It's bad enough to spend a lot of money trying to throw an election your way. It's even worse to get in trouble with the law after you spend all the money and lose the election anyway.
That's the sorry state of affairs that the Grocery Manufacturers Association may be facing. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today sued the GMA, claiming it violated the state's campaign disclosure laws.
The way Ferguson sees it, the GMA illegally collected and spent more than $7 million while shielding the identity of its contributors, hoping to defeat Initiative 522, a measure requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods, seeds and seed products in Washington.
“When Washington state voters overwhelming approved Initiative 276 in 1972, they voiced their desire for transparency and openness in elections,” Ferguson said. “Truly fair elections demand all sides follow the rules by disclosing who their donors are and how much they are spending to advocate their views.”
The Grocery Manufacturers Association is a trade association, based in -- where else? -- Washington D.C., representing more than 300 food, beverage and consumer product companies. It was the biggest donor to the "No on I-522" campaign.
Actually, the GMA hasn't lost the election yet, since it's not until next month. But all the polls show the measure is likely to pass, with an overwhelming two-thirds of Washington State voters saying they plan to support it.