Yakima business owners say they didn't agree to appear in political ad

KIMA-TV News photo

YAKIMA, Wash. - Local business owners say they are appearing on a political ad without their consent.

The ad was on a postcard urging voters to vote No on 1631, the carbon fee initiative.

The Spanish-language No on Initiative 1631 postcard was sent out to voters listing 96 Latino businesses opposing the initiative.

The postcard states, "join our coalition and more than one hundred Latino-owned businesses and vote no."

Local real estate agent Nestor Hernandez said his business Nestor Homes appeared in the ad, but he never agreed to it.

"I was surprised because it was against what I believe," Hernandez said.

He said he was shocked to find his name on the postcard, especially since he's already voted yes on the initiative.

"I want a clean environment and I want a better future for next generations," he said. "I want to do the best we can do so we can have a better environment."

No on 1631 campaign spokesperson Dana Bieber said they got consent from all the businesses on the postcard, including Mr. Hernandez.

"Every person who is on that flyer signed a consent form joining the coalition and stating that we could publicly use their name," Bieber said.

Bieber sent KIMA Hernandez's consent form and it shows someone signed his name.

But Hernandez said he doesn't recall signing anything.

"I don't remember talking to anybody about this, or supporting this," Hernandez said.

Bieber said No on 1631's outreach team in the community would have talked to the business owners and got their signatures.

She said she thinks the yes side of 1631 is pressuring these people to change their minds.

"This is the yes side really harassing the people in our coalition," Bieber said. "They're really targeting a specific community and me find it just despicable."

Some other businesses that appeared on the postcard said they didn't fully understand what they were signing.

Now Attorney General Bob Ferguson is getting involved. Ferguson has actively campaigned for the yes side and wants to Washington Public Disclosure Commission to investigate the no side for possible violation of campaign rules.

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