PDC compliance mission

The Public Disclosure Commission is committed to providing timely and impartial investigations of complaints concerning alleged violations of Washington's campaign finance and disclosure laws (RCW 42.17A) and rules (WAC 390).

These laws and rules give the PDC jurisdiction to enforce requirements governing the disclosure of campaign finance activities, political advertising, lobbying, personal financial affairs statements, and alleged use of public facilities to support or oppose a candidate or ballot proposition.

The goal is to enhance the public's confidence in the political process and elected officials.

The PDC does not enforce federal campaign laws or rules, local ordinances, the Public Records Act in RCW 42.56 or the Ethics in Public Service Act in RCW 42.52

Enforcement process

A complaint must have certain information for the PDC to be able to investigate. Learn what to include.

Filing a complaint

Once staff open a case, an initial review during the first 90 days will determine how it can be categorized. Explore below the different case resolution types that might lead to the case's closure by staff prior to the case reaching the Commission.

Dismissed as Unfounded or Frivolous

Resolved Through Reminder or Warning

Remediable Violations and Technical Corrections

Statements of Understanding

PDC staff could decide instead to initiate an investigation. These are the cases that are likely headed to a Commission hearing. Learn more about the possible outcomes.

Deferred enforcement

Commission action

Brief enforcement process

An alternative to the full enforcement process for routine, minor violations is a brief enforcement hearing. The Commission chair or designee can decide these cases. The maximum penalty is $1,000.

Brief enforcement hearing procedures

File a complaint

Anyone who believes there has been a violation of the laws or rules enforced by the Commission may file a complaint. All complaints filed with the PDC are public records.

File a complaint