On December 21, 2019 the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) received a complaint alleging that the People for Thurston County and Dean Nielsen, may have violated RCW 42.17A.205 by failing to completely and accurately disclose officers of the committee, as defined under RCW 42.17A.205 and WAC 390-05-245.
PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes, rules and reporting requirements; the applicable PDC reports filed by the People for Thurston County Jobs and Dean Nielsen (Committee); and the response from Jason Bennett on behalf of Dean Nielsen.
RCW 42.17A.205(c)(j) states, (c) "The Statement of Organization shall include but not limited to: The names, addresses, and titles of its officers; or if it has no officers, the names, addresses, and titles of it responsible leaders; and (j) The name, address, and title of any person who authorizes expenditures or makes decisions on behalf of the candidate or committee."
WAC 390-05-245 broadly defines a committee officer as, "Any person designated by the committee as an officer on the C-1 or C-1pc registration statement and any person who alone or in conjunction with other persons, makes, directs, or authorizes contribution, expenditure, strategic or policy decisions on behalf of the Committee."
The Committee listed Dean Nielsen and Jason Bennett as committee officers on the initial Committee Registration that was filed on October 11, 2019 and on two subsequent Committee Registrations that were amended to reflect the inclusion and removal of "Weyerhaeuser Company" as sponsor of the Committee on October 21, 2019 and October 25, 2019, respectively. All three Committee Registrations were filed with the PDC prior to this complaint being filed.
Except for Dean Nielsen and Jason Bennett, staff found no other unnamed individuals affiliated with the Committee who meet the statutory/rule definition of a committee officer that were not included on the committee registration.
Based on these findings, staff determined that no evidence supports a finding of a violation warranting further investigation.
Based on this information, staff dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).
Disposition: Case Closed with No Evidence of Violations (Resolved 02/21/2020)