Hadaller, Mike: Alleged Violations of RCW 42.17A.235 & .240 for failure to disclose in-kind contribution of political advertising (EY22, Nov22)




Mike Hadaller


Elizabeth Rohr


A complaint was filed against Mike Hadaller, a 2022 candidate for Lewis County PUD Commissioner, alleged a violation of RCW 42.17A.235 and .240 by failing to report an in-kind contribution from the Lewis County News on Summary Full Campaign Contribution and Expenditure report (C-4 report) for a political advertisement/editorial content that appeared in the publication during the 2022 election cycle.

On June 12, 2022, Mike Hadaller filed a Candidate registration with the PDC declaring his candidacy for election to the office of Commissioner for Lewis County Public Utility District No. 1, Position 3, selecting the Full Reporting option, and listing himself as Treasurer.  Mr. Hadaller was a first-time candidate for public office in 2022.   

Mr. Hadaller stated he purchased newspaper advertising in the Lewis County News (LCN) that ran during the 2022 election cycle, and that his Campaign placed three identical ads in LCN.  He stated that the LCN ran the ads “at the appropriate dates I requested,” and they cost $1,020 for each newspaper advertisement, for a total cost of $3,060.  He stated that the newspaper ads that appeared in the LCN “were print outs of my flier that I used to hand out at parades and my door-to-door campaigning.”

Mr. Hadaller stated he was contacted by two people with the LCN about being interviewed, a woman named Gina and Lynette Hoffman, a reporter for the LCN.  He stated that “Gina contacted me first asking if I would be able to have a conversation with Ms. Hoffman about doing an editorial about the upcoming election candidates.” 

Mr. Hadaller stated that Ms. Hoffman asked, “if she could interview me and get a statement or two from me regarding my opinions and goals for the upcoming election.”  He stated that he felt his conversations with Ms. Hoffman “were very informal” and did not feel like it was a newspaper type interview at least to him.  He stated that whatever the interview process was “it was my understanding that she was preparing an editorial about the upcoming election candidates in Lewis County addressing the choices people had available to them.”   

Mr. Hadaller stated that he “was not asked to give a prepared statement for publication” and instead he was asked, and he answered questions about his candidacy to the best of his ability.  He stated that he “did not notice the use of 1st person when the article came out.  It did not seem out of the ordinary.” He said it felt it was up to  the writer's discretion “to choose the wording that she felt was appropriate.”   He stated that he “certainly did not consider that interview to be an in-kind donation to my campaign” and added that he did not know if the article/editorial was of any value or benefit to his Campaign.

Mr. Hadaller said it was his understanding from speaking with Ms. Hoffman that the “article” that ran in the LCN, was intended “to help the voters get to know the candidates to better help them make informed decisions about the people they vote in to help run the offices in Lewis County.”  He stated that the “interview was in no way meant to come across as an advertisement and I have no control over Ms. Hoffman” concerning the candidates that she interviewed or what she wrote.

Based on these findings, PDC staff found no evidence of a violation that would require conducting a more formal investigation into the complaint or pursuing any enforcement action in this instance. 

PDC has dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).


Case Closed with No Evidence of Violations

Date Opened

November 16, 2022

Areas of Law

RCW 42.17A.235, RCW 42.17A.240

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