LETTER: First tests of transparency are compliance with disclosure laws

Issue of transparency

One of the keystones of Bill Peach’s campaign for Clallam County commissioner District 3 is his claim to “transparency,” yet he doesn’t provide any evidence.

There is, however, evidence to the contrary.

One of the first tests of a candidate’s transparency is compliance with the public disclosure laws of the state of Washington.

Ths is not the first time Bill Peach has run for the office of county commissioner; he cannot claim ignorance.

Instead, he claimed a software glitch when the PDN discovered (“Fundraising buoys Clallam commission, court primaries,” Aug. 5) he had not filed any of the required contribution or expenditure reports until Aug. 3, two business days before the primary.

The first of these reports was due May 21, the week following a loan of $20,000 that he made to his campaign.

It is more than a little curious that the software he blamed for his failure to file his contribution and expenditure reports did not prevent him fromfiling his registration with the Public Disclosure Commission on May 1.

Bill Peach is a Republican and filed for election as a Republican candidate, yet several of his newspaper ads prior to the August primary omitted refernce to his party affiliation — an unequivocal requirement of the public disclosure laws.

It was only after two formal complaints (cases 40612 and 40731) citing multiple omissions were filed with the PDC tha tPach filed his first expenditure report on Sept. 19 — four months after his filed for election.

The purpose of the public disclosure laws of the state of Washington is to shine sunshine on those who purport to govern, i.e., transparency.

Craig Ritchie,

Port Angeles

Ritchie is the chair of the Clallam County Democratic Party and has filed a complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission.

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