May 10, 2018 Sandy Robson
Apparently, Republican Senator Doug Ericksen traveled to Cambodia this month on what he described on a recent Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) filing, as a “trade mission.”
According to a May 7, 2018 article published in freshnewsasia.com, the senator met with Prime Minister Hun Sen, on Monday at Phnom Penh’s Peace Palace. The article reported that Senator Ericksen “wants to see Cambodia-U.S relation and economic cooperation strengthened and stronger people-to-people ties despite the only 16 million Cambodian population.”
Link to article: http://m.en.freshnewsasia.com/index.php/en/8792-2018-05-07-11-41-04.html
Perhaps even more surprising than seeing that Ericksen traveled to Cambodia on a “trade mission,” was the fact that the article’s accompanying photos show that Republican Rep. Vincent Buys must have tagged along on the trip with Ericksen, as he is seated to the left of the senator.
The man shown sitting to the right of Ericksen in the photo, according to a May 9, 2018 Spokesman Review article, is Washington State University football coach Mike Leach. Seated to Leach’s right is Washington State Senator Michael Baumgartner, who is reportedly giving up his Senate seat this year in order to run for Spokane County treasurer. The article reported that the two are friends. Also, I can’t make out exactly what the red item is that is on the table between Ericksen and Leach, but it sort of looks like it could possibly be a red MAGA hat, furled.
Link to Spokesman Review article: http://www.spokesman.com/…/leach-joins-lawmakers-on-trip-t…/
In true Ericksen form, his most recent Schedule A to C-4 report filed with the PDC for his “Douglas J. Ericksen (Committee to Elect Doug Ericksen Surplus Account)” shows the senator used $1,398.82 in surplus fund monies on 4/16/18 for travel to Cambodia. On the C-4 report, the expenditure is described as being for a “Trade Mission to Cambodia.”
When I saw that Senator Ericksen was in Cambodia this month, it reminded me about something I had discovered when I was gathering information earlier this year for my March 6, 2018 PDC complaint regarding Ericksen potentially having used surplus funds for expenses related to obtaining and/or maintaining personal employment with the EPA.
Back at that time, I saw a Schedule A to C-4 report filed with the PDC in June 2016, for Senator Ericksen’s “Douglas J. Ericksen (Committee to Elect Doug Ericksen Surplus Account)” that showed he used $1,236.33 in surplus fund monies on June 26, 2016, for a trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. On the C-4 report, the expenditure is described as “Travel.”
I sent Ericksen an email yesterday, May 9, asking him if he could explain in detail to me, what exactly he was/is doing as a state Senator in terms of his recent travel to Cambodia.
I also asked him to explain in detail what exactly he was/is doing as a state Senator in terms of his travel to Cambodia in 2016.
We’ll see what his response is…if there is one. Meanwhile, it’s anyone’s guess where in the world Senator Ericksen will travel to next in his supposed mission to strengthen “economic cooperation,” but one thing is pretty certain — he will probably use his surplus account fund to pay for part or all of that travel.