In this Jan. 24, 2019 file photo, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee takes part in an AP interview, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. On March 1, 2019, Inslee announced that he will seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination with a call for making the fight against climate change the "first, foremost and paramount duty" of the United States. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Inslee says he welcomes super PAC help in presidential bid

March 05, 2019 - 4:03 pm

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday that he welcomes support from a super PAC, even as many fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have rejected them.

Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose a candidate, so long as they do not coordinate with the candidate's campaign. Inslee's remarks at a campaign stop in Iowa come after the liberal group End Citizens United called on him to disavow the group, which is called Act Now on Climate.

"They want to defeat climate change, and this is something I've been very passionate about for decades," Inslee said. "So, no, I won't be condemning any organization that's trying to defeat climate change."

His stance on the group puts him at odds with many Democrats, who have grown skeptical about the increased role money plays in politics after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2010 Citizens United decision that allowed unlimited corporate and union spending in federal elections.

Act Now on Climate registered with the Federal Election Commission last month. The group says it launched a "seven-figure" ad buy supporting Inslee that started airing on TV in Iowa on Tuesday.

A key operative for the group is Corey Platt, who was formerly the political director of the Democratic Governors Association. Inslee was the head of the Democratic Governors Association until recently.

That close association rankled the group End Citizens United.

"We urge you to join the candidates in the Democratic presidential primary who have taken this bold step, and publicly disavow this effort and any other effort to create a single-candidate super PAC that serves as a shadow support to your campaign," the group wrote in a letter to Inslee this week. "We hope you will strive to run a campaign that demonstrates to primary voters that you will put people before special interests."

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