PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: TITLE 390 WAC, (1) develop potential rules for timely notification of in-kind contributions to candidates and political committees and a process for candidates and political committees to refuse in-kind contributions; and (2) potential rules regarding campaign litigation funds.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 42.17.370.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Currently there are no provisions for timely candidate or political committee notification when an entity provides an in-kind contribution and no process for a candidate or political committee to refuse in-kind contributions. Possible new rules will clarify reporting requirements and provide for timely public disclosure of in-kind contributions.
Since 2004, election law litigation has increased significantly in the United States. As a result, states are faced with questions concerning the establishment of litigation funds, the ability to use campaign or surplus campaign funds for legal issues and how to report fund-raising activity associated with litigation funds. The public disclosure commission may consider rules to clarify existing law as it relates to litigation or legal defense funds.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: The commission is expected to discuss and possibly approve draft language on the above referenced rule topics at its meeting on April 9, 2009. A formal public hearing is expected to occur on May 28, 2009.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting PDC Assistant Director Doug Ellis at the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, P.O. Box 40908, Olympia, WA 98504-0908, (360) 664-2735, toll free 1-877-601-2828, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 5, 2009