The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint filed on October 23, 2019. The complaint alleged that Citizens for Community Driven Prosperity (C4CDPPAC), a political committee registered with the PDC since 2017, may have violated: (1) RCW 42.17A.205(5) & WAC 390-16-011A for failure to include the name of the committee’s sponsor on the Committee Registration (C-1pc report) for election year 2017 and 2019; and (2) RCW 42.17A.240(11) for failure to include the same sponsor on Monetary Contribution reports (C-3 reports) and Summary Full Campaign Contribution and Expenditure reports (C-4 reports), filed by C4CDPPAC.
PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes, rules, and reporting requirements; the response provided by James E. Barton II, on behalf of his client C4CDPPAC; 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.
RCW 42.17A.205(5), RCW 42.17A.005(b)(i) and WAC 390-16-011A include filing requirements, definitions and methods for determining a sponsor or sponsored committee name. The laws and rules do not identify or suggest a specific naming convention for a sponsored committee. According to Mr. Barton’s response, it appears that C4CDPPAC believed that it had complied with PDC laws and rules.
Although C4CDPPAC has no previous violations of RCW 42.17A and a closer examination of the C-1pc filed by the committee identified Community Driven Prosperity PAC as an affiliated committee, staff believes that the sponsor would have been more evident to the general public through an amendment of the registration and that this is the intent of the law.
Staff did not request C4CDPPAC to amend previously submitted C-3 and C-4 reports to include the sponsor in the committee name.
Based on our findings staff has determined that, in this instance, failure to include the sponsor of the committee in the name of the committee on the C-1pc does not amount to a finding of a violation that warrants further investigation.
Pursuant to WAC 390-37-060(1)(d), however, C4CDPPAC received a formal written warning concerning failure to accurately disclosure the name of the entity sponsoring the committee in the name of the committee on the C-1pc report. The formal written warning included staff’s expectation that C4CDPPAC accurately files all future required reports including the C-1pc and any C-3 and C-4 reports with the sponsor clearly identified in a manner easily recognizable to the general public. 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 finds that no further action is warranted and has dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).Disposition: Case Closed with Written Warning (Resolved 01/21/2020)