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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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October 22, 2007 10:06 AM

Satterberg to return donation from GOP activist

Posted by David Postman

King County interim prosecutor Dan Satterberg, a Republican running for election, says he will return $770 in political contributions from party activist Lori Sotelo. In 2005, Sotelo challenged registrations of more than 1,900 voters. She had to retract many of those after voters showed they were properly registered, a move that some Democrats said should have led to perjury charges against Sotelo.

The late Norm Maleng decided against charging Sotelo, a decision Satterberg agrees with. He said voter registration challenges should not be a "winner-takes-all, loser-goes-to-jail event."

But Satterberg just told me that he didn't know until we talked this morning that Sotelo had donated to his campaign. He says he'll return the money.

"Lori contributes to a lot of campaigns. I did not ask her for anything. ... She didn't do anything wrong by sending me a check. But I want to keep this above reproach."

Sotelo gave Satterberg $700 on Oct. 12 and $70 on July 19, according to records filed with the Public Disclosure Commission. Satterberg said he would not accept campaign donations from anyone that the prosecutor's office reviewed for possible charges.

"I do not want even a hint that someone we declined to charge would later send a contribution as some sort of quid pro quo later on."

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