Strom Peterson complaint ‘frivolous’ | Letter

Apr 21, 2017

Were you ever late? Have you ever missed a deadline or forgotten to make a payment? I am guilty as charged.

Which brings us to the Edmonds Beacon’s leading story (April 13) with a misleading headline, “Peterson admits to disclosure violations.” A more accurate headline would be “I'm late, I'm late,” the words spoken by the White Rabbit, a character in Lewis Carroll's “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.”

On two occasions, either Rep. Strom Peterson or a staff member missed the deadline for filing reports to the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC). An individual took umbrage and reported the minor mistake to the Attorney General (AG). Washington State law requires the AG to investigate every complaint.

But who is the real culprit?

Is it Strom Peterson, who has served our community as a city council member and continues his good work at the state level? Or, is it conservative activist Glen Morgan, who spends his time sifting through reports submitted to the PDC?

The answer: Glen Morgan! From 2011 to January 2015, Morgan served as the grassroots director and property rights director of the Freedom Foundation. His current position is property rights director and project manager for the organization Stop Taking Our Property (STOP) Thurston County.

According to the March 18, 2017, edition of the Tacoma News Tribune, Morgan “filed more than 40 campaign finance complaints with the commission between October 2016 and March 7, 2017.”

The article pointed out a number of minor violations Morgan cited in his complaints. His most hilarious complaint was for misspelling the Washington State Historical Society and the Nisqually tribe.

On Jan. 26, 2017, The Olympian reported that a lawsuit was filed against the same Morgan for developing robocalls that were disseminated in advance of the November 2016 Thurston County commissioner elections. The calls were apparently “disrespectful and demeaning.”

Morgan also spends time belittling labor unions and frequently trumpets that Washington state is “ripe for labor reform,” analogous to the anti-labor legislation that has been enacted in Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.

Morgan devotes many hours defending individuals against “government encroachments upon their property rights.”

Stuffing the AG’s inbox with these frivolous complaints is more than a nuisance.

It takes time away from serious matters such as filing lawsuits against the 45th president and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regarding unconstitutional provisions in the executive immigration executive orders.

Barbara Tipton


Comments (3)
Posted by: Allen McPheeters | Apr 25, 2017 17:53

Dear Ms. Tipton,

While these infractions may seem minor, even my friend Rep. Peterson admits that he was in technical violation of the law. These complaints by Mr. Morgan help illustrate the difficulty of compliance, and laws that are difficult for conscientious people to comply with are bad laws. Perhaps the good representative would be willing to sponsor a bill that would amend the law to make compliance easier while still maintaining the high standards of campaign finance reporting that the people of Washington want and deserve.

The remainder of your letter consists of ad hominem attacks against Mr. Morgan. You, perhaps, do not like his work; that is irrelevant to the validity of the charges. Please note that Attorney General Bob Ferguson, certainly no conservative, filed the complaints. Surely the Attorney General would not have done so if they were "frivolous."

You may feel that the AG's time would better spent on other matters. I do, too, although not the issues you cite. Nonetheless, these are violations of law, and the AG has acted accordingly.


Allen McPheeters

Posted by: steven d keeler | Apr 27, 2017 15:28

Tipton has it in her head that state and local officials, who have taken oaths, can simply ignore laws they " don't like "  Immigration is administered under federal law AND our current President is President Trump.


Tipton is another example of a DEM who allowed that party to screw Bernie and is now left only with bitterness and a lying, crooked, no message  candidate who lost the election.


Please Beacon, spare us further drivel from Tipton.

Posted by: Glen Morgan | May 01, 2017 00:18

I appreciate Barbara Tipton's kind words about my efforts to expose both the violations of Washington State's Campaign Finance Laws, but also the problems with the statute that probably merit some changes.  I am sorry that she doesn't believe Rep. Peterson's violations are significant, but the Attorney General obviously disagrees with her.

I would encourage Barbara Tipton to do a better job reading.  I haven't spent much time discussing labor unions, but I certainly do discuss a lot of other subjects that would interest her on my site where Barbara is welcome to get a bit more educated about interesting subjects like property rights, government corruption, campaign finance law, and other topics of interest in Washington State.

I am optimistic Rep Peterson will be willing to work with me next year on simplifying and improving the state's campaign finance laws so that they can be both easier to follow, even for newcomers to the process, and perhaps more streamlined for the enforcement agencies as well without sacrificing the necessary transparency goals and objectives that a previous generation of activists intended when they created much of this system by initiative in 1972.

Barbara is also welcome to read my guest editorial in the Tacoma News Tribune responding the editorial she quotes which provides more information.

Glen Morgan

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