Conservative whistleblower has filed 40 public disclosure cases, including against Berkowitz


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Screenshot of Glen Morgan’s PDC complaint against Burien City Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz.

By Jack Mayne

A conservative activist in the Olympia area is taking aim at Democrat office holders across the state for often minor errors in their Public Disclosure forms, and one of his targets is Burien City Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz (download PDF here).

But she is in good company – because Glen Morgan filed over 40 such minor infraction complaints against other Democrat officeholders.

Berkowitz “allegedly violated various provisions of the state’s campaign finance laws during her 2013 campaign and her current 2017 reelection campaign, including failure to timely file campaign registration paperwork and accurately report contributions and expenditures.”

Morgan is the executive director of the group Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, and an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Thurston County office. He was a loud complainer of how SeaTac officials handled a land use case involving area restaurant magnate Gerry Kingen.

‘Exaggerated and Overblown’
He has a track record of whistle blowing, with mixed results.

In mid-March, the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane said Morgan complained that the Democrat party there did not report significant contributions and expenses to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission in 2015 and 2016 in an effort to conceal salary payments to its then-Chairman, who was also the organization’s executive director.

The Spokane County Democrats said Morgan’s complaint was “exaggerated and overblown.”

Morgan also brought campaign finance charges against Washington House of Representatives Speaker Frank Chopp, a north Seattle Democrat, prompting involvement by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office, which filed charges in Thurston County Superior Court against Chopp and his campaign.

The case was settled with a fine of $3,480 and attorney’s fees in March.

‘Cape-less Crusader’
This would never have happened if, in the words of an editorial in the Daily Olympian newspaper, “without the cape-less crusade of conservative activist Glen Morgan, who has made it his mission through disclosure commission documents looking for offenders.”

He has a website dedicated to helping potential political whistle blowers.

Morgan’s complaints are often very minor and very technical, some observers say.

The Olympian said Morgan has filed over 40 campaign finance complaints with the PDC.

Several people told The B-Town Blog that although political campaign finance enforcement depends on such complaints, it is unfortunate Morgan and others have used them for political pressure.

The Olympian said the objective is to undermine political opponents, “but in this game of tit-for-tat tattletale, they also undermine the public disclosure process and have turned the PDC into a pawn for political revenge.”

The Attorney General’s Office has only 45 days to investigate and respond to complaints and if it does not start a lawsuit, the person making the complaint can sue the targeted violator and, if they win, state gets the money.

It is well known that the disclosure commission works with a very lean staff and others say umbrella Attorney General’s office is also, even though money has been increased to handle an increase of campaign complaints be many activists in the state, including Morgan’s group.

Morgan told the Tacoma News Tribune that his PDC diligence has “nothing to do with political chicanery,” he just wants to let more people know about the rules of campaign finance.

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Comments

32 Responses to “Conservative whistleblower has filed 40 public disclosure cases, including against Berkowitz”
  1. Karen Turley says:

    If Morgan’s diligence really “has ‘nothing to do with political chicanery,’ he just wants to let more people know about the rules of campaign finance.”, then it seems like he might want to point his lens at some Republicans as well. I’m sure there are just as many on the conservative side that are bending the rules.

    Rate: Thumb up 58 Thumb down 24

  2. Amanda says:

    So, he’s going after GOP candidates as well right? Or it’s just a witch hunt for Democrats? I would respect what he is doing more if it had some integrity behind it. I still don’t understand why everyone is so nasty to CM Berkowitz.

    Rate: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 58

    • Glen Morgan says:

      The Washington State Democratic Party is already helping me make my point and prove my thesis by using their paid staff to do this – no need to duplicate their efforts. They have assured me they will continue to do this like they always have.

      Rate: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 19

    • Question Authority says:

      We’re “nasty” because she has done absolutely nothing for Burien but push her own Socialist agenda and sit at home tweeting away. She lacks the courtesy to be part of the process in person, instead she hides from all of us. I and others don’t consider that as service to the City or the voter’s, that’s why.

      Well-liked. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 54 Thumb down 17

      • Amanda says:

        QA: I see you a lot in the comments section. I am new to Burien, and curious about the politics here. I see that Berkowitz was elected, and I remember hearing something about some threats to her? Is that why she doesn’t attend the meetings? I am genuinely curious, because I agree, as a public official, she should be out in the public eye.

