closes with photos of Bryant and Trump side by side, with a text calling them both “wrong for Washington.”

Republican leaders say Inslee’s statewide campaign committee can’t spend state election funds to target federal candidates like Trump.

“We have filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission against the Jay Inslee campaign for using state campaign funds to attack federal candidate Donald Trump in a TV ad,” said Susan Hutchison, who chairs the Washington State Republican Party, in a written statement.

“This is against the law.”

Jamal Raad, a spokesman for the Inslee campaign, called the complaint “frivolous,” adding, “We welcome the Republicans highlighting Bill Bryant’s refusal to disavow Trump.”

Bryant, a former Port of Seattle commissioner, has declined to say whether he supports the billionaire businessman’s bid for president, a reticence Democrats have criticized.

Melissa Santos: 360-357-0209, @melissasantos1

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