JULY 11, 2018 // - Michael “Mike” R. Bell, 67, (D), of Nine Mile Falls, WA, retired CPA and business owner, and candidate for Washington State 7th Legislative Representative announces his “one man’s plan and pledge” for ending the influence of big corporate money in politics.

Bell states, “In 1971 I volunteered as a Navy Corpsman to serve our country.  Now, I’m volunteering to serve the citizens of Washington State.”  Bell continues, “During his over decade-long career in politics, our current Rep. Joel Kretz has seen to it that corporations have prospered, and people have fallen behind, especially in our district.”

Bell explains, “When I recently retired from my CPA practice, I was worried about the lack of progress in our district concerning job creation, support of our students, and unsafe roads and bridges.  When I found out that Joel Kretz has taken well over half-a-million dollars from big corporate interests, I had to do something.  I don’t need or want their money to run my campaign.  And, unlike Joel Kretz, I certainly don’t need corporate handouts to pay my cell phone bill, $300 dinners, Dish TV, and shopping sprees.”

Bell’s 3-point personal plan includes:

1.    Take no big corporate money.  Joel Kretz has reported cashing well over half-a-million in his bank account during the last decade from groups including Big Tobacco, Drug-makers, and Insurance companies.  Bell says, “It’s a free country, and I choose to stay free and clear of these donations.  We don’t need someone in Olympia that needs them to pad his lifestyle.  It is unconscionable that Joel Kretz would pay for $300 meals in Olympia when senior citizens and veterans go without at home.”  

2.    Donate my salary to charitable organizations.  By law, Joel Kretz has the option to donate his big money campaign donations to charitable organizations (RCW 42.17A.430).  Instead, he chooses to use the money for shopping sprees, DISH, cell phone bills, and $300 meals – while also taking taxpayer money for many of the same purposes.  Bell says, “Kretz has not reported donating one dime to a charitable organization from his well over half-a-million in corporate contributions.  This is shameful.  I’ll donate my legislative salary to charitable organizations in the 7th LD to ensure that at least something goes to the deserving among us.”

3.    Reward rehabilitation.  Bell says, “I suspect that Joel Kretz and I will differ on many important items.  However, if he stops taking big corporate money, I’ll reward him by paying for a billboard that says so.”  

To view Joel Kretz reports to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, click here.

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