        Rate: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

        • Question Authority says:

          Amanda,
          Welcome to Burien and with that the complex political history of this town. What we have currently representing us “or not” on the council is two distinct political camps. One of them primarily business and community minded and the other Liberal leaning and prone to inactivity towards items regarding public safety and community well being. That Leftist side includes Bezerkoitz who sold those who voted for her a bag full of failed promises and who serves only herself and her Socialist masters. Her chronic absenteeism is the million dollar question, is it her abusing maternity leave or is it based on some unpublished/unsubstantiated account of harassment, or is it because she feels that posting on Facebook and Twitter from home during Council meetings is more important than attending? As you will see as time passes Bezerkoitz has few fans in this town and her term end can’t come soon enough.

          Rate: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5

    • Lee Moyer says:

      Amanda,
      They are “nasty” because they seem to think a spiteful personal attack is discussing the issues. It is now you incite a mob but not how you debate an issue.

      Rate: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 23

      • Peter says:

        Translation: “I am always above the fray. Anyone who disagrees with me is nasty.”

        Rate: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 16

  3. Mayor McCheese says:

    Great to see someone exposing all of the outside influence coming into these local political races through outside campaign contributions.

    These people running for office don’t represent their local constituents, they are representing the agenda being pushed from their outside campaign financing.

    Lets get these people out of our towns in the next election!

    Well-liked. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 70 Thumb down 28

  4. Robert Loves Liberty says:

    I watch Mr. Morgan very close and admire his exposing cleaning the political filth from our towns. Wish we had 50 more helping him.

    If his work was so trivial then the Democrat Attorney General would not be accepting the information and filing lawsuits against his own party. Think about that for a moment and let it sink in. The corruption rises to a high enough level that the Democrat Attorney General is filing lawsuits against corrupt and law breaking Democrat politicians.

    Rate: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 20

  5. Clean it up! says:

    Hard to say who is the bigger creep in this story the whistle blower or the whistle blowee. They both need to get a life.

    Rate: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 34

  6. Paula says:

    If the issues at hand are so minor, you should lobby the legislature to remove the laws concerning them from the books, not complain because someone else feels that laws should be followed. Why do you hate the rule of law?

    Rate: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 22

  7. no biggie says:

    Morgan is an ass, and Berkowitz is gone next election anyway. Yawn.

    Rate: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 28

  8. Roy Russell says:

    Keep up the good work, Glen.

    Rate: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 23

  9. get a life

    Rate: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 30

  10. JJ Greive says:

    Did you know that due to the repeated requests for public documents the city has had to hire another employee just fill the requests? Did you know that 90% of these requests are from just a small handful of burien residences? I wonder how many people we could feed or house with the extra salary we pay for these silly requests. This is NOT a good way to spend the funds of our city. I say provide the first 3 requests at no charge, then bill the requestor for any additional requests.

    Rate: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 32

  11. Nick says:

    He’s going after the Dems to return the favor. Remember when Kim Wyman got a $10,000 fine after a dem activist filed a complaint, for a similarly minor omission?

    Rate: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 15

  12. Petty, Tom Petty says:

    This is why we can’t have nice things. This child like tit for tat BS is the reason for the current political climate. Undermining everything is not the answer. We need to face things and workout real, compromise solutions like adults. Watching and listening to all the spoiled brats is very disconcerting. Now everyone, look in the mirror and realize it’s not just you and your belief system that matters in this society. There is room for everyone. Let’s advance things together. What do ya say?

    Rate: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 8

  13. Captain obvious says:

    Well I was wondering why this Glenn guy is called a troll.

    Also I am having a issue finding L.B. campaign site I found one site for with a person with the same name in Australia and one site that looks like a campaign site but is actually only a picture no links.

    Also any news on if she is actually running for reelection.

    Rate: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

    • Glen Morgan says:

      Well, one person’s troll is another person’s good civic-minded citizen.

      Rate: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

      • Captain obvious says:

        See being a troll on a blog has been a proven sign of attention seeking behaviors​. Now what your​ doing finding possible mistakes done by political leaders or members of there staff is different. See you maybe doing something positive while do something negative to yourself.

        Rate: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2