A complaint was filed against the 38th Legislative District Democratic Party (Committee), a bona fide legislative district political party committee registered with the PDC, allleging the Committee may have violated RCW 42.17A.270 by receiving an earmarked contribution from the Everett Firefighters Local 46 totaling $10,500, and using that earmarked contribution to make a $10,000 monetary contribution to Brian Sullivan, a candidate for Mayor of Everett in 2017.
Staff's review found the Committee had $17,380 as a cash-on-hand balance as of March 31, 2017, after receiving the $10,500 contribution from IAFF Local 46, and other monetary contributions received in March of 2017, that included $6,880 in other monetary contributions received by the Committee. PDC practice for treating contributions received by a committee is that the first contributions received are the first contributions spent (absent evidence to the contrary), so the $10,000 contribution the Committee made to Mr. Sullivan, only $3,220 of the $10,500 contribution received from the IAFF Local 46 was used to make the contribution to the Brian Sullivan Campaign, or 30.7 percent of the IAFF Local 46 contribution.
Staff's review found no evidence that the $10,500 contribution received by the Committee from IAFF Local 46 was earmarked, designated or otherwise directed through the Committee to be contributed to the Brian Sullivan Campaign. Both Mr. Harris and Mr. Gagnon submitted declarations affirming that the contribution received by the Committee from IAFF Local 46 was “not earmarked …or otherwise directed or encumbered to be spent” for Brian Sullivan or any specific candidate.
However, the Committee completed a Statement of Understanding (SOU) and paid a $150 civil penalty in accordance with WAC 390-37-143 (Brief Enforcement Penalty Schedule), acknowledging a violation of RCW 42.17A.405 for exceeding the $5,500 contribution limits for for a Non-Exempt funds account of a bona fide political party committee for calendar year 2017. The $150 penalty assessed in this matter resolves the issue of exceeding the Non-exempt contributions limits by the Committee.
Based on the Committee having no prior violations, completing the SOU, and refunded $5,000 of the $10,500 contribution received from the IAFF Local 46, the PDC dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).
Disposition: Resolved through Statement of Understanding (Resolved 07/23/2019)