July 12, 2021

Reappointed Commission leadership 

The Commission voted to reappoint Fred Jarrett as chair and Nancy Isserlis as vice chair. 
 
Both had assumed those positions in January during a transition in leadership cycles. These new appointments will run for the full fiscal year, from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. 
 
Jarrett joined the PDC in 2019, following a decades-long career of public service as Mercer Island mayor, state senator and representative and senior deputy county executive in King County. He also had a 35-year career at the Boeing Co. 
 
Isserlis, a Spokane attorney, joined the Commission in 2020. She is a former Spokane City Attorney, a past member of the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors, and a current board member for Pioneer Human Services and the Endowment for Equal Justice. 
 

Rulemaking agenda set 

The Commission adopted a rulemaking agenda for the upcoming six months. The agenda includes a review of rules on digital political ads and a look at procedures for enforcement hearings.
 
The development of rules related to digital political advertising would build on the work of the PDC over the past two years in analyzing the digital ad market. The goal is to determine how best to serve the public interest in transparency. 
 
The Commission could look at issues such as what constitutes a “copy” of a digital ad, whether ad sponsors have to notify platforms that they are running political advertising, and what deadlines platforms face in disclosing information to the public. 
 
Also on the agenda is an evaluation of current enforcement processes for possible improvements. It will look at which types of cases are heard in brief enforcement proceedings and which should be heard by the full Commission. Brief enforcement matters involve cases in which charges are relatively minor and penalties for violations are below a set threshold. 
 
Adoption of the rulemaking agenda does not constitute the formal start of the rulemaking process. That will begin with a formal announcement – possibly in the fall – followed by time for public comment on proposed rules and more Commission discussion. New rules may not be adopted during election season, but could happen in late 2021 or early 2022. 
 

Enforcement statistics 

Between May 19 and June 16, 2021 PDC staff closed 17 cases. As of June 16, there were 22 active cases, initiated by complaints from the public, and 73 group enforcement cases, which are initiated by PDC staff. They dealt with failure by lobbyist employers to file required annual reports on time. 
 
To learn what else was discussed at the June 24 meeting, see the full Commission agenda
 
Next Commission meeting: July 22, 2021