Case #42576
Respondent name: Robert Allen
Complainant name: Lois DiMarco

The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint filed by Lois J. DiMarco on October 30, 2018. The complaint alleged that Robert Allen, a contributor to the 2018 Nicholas Power for San Juan County Prosecutor Campaign and sponsor of paid political advertisement for the Power Campaign, may have violated: (1) RCW 42.17A.205 for failure to register a political committee in support of Nicholas Power; (2) RCW 42.17A.235 and RCW 42.17A.240 for failure to timely and accurately file Monetary Contribution reports (C-3 reports) and Summary Full Campaign Contribution and Expenditure reports (C-4 reports), disclosing contributions and expenditures for political advertising costs related to two paid advertisements; (3) RCW 42.17A.405 for making over-limit contributions to the Power Campaign through political advertising purchased after review and approval by the candidate; (4) RCW 42.17A.255, .260 and .305 for failure to timely and accurately report independent expenditures or electioneering communications; and (5) RCW 42.17A.320 for failure to accurately and completely disclose sponsor identification on written political advertisement.

PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes, rules, and reporting requirements; the response(s) provided by Mr. Allen and Nicholas Power in a related case (PDC Case 42587); the applicable PDC reports filed by Respondent; and queried the Respondent’s data in the PDC contribution and expenditure database, to determine whether the record supports a finding of one or more violations.

It appears that Mr. Allen was not aware of the requirement to register and report as a political committee when he began planning the political advertisements and that his intent was to make expenditures independently, without the involvement of the candidate and without exceeding any contribution limits. There is also evidence that Mr. Allen attempted to include the names of the individual sponsors of the ads and may have inadvertently included names of individuals who supported Mr. Power’s Campaign but were not actually sponsors of the specific advertisements referenced in the complaint.

Based on these findings staff has determined that, in this instance, failure to register and report as a political committee after receiving and spending funds for two political advertisements made in support of the 2018 Nicholas Power for San Juan County Prosecutor Campaign, and failure to include accurate sponsor identification on the same two written political advertisements, does not amount to a finding of an actual violation warranting further investigation.

PDC staff reminded Robert Allen about the importance of registering as a political committee, the timely disclosure of all contribution and expenditure activities, and the requirement to identify the true and accurate sponsor of political advertisements made in support of any candidate for public office, in accordance with the statutes and rules. The reminder included staff’s expectation that Mr. Allen follow all applicable statutes and rules regarding the disclosure of campaign activities to support any candidate for public office in future years.

Based on this information, the PDC finds that no further action is warranted and has dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).

Disposition: Case Closed with Reminder (Resolved 06/26/2019)
Date opened: 11/02/2018
Area of Law: RCW 42.17A.205, RCW 42.17A.235, RCW 42.17A.255, RCW 42.17A.260, RCW 42.17A.305, RCW 42.17A.320, RCW 42.17A.405

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