Actual malice: See RCW 42.17A.005(1)

Affiliation: When two or more entities are treated as a single person and share a single contribution limit. See WAC 390-16-309

Agency: See RCW 42.17A.005(2)

Agent: 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.See WAC 390-05-190


Authorized committee: See RCW 42.17A.005(3)

Ballot proposition: An initiative, recall referendum or other proposition or question submitted to voters. A proposal becomes a ballot proposition when it is initially filed with an election officer so that it can be circulated for signatures. See RCW 42.17A.005(4)

Benefit: See RCW 42.17A.005(5)

Bona fide political party: See RCW 42.17A.005(6)

Books of account: See RCW 42.17A.005(7)

Business Day

Candidate for state office

Candidate: 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: someone 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 their candidacy or files a declaration. See RCW 42.17A.005(8) and WAC 390-05-200

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.See RCW 42.17A.005(9)

Collective bargaining association

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.

Commission: See RCW 42.17A.005(11)

Committee: See RCW 42.17A.005(12)

Compensation: See RCW 42.17A.005(13)




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

Contribution: Money or something of value given to a campaign. See RCW 42.17A.005(15) and WAC 390-05-210



Debt (for purposes of F-1)

Depository: A bank or other financial institution where a campaign account is maintained. See RCW 42.17A.005(16)

Deputy treasurer: See RCW 42.17A.005(53)

Direct financial interest (for purposes of F-1)

Doing business in Washington

Domestic partner

Earmarked contributions

Elected official: Any person elected to a public office and any person appointed to a public office to fill an unexpired term. See RCW 42.17A.005(17)

Election: Any primary, general, or special election for public office and any election in which a ballot proposition is submitted to the voters.See RCW 42.17A.005(18)

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. See See RCW 42.17A.005(19)

Election cycle: The period beginning January 1 after the last general election for 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. See RCW 42.17A.005(20)

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 any broadcast, cable or satellite television, radio transmission, digital communication, United States postal service 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 $2,000 or more. See RCW 42.17A.005(21)

Expenditure: 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(22) for more specific description.


Fair market value

Final report: See RCW 42.17A.005(23)


Funding sources for electioneering communications

General election: See RCW 42.17A.005(25)

General treasury funds

Gift: See RCW 42.17A.005(26) and RCW 42.52.010

Immediate family: See RCW 42.17A.005(27)

Incidental committee: See RCW 42.17A.005(28)

Incumbent: A person who currently holds an elected office. See RCW 42.17A.005(29)

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 $2,000, or the cost of the ad combined with the cost of earlier ads supporting or opposing the candidate total $2,000 or more. See RCW 42.17A.255 and WAC 390-16-058

Inoperable electronic filing system

Intermediary: An individual who transmits a contribution to a candidate or committee from another person. See RCW 42.17A.005(30)

Legislation: 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. See RCW 42.17A.005(32)

Legislative office: See RCW 42.17A.005(33)

Lobby and Lobbying: Attempting to influence the passage or defeat of legislation by the Washington State Legislature, or attempting to influence a state agency's rule making. See RCW 42.17A.005(34)

Lobbyist: A person who lobbies. See RCW 42.17A.005(35)

Lobbyist's employer: The person who compensates a lobbyist. See RCW 42.17A.005(36) and WAC 390-20-105

Mass communication

Medium that does not include a visual image


Ministerial functions: An act or duty carried out as part of the duties of an administrative office without exercise of personal judgment or discretion. See RCW 42.17A.005(37)

Nonprofit organization (for purposes of incidental committees)

Nonreimbursed public office related expense A "non-reimbursed public office-related expense" is an expenditure incurred by an elected or appointed official, or a member of his or her immediate family, solely because of being an official. See WAC 390-24-032

Normal and regular conduct


Officer (for purposes of F-1)


Other expenses for purposes of lobbying reporting

Participate: See RCW 42.17A.005(38)

Party affiliation

Party organization

Party preference

Payments received by incidental committees


Person: 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. See RCW 42.17A.005(39)

Place of business

Political advertising: Any advertising displays, newspaper ads, billboards, signs, brochures, articles, tabloids, flyers, letters, radio or television presentations, digital communication, 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. See RCW 42.17A.005(40) and WAC 390-05-290

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.

See RCW 42.17A.005(41)

Primary: See RCW 42.17A.005(42)

Professional staff member (for purposes of F-1)

Public office: See RCW 42.17A.005(43)

Public record: See RCW 42.17A.005(44) and RCW 42.56.010

Public service announcement

Recall campaign: See RCW 42.17A.005(45)

Remediable violation: See RCW 42.17A.005(46)

Reporting modification

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. See RCW 42.17A.005(47)

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. See RCW 42.17A.005(47)

Sponsored committee: See RCW 42.17A.005(48)

State election official

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.See RCW 42.17A.005(49)

State official: A person who holds a state office. See RCW 42.17A.005(50)

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. See RCW 42.17A.005(51)

Tangible property

Technical correction: See RCW 42.17A.005(52)

Trade association

Treasurer: 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. See RCW 42.17A.005(53)

Violation: See RCW 42.17A.005(54)

Written sworn statement (for purposes of F-1)