Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.
Purpose: To provide clarification and guidance to candidates and candidate campaign committees on the filing requirements under chapter 348, Laws of 2006.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 42.17.370 and chapter 348, Laws of 2006.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest; and that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.
Reasons for this Finding: The commission finds that campaigns are underway now and that candidates and campaigns are currently seeking guidance on what "spent" means for the purposes of section 4(2), chapter 348, Laws of 2006. The term "spent" is not defined in the new law, or in prior law.
The commission finds that there is a need to interpret this new law now to provide that guidance.
The commission is authorized to provide such interpretation through rule making pursuant to its authority in chapter 42.17 RCW, including RCW 42.17.370(1). The commission finds that the interpretation provided in this rule is consistent with prior guidance it has provided.
In addition, while full notice and opportunity for comment was not possible prior to the commission's May 31, 2006, meeting, notice of the proposed emergency rule was placed on the commission's web site at www.pdc.wa.gov on May 24, 2006; a mailing was sent on May 25, 2006, to eighty campaigns that are affected by the new law, and public testimony and written comments were taken at the commission's May 31, 2006, meeting, prior to adoption of the emergency rule.
Under RCW 34.05.350 (1)(b), the commission for good cause also finds that the immediate adoption of this rule is necessary in order to effectuate a new state law, section 4, chapter 348, Laws of 2006.
The new law provides in part that it applies to contributions "made and received before the effective date of this act..." section 4(2), chapter 348, Laws of 2006. The effective date of the act is June 7, 2006, but the act applies to contributions made and received before that date. In order to make the commission's rule consistent with the statute's provision that it applies to contributions "made and received before the effective date of this act" the rule is being made effective immediately upon filing.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: May 31, 2006.
(2) For the purposes of Section 4 of Chapter 348, "spent" means to pay for or obligate payment and consume the contribution in one of the following ways by 11:59 p.m. on June 6, 2006:
(a) the service has been rendered;
(b) the goods have been received;
(c) the in-kind contribution has been utilized, applied or otherwise exhausted; or
(d) the media buy has been used, or the political advertisement or electioneering communication has run.
(3) Here are some examples of what "spent" means for candidates subject to the new contribution limits of Chapter 348:
(a) Example A. A candidate used monetary contributions s/he received by 11:59 p.m. on June 6, 2006 to pay for brochures delivered on or before that date to the campaign. Those contributions were spent prior to June 7 because the brochures were in-hand and available for use by the campaign before the effective date of Chapter 348.
(b) Example B. A candidate retained a consultant and pre-paid that consultant for campaign services through June 30, 2006 using contributions received by 11:59 p.m. June 6, 2006. Only those contributions used to pay for the consultant's services provided before June 7, 2006 are considered spent by the campaign.
(c) Example C. A candidate subject to a $700 per election contribution limit received on May 31, 2006 an in-kind contribution of television airtime for the week of September 4, 2006. The airtime has a fair market value of $1,000. Since the contribution has not been utilized by 11:59 p.m. on June 6, 2006 (the media buy has not been used by that time and date), the contribution has not been spent. Therefore, it is subject to the $700 limit and must be returned to the contributor.
(d) Example D. A candidate picked up 500 yard signs on May 31, 2006 and charged them to the campaign's credit card. Even if the bill is not sent to the campaign by the credit card company until after 11:59 p.m. on June 6, and thus the bill has yet to be paid by that time and date, the contributions for this expenditure are considered spent before the effective date of Chapter 348.