Our Olympic Communities Enterprise Washington: Alleged violations of RCW 42.17A.320 & .335 by failing to identify Top Five Contributors & including false statements of material fact in political adverting (Mar 2019)

Case

#47998

Respondent

Our Olympic Communities Enterprise Washington

Complainant

Jeanne Martin

Description

A complaint was filed with the PDC against Our Olympic Communities Enterprise Washington alleging the committee may have violated RCW 42.17A.320 for failing to fully identify the top five contributors on political advertising; RCW 42.17A.335 by making a false statement of material fact in opposition ads; RCW 42.17A.335 by sponsoring an ad that falsely represents Irene Bowling as an incumbent; RCW 42.17A.320 and WAC 390-18 by failing to clearly identify sponsor identification on political advertising; and RCW 42.17A.260 by failing to timely file Independent Spending and Electioneering Communications (C-6) reports., alleging the Committee may have violated RCW 42.17A.220 by failing to timely deposit contributions within five business days of receipt and RCW 42.17A.235 by failing to timely file Monetary Contribution reports (C-3 reports) and Campaign Summary Receipts and Expenditure reports (C-4 reports). 

At its May 28, 2020 meeting, the Commission found Our Olympic Communities Enterprise WA violated RCW 42.17A.305 by failing to timely file Independent Expenditure reports (C-6 reports) disclosing $151,772.81 in Committee expenditures made for electioneering communications advertisements that supported Tim Sheldon and opposed Irene Bowling and assessed a total civil penalty of $14,000 of which $7,000 is suspended on the following conditions:

  1. The Committee is not found to have committed any further violations of RCW 42.17A or WAC 390 within four years of the date of the final order in this matter. The suspended penalty shall not be assessed based solely upon any remediable violation, minor violation, or error classified by the commission as appropriate to address by a technical correction. 
     
  2. The Committee complies with all PDC reporting requirements.
     
  3. The non-suspended portion of the penalty ($7,000) is paid by the Committee within 30 days of the date of the final order in this matter. If the Committee fails to make timely payment of the non-suspended portion of the penalty, the suspended portion of the penalty shall be immediately become due without further action by the Commission.

Staff determined that in this instance, the remaining allegations do not amount to actual violations warranting further investigation. However, pursuant to WAC 390-37-060(1)(d), Our Olympic Communities Enterprise Washington will receive a formal written warning concerning the Committee’s failure to comply with filing and disclosure requirements.

The formal written warning will include staff’s expectation the Committee will: (1) fully identify Top Five Contributors on all future political advertising, independent expenditures (IE) or electioneering communications (EC); (2) provide the required sponsor identification on all future political advertisements, IE’s and EC’s in accordance with statutes and rules; and (3) file timely and complete C-4 and C-6 reports in future years in accordance with PDC laws and rules, including disclosing the required expenditure detail in accordance with RCW 42.17A.240.  The Commission will consider the formal written warning in deciding on further Commission action if there are future violations of PDC laws or rules. 

Disposition

Violation Found by Commission

Date Opened

March 06, 2019

Areas of Law

RCW 42.17A.240, RCW 42.17A.255, RCW 42.17A.260, RCW 42.17A.305, RCW 42.17A.320, RCW 42.17A.335, WAC 390-18

Penalties

Total penalties: $14,000

Balance Due: 0

Our Olympic Communities Enterprise

Penalty
$14,000 (Violation of RCW 42.17A)
Suspended
$7,000 (To be reinstated within 30 days if non-suspended portion of penalty has not been payed.)
Payments
$7,000 on 06/24/2020 (Paid)

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