A complaint was filed against the Natural Gas PAC (Committee), alleging that the Committee made two $500 monetary contributions during the 2016 election to two statewide candidates, but failed to file an Out-of-State Committee Report (C-5 report) as required in accordance with RCW 42.17A.250.
Staff's review found that NW Natural was a Lobbyist Employer in 2016, who hired the the Nexus Group, LLC, a contract lobbying firm, who filed Monthly Lobbying Expense reports (L-2 reports) for calendar year 2016. The June 2016 L-2 report filed by the Nexus Group, LLC disclosed 33 monetary contributions were made to Washington State Legislative and caucus political committees totaling $19,976.50, and the September 2016 L-2 report was timely filed disclosing the two $500 monetary contributions made to Pat McCarthy and Chris Reykdal on behalf of the employer NW Natural Gas as listed in the complaint.
While it appeared that the Natural Gas PAC was required to disclose the two $500 contributions made during the 2016 election cycle as an out-of-state committee on two C-5 reports, the contributions were timely disclosed in 2016 on the L-2 reports filed by the Nexus Group, LLC, as well as $19,976.50 in contributions made to 2016 Legislative candidate and the four caucus political committees. In addition, the candidates and caucus political committees that received contributions from NW Natural Gas timely disclosed the contributions on their respective Monetary Contribution reports (C-3 reports).
Based on this information, the PDC has determined that the facts do warrant further investigation and has dismissed the complaint against Natural Gas PAC in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).