When two or more entities are treated as a single person and share a single contribution limit.  WAC 390-16-309 explains when contributors are affiliated.


A person who is authorized by another to act on his or her behalf, or represents and acts for another with the authority or consent of the person represented.

Ballot proposition

An initiative, recall, referendum or other proposition or question submitted to the voters.  A proposal becomes a ballot proposition when it is initially filed with an election officer so that it can be circulated for signatures.


An individual who seeks nomination for election or election to public office.  For disclosure purposes, an individual becomes a candidate when any one of these things happens:  accepts a campaign contribution, spends money on the campaign, reserves space for the campaign, authorizes someone else to do any of these activities, publicly announces candidacy, or files a declaration.

Caucus political committee

A political committee organized and maintained by the members of a major political party in the Washington State Senate or Washington State House of Representatives.

Commercial advertiser

Any person who sells the service of communicating messages or producing printed material for broadcast or distribution to the general public or segments of the general public.

Continuing political committee

A political committee that continues to exist year to year and not established in anticipation of any particular election campaign.


Money or something of value given to a campaign.  See RCW 42.17A.005(13) and WAC 390-05-210 for more specific description.


A bank or other financial institution where a campaign account is maintained.

Elected official

Any person elected to a public office and any person appointed to a public office to fill an unexpired term.


Any primary, general, or special election for public office and any election in which a ballot proposition is submitted to the voters.

Election campaign

Any campaign that supports or opposes a candidate for election to public office and any campaign that supports or opposes a ballot measure.

Election cycle

The period beginning January 1 after the last general election for the a particular office and ending on December 31 following the next general election for that office.  Contributions a bona fide political party makes to a candidate aggregate over the election cycle.

Electioneering communication

A type of advertisement that clearly identifies at least one candidate for state, local, or judicial office that appears within 60 days of an election in the candidate's jurisdiction and is distributed through radio, TV, postal mailing, billboard, newspaper or periodical and, either alone, or in combination with other communications by the sponsor identifying the same candidate has a fair market value of $1,000 or more.


Spending or otherwise giving something of value in exchange for something that will benefit a campaign.  Includes contracts and promises to pay. See RCW 42.17A.005(20) for more specific description.


A person who currently holds an elected office.

Independent expenditure

An expenditure, usually for advertising, that supports or opposes a candidate or ballot measure made independently of the campaign and without coordination.  Special disclaimers are required for independent expenditure advertising when the ad supports or opposes a candidate for state or local office, the ad is paid for by someone other than a candidate, a candidate's committee or agent, the sponsor does the advertising completely independently of any candidate supported in the ad (or the opponent of the candidate opposed) or a candidate's committee or agent, the sponsor did not received the candidate's encouragement or approval to do the ad, and the ad costs at least $1,000, or the cost of the ad combined with the cost of earlier ads supporting or opposing the candidate total $1,000 or more.


An individual who transmits a contribution to a candidate or committee from another person.


Bills, resolutions, motions, amendments, nominations, and other matters pending or proposed in either house of the state legislature.  Includes any other matter that may be the subject of action by either house or committee of the legislature.  Also includes all bills and resolutions that, having passed both houses, are pending approval by the governor.


Attempting to influence the passage or defeat of legislation by the Washington State Legislature, or attempting to influence a state agency's rule making.


A person who lobbies.

Lobbyist employer

The person who compensates a lobbyist.

Ministerial functions

An act or duty carried out as part of the duties of an administrative office without exercise of personal judgment or discretion.


An individual, partnership, joint venture, public or private corporation, association, candidate, committee, political committee, political party, a group of persons, or a federal, state, or local governmental agency or entity.

Political advertising

Any advertising displays, newspaper ads, billboards, signs, brochures, articles, tabloids, flyers, letters, radio or TV presentations, or other means of mass communication, used for the purpose of appealing, directly or indirectly, for votes or for financial or other support or opposition in any election campaign.

Political committee

Any person (except a candidate or person dealing exclusively with his or her own funds or property) having the expectation of receiving contributions or making expenditures in support of, or opposition to, any candidate or any ballot proposition.

Committee types:

  • Single year - a campaign organized to support or oppose a particular ballot measure, to support or oppose a particular slate of candidates, or to make independent expenditures for a particular ballot measure(s) or candidate(s).
  • Continuing - continues to exist beyond a single year.

Sponsor (Advertising)

The person paying for an electioneering communication, independent expenditure, or political advertising.  When a person acts as an agent for another or is reimbursed by another for the payment, the original source of the payment is the sponsor.

Sponsor (Political Committee)

Sponsor of a political committee includes any person, except a committee authorized by a candidate or by a public official against whom recall charges have been filed to whom any of the following applies:

  • the committee receives 80% or more of its contributions either from the person or from the person’s members, officers, employees, or shareholders; or
  • the person collects contributions for the committee by use of payroll deductions or dues from its members, officers, or employees.

State legislative office

A member of the Washington State House of Representatives or the Washington State Senate.

State office

State legislative office or the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, commissioner of public lands, insurance commissioner, superintendent of public instruction, state auditor, or state treasurer.

State official

A person who holds a state office.

Surplus funds

The money in the possession of a political committee or candidate following the election for which the funds were received that are in excess of the amount needed to pay remaining debts.


A legally competent individual appointed by a candidate or political committee to ensure that bank deposits are made timely, campaign finance reports are timely filed, and the campaign complies with campaign finance laws and rules.