Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, center, talks with Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict, left, and Rotary members after the Sequim Sunrise Rotary meeting on Friday, Aug. 18, where he stopped to pay a visit on his way to the ceremony naming the Daniel J. Evans Winderness at Hurricane Ridge. Sequim Gazette photo by Erin Hawkins

Attorney General visits Rotary

Sequim holds a special meaning for Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Ferguson paid homage to Sequim last week when he stopped by the Sunland Golf &Country Club on Friday, Aug. 18, to visit the Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club while on his way to attend a ceremony for the naming of the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness at Hurricane Ridge.

Ferguson said he proposed to his wife at the Dungeness Spit many years ago. Now married for 13 years, he said it was great to be back in Sequim.

He said growing up, his parents were active in Daniel J. Evans’ first campaign for governor in 1964. He said Evans is, “a man I greatly admire and respect.”

Ferguson said the Sunrise Rotary was the 98th Rotary club meeting he has attended with a goal to visit all of the estimated 160-170 Rotary clubs in the state.

While he is not a Rotarian himself, he said he enjoys getting out of the office and talking to residents, taking questions and sharing what’s going on at the Attorney General’s Office.

“I love getting out to Rotaries,” Ferguson said.

“Rotarians are very much in the same business that people in my office are in. Every Rotary I’ve discovered is very involved in their community.”

He explained to Rotarians some of his roles as Attorney General and shared some of the recent cases his office and attorneys — all 600 of them — have been involved in.

Some of his most recent cases, aside from his lawsuit challenging the legality and constitutionality of President Donald Trump’s original travel ban in January, involved a recent campaign finance lawsuit against the Grocery Manufacturers Association for violating Washington law.

Ferguson also answered questions from Rotarians on issues revolving around the legalization of marijuana, litigation with the Service Employees International Union, consumer protection and laws regarding the release of public information.

One Rotarian referred to the recent events of an Edmonds man submitting records requests to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office for pet licensing information and information about county law enforcement, and asked Ferguson what he can do for the public.

Ferguson advised the Rotarian to talk with the Legislature that makes these laws and noted how burdensome these requests can be, but said it is difficult to balance the public’s right to know and carve out parts of the law that are “bad” or “burdensome.”

“My job is to defend and enforce the law,” he said. “The challenge is more and more there has been a dramatic increase in the use of our Public Disclosure and Public Records acts,” he said.

To learn more about the Attorney General’s Office, visit http://www.atg.wa.gov/ or contact 457-2711 for the local Port Angeles office.

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