Kathy Kershner

State PDC is investigating

WHATCOM ­— County Republicans’ chair and County Council candidate Kathy Kershner says “I take great offense to this attack on my personal integrity,” in response to allegations made public by Whatcom Democrats July 30 of improper financial reporting by Kershner.

“Those expenses were legitimate and reimbursed according to PDC rules. The attempt by the Democrats to undermine voter confidence in my campaign for County Council with these allegations is despicable,” Kershner said in an email reply to the Lynden Tribune July 31.

Democrats allege that the Whatcom GOP reported auction donations on two different dates. Kershner replies in explanation that the annual Lincoln Day fundraising dinner was held on April 6 but an online auction closed on April 30.

“We believe these allegations ultimately stem from Democrats’ irritation of our record-breaking fundraising efforts to date this year and the momentum our members have toward electing more common sense leaders,” Kershner stated.

Democrats’ chair Andrew Reding alleges that more than $33,000 in funds overall appears to be misrepresented or mismanaged by Republicans.

“We take our responsibility very seriously to report Whatcom GOP finances accurately and according to the numerous PDC rules and requirements,” Kershner says in response. “I have complete confidence in my leadership team. Once we receive a formal copy of the complaint from the PDC, we will review it and look forward to demonstrating that we have complied with all PDC requirements.”

The Public Disclosure Commission confirmed July 30 it had received the Democrats’ complaint and would assign it to a compliance officer and post the allegations online.

The agency said Whatcom Republicans and Kershner have 14 days to respond to the complaint and that their response will be posted too.

It’s not possible to predict the timing of resolving a complaint, except that PDC staff is legally required to give a case review status within 90 days of a complaint’s filing. It’s best to watch the website, said an administrative officer.