The complaint alleged Steve O’Ban, a State Senator and a 2020 candidate for re-election to the office from the 28th District, violated RCW 42.17A.405 by accepting contributions from an affiliated entity, when aggregated, exceeded the contributions limits for a 2020 legislative candidate of $1,000 each for the primary and general elections.
PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes, rules, and reporting requirements and the response from Mark Lamb, attorney for Steve O’Ban, to determine whether the record supports a finding of one or more violations.
Staff has determined that in this instance, the Campaign’s acceptance of over-limit contribution from an affiliated entity does not amount to a finding of a violation that warrants further investigation based on the facts that as of July 14, 2020: (1) the campaign had received contributions totaling $366,200.85 and had $124,190.58 as a cash on hand balance; and (2) the $1,000 contribution received from Washington Forward had not been spent by the Campaign.
However, pursuant to WAC 390-37-060(1)(d), Steve O’Ban will receive a formal written warning concerning the acceptance of an over-limit contribution from an affiliated entity as noted in this letter. The formal written warning includes staff’s expectation the Campaign will adhere to the contribution limits for the remainder of the 2020 election cycle and not accept any contributions exceeding the contribution limits in the future, as required by law. 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 09/30/2020)