Noble, Paul Brian (2): Alleged violations of RCW 42.17A.320 and .335 by failing to include sponsor identification in YouTube video; and by falsely implying incumbency as a Spokane County Commissioner (EY 22; August 22)




Paul Brian Noble (2)


David Green


Allegation: Violation of RCW 42.17A.320 and .335 by failing to include sponsor identification in YouTube video; and by falsely implying incumbency as a Spokane County Commissioner.

The complaint alleged Paul Brian Noble may have violated RCW 42.17A.335(1)(c) by falsely representing himself as an incumbent Spokane County Commissioner when he is not an incumbent.  In addition, the complaint alleged the Brian Noble campaign may have violated RCW 42.17A.320 by failing to include sponsor identification and the candidate’s party or independent preference in a political advertising YouTube video.

Paul Brian Noble was a first-time candidate in 2022 for the position of Spokane County Commissioner. Mr. Noble included videos on his campaign website that included language describing the role of a county commissioner by stating:

  • “We’re responsible for the three branches of county government….”
  • “We sit on a lot of boards….”
  • “We work with the Sheriff’s office….”

Upon receipt of the complaint, Mr. Noble immediately corrected the video by changing “we” to “them” to clarify he was referring to the role of County Commissioners and was not trying to imply he was a County Commissioner. 

The portion of the website cited in the complaint included the candidate’s name, followed by the title of the office sought, which some people interpret as implying incumbency; however, Mr. Noble’s website also stated what he intends to do if elected and provides information about his history, family, and hobbies, information normally associated with a candidate seeking an elective office. The complaint noted that while Mr. Noble’s video appeared on his website, suggesting it was sponsored by the candidate, the video could also be lifted from the website and shared in other places, increasing the importance of including sponsor identification in the video. Mr. Noble stated all videos were prepared by him, using his phone, at no cost; however, he put the sponsor as the Committee to Elect Brian Noble and himself as the one who paid for the video. 

The PDC dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1) and will not be conducting a more formal investigation into these allegations or taking further enforcement action in this matter. However, pursuant to WAC 390-37-060(1)(d), the PDC issued a formal warning concerning the lack of sponsor identification and party preference on a political advertising YouTube video.  Staff expects the Respondent to include sponsor identification, and when applicable, party preference, on future political advertising.  The Commission will consider this formal written warning in deciding on further Commission action if there are future violations of PDC laws or rules.


Case Closed with Written Warning

Date Opened

September 09, 2022

Areas of Law

RCW 42.17A.320, RCW 42.17A.335

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