Whatcom County Democratic Central Committee: Alleged Violation of RCW 42.17A.235, .240, .235 for failure to timely and accurately report contributions, expenditures, and debt. (SEP 2017)




Margaret Borgens


Glen Morgan


The complaint alleged that the Whatcom County Democratic Central Committee (Committee) may have violated: (1) RCW 42.17A.235 and .240 for failure to accurately and timely file Monetary Contributions reports (C-3 reports) and Summary Full Campaign Contribution and Expenditure reports (C-4 reports) and (2) RCW 42.17A.240 for failure to properly report expenditures and debts on C-4 reports, including the failure to provide proper expenditure descriptions.

There were expenditures made by the Committee either as reimbursements to individuals that were Committee officers or volunteers, or payments made to consultants, vendors, or other third parties, for which it appears a more detailed description or explanation of the goods and services provided was required.  Those issues are mitigated to a degree by the facts the Committee timely filed the overwhelming majority of the required C-3 and C-4 reports for calendar years 2015, 2016, and 2017, disclosing more than $353,386 in contributions received and $309,348 in expenditures made during this timeframe, and no violations have been found since 2006.  

However, pursuant to WAC 390-37-060(1)(b), the Whatcom County District Democratic Central Committee will receive a formal written warning concerning the Committee’s failure to comply with filing requirements to provide: (1) a detailed breakdown of expenditures, including the sub-vendor breakdown for reimbursements to individuals or payments made to consultants or vendors; and (2) a detailed description of the expenditure, including the number of mail pieces or yard signs printed, or station by station listing and run dates for political advertisements. 

The formal written warning will include staff’s expectation the Whatcom County District Democratic Central Committee timely file all future required reports of contributions and expenditures, including the expenditure details and descriptions listed above, and the timely disclosure of debts and obligations as required in the future. The Commission will consider the formal written warning in deciding on further Commission action if there are future violations of PDC laws or rules. 

Based on this information, the PDC finds that no further action is warranted and has dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1). If you have questions, you may contact Alice Fiman at 1-360-586-4746 or toll-free at 1-877-601-2828, or by e-mail pdc@pdc.wa.gov.  


Case Closed with Written Warning

Date Opened

October 18, 2017

Areas of Law

RCW 42.17A.235, RCW 42.17A.240

Subscribe for updates


To subscribe to this case, enter your email address in the form below and click "Send confirmation link" button. You will be sent a secure link via email that will confirm your subscription.

An email containing a link to confirm your subscription to this case has been sent to {{ email }}.

If you do not receive an email within a few minutes, please check your junk mail or mail filters.

Send again