Republican commissioner candidate Marc Hennemann filed a complaint Wednesday against Democrat Karla Jacks about her fundraising tactics.
Hennemann filed the complaint with the state Public Disclosure Commission through his campaign manager Tony Wallace, claiming that her camp is not gathering appropriate donor data for amounts exceeding $100. As of Wednesday, Jacks’ Paypal donation page did not request employer data from donors as required by law.
“You have people who have rigorous adherence to the rules, and other people have the best intentions, but both are held to the exact same standards,” Wallace said. “Where else is she going to cut corners?”
Staff at the PDC confirmed Thursday that the complaint had been filed but they had not yet reviewed it or made a determination.
Jacks spokesperson Bill Phillips said that they have been calling donors after donations are made to collect the necessary data. So, he said, Jacks’ campaign has been making a full-faith effort to get the required information.
“They don’t care how the data is collected,” Phillips said. That said, he added, “Transparency in any campaign is important. This gives us a chance to go back and double check. We welcome the scrutiny. We will accept any feedback they [the PDC] have.”
Phillips said Jacks’ staff is in the process of changing their Paypal donation page to collect the required information.
“The complaint to the Public Disclosure Commission was filed purely in the interests of transparency in campaign financing,” Hennemann said in an emailed statement.
Jacks said Thursday that she believes her campaign is collecting all the necessary data as people make donations, but she will gladly follow any guidance offered by the PDC.
“I’m trying to be very transparent, that’s who I am,” Jacks said. “It’s about representing the community of Camano and all of Island County.”
A total of five candidates, four Republicans and Jacks as the sole Democrat, have filed to run for the District 3 seat formerly held by Kelly Emerson. Emerson announced her decision not to run for re-election in December and then resigned her post May 5, seven months short of her term ending.
Wallace said the Hennemann campaign is scrutinizing Jacks because they believe he will pull ahead of the other Republican candidates and face her for the commissioner seat later this year.
“It’s not a mistake that we already have Karla Jacks as our opponent in November,” Wallace said.
Two of the Republican candidates, Richard Hannold and Aubrey Vauhan, chose the “mini reporting” option which means they don’t intend to raise or spend more than $5,000.
Wallace said this is evidence that these two candidates are not serious contenders. Jacks and Republican Kelly Bagley both filed for full reporting along with Hennemann.
As of press time only Hennemann and Jacks had reported funds raised for their campaigns.
Jacks has raised $10,550 and spent $8,047 so far, and Hennemann has raised $770 and spent $78, according to the disclosure commission’s website.