Political File

News, notes and anecdotes
on government and politics

Monday, February 25, 2002

Bill bans Washington
Place fund-raisers

Political fund-raisers at Washington Place, the governor's mansion, would be forbidden under a bill that won approval last week from the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill, HB 1093, would add a new section to the state ethics law specifically ruling out use of Washington Place for events to raise money for a candidate.

Dan Mollway, State Ethics Commission executive director, said that in past election years the question has come up and that the "public has expressed concerns about the use of Washington Place," he said.

Because the mansion has the character of being a personal residence, Mollway said, the commission has ruled that fund-raisers would be allowed there, even though it is a state-owned building.

The commission, Mollway said, feels the best way to address the issue is with a new law.

"Its history and character suggest that its official status should transcend partisan political campaigning," he said.

"The commission believes that if Washington Place is used for partisan political purposes, public confidence in government will be seriously undermined," Mollway said.

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