Thursday, November 3, 2011
A local progressive citizens group is alleging that Spokane mayoral candidate David Condon is laundering money through the state Republican Party.
Five donors to Condon's campaign — who had already given the maximum donation to him — gave an accumulated $25,000 to the state party over the course of three days in October, which the state GOP, in turn, handed right back to Condon, the citizens group says.
Only one of those donors, Rod Schneidmiller, had donated to the GOP before. Another of the five donors is Condon's brother, Ted Condon.
"The bottom line is, look who Fuse is, look where they're coming from," Condon says of the group that is alleging the money laundering. Asked if he was aware of any collaboration between the donors and the state party, he says, "I have no idea."
But Gonzaga law professor Daniel Morrissey says the information is indisputable.
"It appears that he's doing indirectly what he's prohibited from doing directly," Morrissey says. "We don't want wealthy people running our elections. ... It is pretty obvious that they're trying to use the GOP party as a conduit. We call that money laundering."
Morrissey, who volunteered for the Obama campaign in 2008, says that, as a corporate lawyer, he's seen this type of money transaction before.
"We see this in the criminal area a lot, where people disguise money through various intermediaries," he says. "What's the old line? Follow the money. That's rule No. 1."
This adds extra scrutiny to Condon's insistence that he is nonpartisan, despite having worked for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., for years. Now, with the heavy infusion from the state party, he still says he's not beholden to any party.
"I accept donations from Republicans, Democrats, anybody," he says.
According to Fuse, the five donors are:
A call to the state Republican Party for comment was unsuccessful.