Protect Marriage Washington has filed their Summary, Full Report Receipts and Expenditures, or “C4 report”, for August, 2009. Protect Marriage Washington (PMW) is the political organization forcing a referendum vote on the domestic partnership law passed this spring by the Washington legislature and signed by the Governor. To preserve the law, voters must vote “APPROVED” on Referendum 71.
For the second month running, PMW’s C4 has failed to report expenditures related to their paid signature gatherers. Their use of paid signature gatherers has been well documented in newspapers here, here and here, and blogged about here and here.
PMW has also neglected to report their legal expenditures. Attorney Stephen Pidgeon has been providing legal services for PMW since at least May 27, 2009, when The Olympian identified Pidgeon as attorney for PMW and its campaign manager, Larry Stickney. May 27th was the date when Pidgeon and Stickney initiated an unexpected legal challenge to the Referendum 71 ballot language.
Since that time Pidgeon has taken a very public role as PMW’s attorney in their efforts to keep donor names secret, and in defense of PMW’s collection of signatures from non-voters and PMW volunteers’ fraudulent signing of petition circulator’s declarations on petitions that they did not circulate.
James Bopp, Jr. of the Indiana firm Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom has been the primary attorney in PMW’s efforts to keep their petition signers’ names secret, with Pidgeon acting as local counsel. Pidgeon and Bopp continue to be identified as PMW attorneys and sign off on their court documents. Yet not a penny of cash or in-kind payment has been reported to the Public Disclosure Commission for at least 3 months of professional legal services rendered to PMW by two attorneys and probably staff at Bopp’s firm.It seems that on top of being allowed to collect signatures from non-voters, hide the identity of their petition signers and fraudulently attest to circulating petition sheets, PMW is also allowed to spend freely on signature gatherers and lawyers without reporting it. One wonders what other laws they’ll be allowed to break without repercussions before the ballots are counted.
Incidentally, Larry Stickney apparently took a salary hit in August, receiving only $3,290 for the month. In June he took home $6,500 and $5,150 in July. But while the fortunes of PMW and Stickney seem to be waning, his accumulated salaries continue to account for about 45% of all (divulged) expenditures ($14,940 total salaries/$32,786 expenditures = 46%). This was also the case in July, and makes one wonder if he has a habit of reserving a certain minimum percentage of donations for his own salary.
* Protect Marriage Washington’s finance report looks sketchy