The complaint alleged the Friends of Elaine Phelps violated RCW 42.17A.235 and .240 by failing to timely file Monetary Contribution reports (C-3 reports) and Campaign Summary Contribution and Expenditure reports (C-4 reports) disclosing contribution and expenditure activities undertaken by the Committee in 2018.
The Committee contacted PDC staff on several occasions to assist in setting up the Online Reporting of Campaign Activities (ORCA) campaign finance software provided by the PDC and the ongoing C-3 and C-4 reporting requirements.
During the period October 2 – 16, 2018, the Committee filed four C-3 reports disclosing the receipt of $6,925 in monetary contributions, and three of the C-3 reports were filed late. However, $5,000 of the late reported contributions had previously been timely disclosed by the Committee on the C-6 report filed August 2, 2018.
Based on these findings, and the facts that Friends of Elaine Phelps: (1) is a first-time committee participating in its first election; (2) responded quickly to the allegations and contacted PDC staff for assistance to correct its filings; and (3) timely filed a C-6 report disclosing the electioneering communication which represented 70 percent of all committee expenditures, staff has determined that the failure to timely file C-3 and C-4 reports does not amount to a material violation warranting further investigation.
Pursuant to WAC to WAC 390-37-060(1) Friends of Elaine Phelps will receive a formal written warning concerning the failure to comply with the reporting requirements for a political committee under the Full Reporting option to timely file C-3 and C-4 reports disclosing contributions and expenditures activities in accordance with RCW 42.17A.235 and .240.
The formal written warning will include staff's expectation Friends of Elaine Phelps timely files complete and accurate reports in future years in accordance with PDC laws and rules. The Commission will consider the formal written warning in deciding on further Commission action if there are future violations of PDC laws or rules.
Based on this information, the PDC has dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).