The complaint alleged that Jay Inslee, the incumbent Governor for the State of Washington and a candidate seeking re-election to that office in 2016, may have violated:
(1) RCW 42.17A.235 and .240 by failing to timely and accurately file C-3 and C-4 reports, accurately identifying contributor names and addresses. providing a description of expenditures and/or services provided in greater detail, and including the disclosure of debts, orders placed and in-kind contributions; (2) WAC 390-16-238 by failing to adequately report mileage reimbursements and descriptions of the reminbursements;
(3) RCW 42.17A.205 by failing to identify committee officers on the C-1pc report; and
(4) RCW 42.17A.430 for unauthorized receipt of funds from a political committee.
For the 2016 election cycle. PDC staff’s review indicated the Campaign filed 49 initial C-4 reports and eight amended C-4 reports, and 394 initial C-3 reports and 23 amended C-3 reports.
Staff’s review of the C-4 reports found the Campaign disclosed outstanding debts and obligations on every initial filed C-4 report as well as on the amended C-4 reports filed by the Campaign for the entire 2016 election cycle. The amount of outstanding debts and obligations disclosed by the Campaign included $61,286 in debts carried forward from the 2012 Campaign on the initial C-4 report for January of 2013, to a high of $109,779 in outstanding debts and obligations disclosed on the 21-Day Pre-Primary Election C-4 report. In addition, staff’s review revealed that the Campaign substantially complied with the C-4 reporting requirements by timely filing the initial C-4 reports on the required due dates for the 2016 election cycle.
Staff also reviewed the attached list provided by the complainant of the Campaign’s reporting of information related to reimbursements to individuals and the sub-vendor breakdown and determined that in many instances no additional information was needed. However, the review indicated there were Campaign expenditures listed for which a more detailed description, explanation, or sub-vendor breakdown should have been provided.
Staff’s review indicated that mileage reimbursements included expenditures made to a number of Campaign staff and volunteers, that included 40 mileage reimbursements made to Seamus McKeon; 27 mileage reimbursements made to Jessica Frahs; 10 mileage reimbursements made to John Flanagan; nine mileage reimbursements made to Christopher Esh; and four mileage reimbursements made to Tracy Newman or Newman Partners.
The expenditure reimbursements were made to individuals and entities that were listed on numerous C-4 reports as having received payments from the Campaign for wages, consulting fees, and other campaign related activities. The mileage reimbursements made by the Campaign all appeared to have been directly related to work being conducted on behalf of Governor Inslee’s re-election efforts, and no evidence was provided or found that any of the mileage reimbursements constituted a personal use of campaign funds.
As noted above, a number of the allegations listed in your complaint concerned information disclosed on amended C-3 and C-4 reports filed by the Campaign. Staff’s review of the initial and amended C-3 and C-4 reports filed by the Campaign, Mr. Lloyd’s frequent communications with PDC staff concerning filing questions both by telephone and by email, and the timeliness in which the Campaign filed amended C-3 and C-4 reports indicated the Campaign made a good faith effort to comply with the reporting requirements.
Staff noted that there were expenditures made by the Campaign either as reimbursements to individuals or payments made to a consultant or vendor for which it appears a more detailed description or explanation should have been provided. However, those issues are mitigated by the facts the Campaign:
(1) was in frequent contact with PDC throughout the 2016 election in order to comply with the reporting requirements;
(2) timely filed the overwhelming majority of the initially filed C-3 and C-4 reports; and
(3) raised and spent more than $9.9 million for a Gubernatorial election, making it one of the more expensive statewide elections in Washington State.
PDC staff found no evidence of a material violation that would require conducting a more formal investigation into your complaints or pursuing enforcement action in this instance. In addition, PDC staff dismissed the allegations listed in your complaint in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1), that you failed to provide any evidence to support or substantiate. PDC staff will remind the Campaign to provide a more detailed breakdown for expenditures made to reimburse individuals or payments made to consultants or vendors, including the sub-vendor breakdown, in the future. Based on this information, PDC staff is dismissing the allegations concerning amended reports in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).