There was no arrangement between deep-pocketed donors, the state Republican Party and David Condon's mayoral campaign, says a leader in the state GOP.
"I can guarantee you there was no such calculation" to launder money, says Peter Graves, executive director of the Washington State Republican Party. "They can't require me to give it to anybody. That would be illegal. We do take suggestions, however."
At question is a recent $25,000 donation given to Condon's campaign by the state party. A week before the party handed over the donation — the largest in any city race this year, by far — five separate local donors gave donations that totaled that exact amount: $25,000.
Graves says that the five donors didn't request the money be spent on the Condon campaign. Even if they did, he says that suggestions made by donors wouldn't be taken seriously.
The hefty donation strikes at the end of a campaign in which Condon has asserted his nonpartisanship — despite having worked for years as a senior aide to U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. Earlier today, Condon told The Inlander he had no such knowledge of money laundering by the state party.
Graves says that the state party has given money to three other nonpartisan candidates this year.
"The trough is thin when it comes to giving strictly to Republican candidates this year," he says. Part of the GOP's goal, he says, is "deepening the bench and defeating Democrats. And Mary Verner is a tried and true Democrat, there's no doubt about that."