OLYMPIA, Wash. – The airwaves in Washington are chock-a-block with campaign ads. But one group’s missing from the fray despite its reputation for not pulling any punches. We’re talking about Washington home builders.
In June of 2008, a political action committee funded by the Building Industry Association of Washington hit the airwaves with this attack ad.
BIAW Ad: “Governor Gregoire signed the largest gas tax increase in state history.”
The “It’s Time for a Change” PAC would go on to spend more than $7 million in 2008. Even so, Gregoire won a second term.
After that, the Great Recession hit, the housing market collapsed and BIAW coffers took a dramatic hit. There was also internal upheaval and new leadership took over.
Today, Art Castle runs the BIAW. He says the home building industry’s approach to politics has changed.
“BIAW is not running any independent expenditure on our own,” he says. “Why not? We think it’s a good idea to build relationships and work with other groups in the business community that have the same goals.”
Castle says this year BIAW has contributed $500,000 to the Republican Governors Association. Overall, Castle expects to spend less than $1 million this election cycle.
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