Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thurston County Superior Court rules Builder's can use ROII program profits for Rossi's Campaign

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Pomeroy denies request for restraining order to freeze ROII funds during Lawsuit.

"Attorneys for the disgruntled companies — Sources for Sustainable Communities, A-1 Builders and SF McKinnon Co. — countered that it wasn’t BIAW’s money to spend.

“You have no First Amendment right to spend other people’s money,” attorney Andrew Friedman said." Rachel LA Corte AP.

Here are excerpts from Rachel La Corte's AP story and The Olympian's Brad Shannon's story.

Judge rejects effort to freeze BIAW spending on elections
By RACHEL LA CORTE - Associated Press Writer

"The Building Industry Association of Washington can continue to spend money on the governor’s race while a court case against the group moves forward, a judge ruled Friday.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Pomeroy rejected an effort to freeze the association’s assets while three building companies challenge the right of BIAW to use a percentage of their workers compensation insurance rebates on politics. "

Builders group wins ruling over use of fund
The Olympian, by Brad Shannon.

"The building industry won a high-stakes court battle Friday that ensures it can spend its multimillion-dollar profits from its industrial insurance rebate program on Republican Dino Rossi's campaign for governor.

Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire and Rossi are virtually tied in some polls, and BIAW lawyers contended that a shutdown of their spending could affect Rossi's chance of winning.

"We're poised to compete in the marketplace of ideas against the unions, the trial lawyers, the environmentalists and the tribes," BIAW executive vice president Tom McCabe said after Judge Christine Pomeroy ruled in his favor in Thurston County Superior Court. BIAW called the ruling a victory for free speech.

BIAW's political committee, ChangePAC, has raised $2.7 million and spent more than $2 million in the governor's race so far. A rival Evergreen Progress PAC — funded substantially by the Democratic Governors Association, teachers unions and Service Employees International Union — has raised $2.9 million and spent $2.1 million to help Gregoire and attack Rossi.

In refusing to issue an emergency restraining order to keep BIAW from spending its potential $2 million cache of additional funds for campaigns, Judge Christine Pomeroy of Thurston County Superior Court said the proper course of action for plaintiffs in the case is a suit for damages."

The entire story can be read here:

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