Through the PDC looking glass -- Whatcom Wins filing a mystery

Posted by Ralph Schwartz on February 12, 2014 

Just when I thought all the drama of the 2013 elections was over.

Mike Estes, chairman of the Whatcom County Democrats, brought to my attention today some reports he found on the Public Disclosure Commission website.

It appears "Whatcom Wins" and "Whatcom Conservation Voters" are being set up as political action committees. Registration forms for both new PACs, dated Jan. 15, 2014, can be viewed on the PDC website.

Whatcom Wins was the arm of the Whatcom Democratic Party that organized the campaigns of four progressive county council members. The "Wins" campaign was a complete success, as Rud Browne, Barry Buchanan, Ken Mann and Carl Weimer all won.

Whatcom Conservation Voters is the local chapter of Washington Conservation Voters, which spent six figures to get the same four men elected to the council.

By all appearances the PACs filed last month are intended as parody committees, or maybe these progressive brands are being reinvented for conservative purposes. Estes certainly didn't vouch for them. The registrant of these committees, Drew Zinecker, is a young man who has a Twitter account and a colorful presence on the Internet.

He once called himself Drew Sweatte, and he ran for city council in 2009 in Palm Springs, Calif.

The media account of his 2009 campaign linked above described Zinecker (then Sweatte) as a log cabin Republican.

Drew is also listed as a precinct committee officer in Pierce County in 2012, under the name "Sweatte."

The PDC forms themselves have some curious entries. Under mailing address, Zinecker lists 1461 Van Dyk Road, Lynden, which is the address of Ben Elenbaas' farm. Elenbaas ran against Mann in the 2013 elections.

On the line asking for the address where his committee's financial books will be available for inspection, Zinecker entered 1867 Main St., Ferndale -- the address of Woods Coffee.

I left a message on Zinecker's phone and emailed his two committee email addresses, seeking answers. If I get a response, I will let you know.





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