— Custer Died For Your Sins (@christopherpeg5) January 14, 2020
The race for the District 3 seat on the Seattle City Council had enough twists and turns that we are still tying up some of the loose ends. One story that needs an ending: an ethics complaint involving the pro-business challenger’s $500 a month campaign office inside a former gas station on a neighborhood pot entrepreneur’s E Union property.
Earlier this month, the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission announced it had dismissed the complaint over the Egan Orion campaign’s failure to disclose the owed rent in its campaign finance reporting.
“The Committee reported more than $95,000 in contributions and more than $55,000 in expenditures and debts on the post-Primary C4,” SEEC executive director Wayne Barrett wrote in his decision (PDF). “The 21-Day pre-General C4 included more than $180,000 in contributions, and more than $150,000 in expenditures and obligations which leads me to conclude that the failure to report two $500 obligations was an inadvertent and minor violations of the Elections Code.”
Additionally, Barrett said that the $500 a month rent met market value requirements:
CHS reported on the campaign headquarters chosen by each candidate leading up to November’s clash. Orion chose an office space inside the former gas station now owned by Uncle Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg at 21st and Union, a corner where community efforts have been underway to better activate the area after deadly gun violence last year.
The complaint emerged during last fall’s election when, after CHS’s report about the office, a reader noticed the state’s PDC disclosure information for Orion’s campaign did not include either an expense for renting the space or a contribution for an in-kind donation. A campaign representative said the issue was an accounting oversight and that the campaign’s reporting was being amended.
For Orion, the dismissal winds down any lingering complaints from the hotly contested race. His campaign paid a $1,000 fine over an ethics complaint related to a misleading ad on the Stranger’s cover. Eisenberg, meanwhile, is enmeshed in another neighborhood controversy where 23rd and Union favorite the Neighbor Lady has lost its lease in a building owned by the pot entrepreneur at the corner.
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