Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Washington politician Goldmark violates donation pledge

Washington State Lands Commissioner Goldmark does not meet even the standards of politicians.

As he campaigned in 2008 to become Washington state’s top logging regulator, Peter Goldmark attacked his opponent for a “reprehensible” conflict of interest — accepting money from timber harvesters while allowing them to conduct clear-cuts in landslide-prone areas.

Goldmark pledged that he was the candidate to do away with backroom deals and restore trust to the office.

“I will not accept money from the industries that I’ll be regulating,” the Democrat said at a public forum in Gig Harbor that year, during his successful campaign to unseat Republican Doug Sutherland, the incumbent commissioner of public lands.

His vow didn’t last.

Over the past three years, Goldmark has accepted about $100,000 in campaign contributions from timber and wood-product companies — 20 percent of the money he’s collected over that time, according to a Seattle Times analysis.

For example, Weyerhaeuser, which Goldmark cast as a villain during his 2008 campaign, is among the donors.

Goldmark said he didn’t sustain the pledge because he’s not influenced by the money.

If he is not influenced by money he will return the $100,000.

Seattle Times

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