The Commission repeals its 1992 interpretation and adopts the following:  For purposes of RCW 42.17A.420(1), “within 21 days of a general election” means the period beginning at 12:01 a.m. PST on the third Tuesday before the general election held in November and ending at 11:59 p.m. PST on the day before the election.

RCW 42.17A.420(1) prohibits a candidate for statewide office from receiving aggregate contributions exceeding $50,000 within 21 days of a general election and all other candidates and political committees from receiving aggregate contributions exceeding $5,000 within 21 days of a general election.  By law, this prohibition does not apply to contributions made by or accepted from a bona fide political party’s state committee.  The prohibition also does not apply to ballot measure committees, pursuant to the federal court ruling in Family PAC v. McKenna et al., 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Nos. 10-35832 and 10-35893 (Dec. 29, 2011).

This interpretation should not be construed as authority to exceed contributions limits set out at RCW 42.17A.405, RCW 42.17A.410, and WAC 390-05-400.


Cite as PDC Interpretation No. 96-04

Approved:  March 26, 1996 | Amended April 25, 2012

References:  RCWs 42.17A.405, 42.17A.410, 42.17A.420(1); WAC 390-05-400; Family PAC v. McKenna, et al., 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Nos. 10-35832 and 10-35893 (Dec. 29, 2011)