Case #78860
Respondent name: Washington State Republican Party
Complainant name: Bret Uhrich

The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint filed on October 15, 2020. The complaint alleged that Washington State Republican Party (WA GOP), a bona fide state party committee, may have violated RCW 42.17A.320 and WAC 390-18-030 for failure to disclose sponsor identification on political advertising distributed by WA GOP via text message.

PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes, rules, and reporting requirements; the response provided by Executive Director, Kaitlin Vintertun on behalf of WA GOP (the “Respondent”); and written PDC guidance regarding sponsor identification alternatives for advertisements delivered via text message, to determine whether the record supports a finding of one or more violations.

Based on the response submitted by Exec. Director Vintertun, it appears that the intent of the text message was to encourage voting, specifically voting for republican backed candidates and agenda items, as part of a “get out the vote” (GOTV) effort and that the sponsor of the message was likely easy to discern by the recipient with the name “WA GOP” included.

Based on our findings staff has determined that, in this instance, no evidence supports a finding of a violation that warrants further investigation.

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 No Evidence of Violations (Resolved 01/13/2021)
Date opened: 10/23/2020
Area of Law: RCW 42.17A.320

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