Here's where you can find updates to filer guidance and timely reminders about how to properly disclose campaign or lobbying activity. 

News

December 7, 2018

Beginning Dec. 15, legislators, state executive office holders and their employees or agents may not accept or solicit contributions:

  • for any candidate for state or local office;
  • to a public office fund;
  • to retire a campaign debt; or
  • for a political committee, including a caucus political committee or party, if the contribution is used for the benefit of incumbent state officials or known candidates (WAC 390-17-400).

The fundraising freeze is in effect starting 30 days before the regular session and continues through adjournment, as well as during any special session. RCW 42.17A.560

Legislators and state officials may accept online and credit card contributions, as well as mailed contributions, on Dec. 15 or later as long as the donor made the contribution before the session freeze period began.

Non-incumbent, newly elected state officers are not subject to the legislative session freeze period until they are sworn in to office.

For more information check out https://www.pdc.wa.gov/session-freeze-begins-1

and https://www.pdc.wa.gov/learn/publications/candidate-instructions/prohibitions-and-restrictions/legislative-session-freeze

November 8, 2018

With ballot counts beginning to wind down this week, many candidates will be looking to close out their PDC reporting. Things to consider when wrapping up that campaign:

  • If you still have debts or loans, you may continue to fundraise until December 31. Remember that contribution limits for your contributors from before the election count towards the contributions given after the election. https://www.pdc.wa.gov/learn/publications/candidate-instructions/after-election 
  • If you were a mini filer, you are not required to file a final C-4 report. 
  • Full filers will need to file a post-general C4 (and C-3s if necessary) by December 10 and a final C-4 by January 10 if there are no outstanding debts, loans or other obligations and the surplus funds (https://www.pdc.wa.gov/learn/spending-surplus-campaign-funds) have been disposed of. If the campaign still has obligations or debts and cannot file a final report on January 10, it should continue to file on the 10th of the month (covers previous calendar month or period since last report) whenever expenditures made total $200 or more since the last C-4 report was filed. If there is a campaign surplus, but no new expenditures, no C-4 reports are required until campaign financial activity resumes.

Enjoy the quiet time before the next campaign season!

October 27, 2018

From Oct. 27 until Nov. 5, any individual may email a campaign at the address reported on the C-1 or C-1pc to request to inspect its books of account. If someone contacts your campaign to check your books, make an appointment to meet that person. The appointment must be between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a weekday, unless you both agree to meet at a different time. 

The inspection must be allowed within 48 hours of the date and time the request was made, provided that if the request is not made by 3 p.m. on the third day preceding an election, the candidate or political committee need only make best efforts to accommodate the request. 

For more information, read our guidelines here. Additional information about this year's changes to the inspection period requirements is available here

October 24, 2018

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency should be treated as the equivalent of cash and limited to $100 (RCW 42.17A.475). The cryptocurrency should be converted to legal tender, deposited in the campaign depository within five business days of receipt (RCW 42.17A.220), and timely reported.

If cryptocurrency is paid directly to a vendor for goods or services, it should be disclosed as an in-kind contribution using the fair market value of the cryptocurrency at the time the payment is made. The in-kind contribution must be timely and accurately reported by the recipient, including the name and address of the vendor.

October 22, 2018

In the waning days of the election season, campaigns are making lots of expenditures to get out their messages. The PDC encourages campaigns to provide as much detail as possible to help the public identify the purpose of those expenses.

Campaigns should "describe in detail the goods and/or services to be provided" (WAC 390-16-037). That rule, as well as WAC 390-16-205, has examples that explain how to meet that standard when reporting expenditures on get-out-the-vote campaigns, printing jobs, broadcast political ads and campaign consultants.

Here’s an example of good detail:

 

October 15, 2018

Washington state law puts restrictions and special reporting requirements on large contributions received within 21 days of the general election. 

Beginning Oct. 16 and continuing through Nov. 5:

  • a statewide office candidate may not accept campaign contributions exceeding $50,000, in the aggregate;
  • a legislative or local office candidate may not accept campaign contributions exceeding $5,000, in the aggregate; and
  • a political committee, including all bona fide party committees, may not accept more than $5,000, in the aggregate from one source.

The limitations do not apply when the donor is a state party committee.

Also during this period, contributions of $1,000 dollars or more, in the aggregate, must be separately reported. The deadline for filing last-minute contribution (LMC) reports is within 24 hours by the contributor and 48 hours by the recipient. The reports can be filed online. The recipient may, in lieu of filing an LMC, submit a C-3 deposit report disclosing the contribution within the 48 hour window.

Individuals or other entities who do not currently have a filing requirement with the PDC are not required to complete a LMC disclosing that they made a contribution.

More information about LMC restrictions and reporting is available here for candidates, here for political committees, and here for lobbyists.

October 13, 2018

The PDC has received several inquiries about how to provide sponsor ID for political advertising via text message, which is considered an online transmission method under WAC 390-05-290(2). PDC staff has advised political committees that text messages are eligible to use the small online ad alternative outlined in WAC 390-18-030, which allows sponsor ID to be provided using an "automatic display" that takes the reader directly to the required disclosures.

Since some phones receiving the text will not be able to follow a link, we suggest campaigns include, in addition to a web address, mechanisms that allow the recipients to request sponsor ID information. Sponsors should make that process as easy as possible, perhaps by allowing the recipient to reply with a single character that then prompts another text message with the sponsor ID information. The message would look something like this: “Go to www.xyzcommittee.com or text * for sponsor information.”

Sponsors who have questions about sponsor ID on any form of political advertising can review the PDC's online guidance or email us at pdc@pdc.wa.gov

October 11, 2018

If you file C-4 reports for a candidate who will be on the November ballot or a political committee that’s involved with the general election this year, you have a C-4 report due Oct. 16. This C-4 should be a report for the period of Sept. 1 through Oct. 15. 

If you don’t see a C-4 with a due date of Oct. 16 in ORCA, make sure that you are set up for the general election. Open your campaign in ORCA, and click the word “File” on the upper left. Click on “Committee Information.”  In the column on the left, click on “C-4 reporting periods.” Make sure that you have selected “Participates in General Ballot” on the right.

Reporting dates are available on the PDC calendar

October 5, 2018

It’s lobbyist registration time once again.

State law requires registered lobbyists to file a new registration statement every two years. The deadline is the second Monday in January of odd-numbered years. Failure to do so terminates the lobbyist’s registration.

Anyone planning to lobby in 2019 and 2020 are encouraged to complete their registration for the 2019-20 biennium now. Registrations can be submitted using the PDC’s lobbyist application here.

If you don’t already have an account, now is a great time to sign up. Filing online will save you valuable time because updating registrations can be done in just a couple of minutes and does not require submitting any printed forms. Short video tutorials are available to lead you through the process. 

General questions about what the disclosure requirements are? Answers to frequently asked questions and more detailed instructions on lobbyist reporting are available on our website. 

PDC staff also are available to help. Shoot us a note at pdc@pdc.wa.gov, and we’ll get back to you promptly.