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Document Code No.: ELE 9-3-2 (PR)
Department/Issuing Agency: DIAS/Records and Elections Division
Effective Date: January 28, 2001
Approved: /s/ Paul Tanaka
Type of Action: Superseding ELE 9-3-1 (PR) (PDF, 627 KB) of 3/15/93

Signed Document (PDF, 1.8 MB)


1. SUBJECT TITLE: Campaign contribution limitations with respect to political campaigns for county offices.

1.1 EFFECTIVE DATE: January 28, 2001

1.2 TYPE OF ACTION: Superseding Public Rule ELE 9-3-1 (PR) of 3/15/93

1.3 KEY WORDS: Political committees, campaign contributions, election cycle, surplus campaign funds

2.0 PURPOSE:

To implement the County Campaign Contribution Ordinance, codified as K.C.C. Chapter 1.05, through the establishment of necessary administrative rules.

3.0 ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED:

3.1 All candidates for the offices of King County Council, Executive, Sheriff, and Assessor.

3.2 Campaign committees in support of candidates for the foregoing county elective offices.

3.4 King County Records and Elections Division, Department of Information and Administrative Services.

4.0 REFERENCES:

4.1 K.C.C. Chapter 1.05 - Limits on Campaign Contributions

4.2 RCW Chapter 42.17 - Public Disclosure Statute (Campaign Financing)

4.3 WAC Title 360 - Public Disclosure Commission, Chapter 390-16

5.0 DEFINITIONS:

The terms used in this document shall have the regular meaning as used in normal correspondence, except as otherwise defined in the governing ordinance codified in K.C.C. 1.05.020.

6.0 POLICIES:

6.1 Objectives.

6.1.1 King County has promulgated a Campaign Contribution Law, codified in K.C.C. 1.05, which established policies designed to protect the county elective offices from undue influence by individuals and groups making large contributions to the election campaigns of candidates for Executive, County Council, Sheriff, and Assessor.

6.1.2 Limitations on contributions of money, services and materials by individuals or groups to county election campaigns are imposed by law to protect the public health, safety, welfare, and the integrity of the process. These administrative rules are designed to implement the governing law.

6.2 Organization and Administration.

6.2.1 The responsible agency designated within the Department of Information and Administrative Services shall be the Records and Elections Division and shall be responsible for implementing policies covered in K.C.C. 1.05.

6.2.2 Within the Records and Elections Division, there is established a Campaign Contribution Program under the authority of the division manager, which shall be administered within the Administrative Section.

6.3 Mandatory Limitations on Contributions.

6.3.1 Election Cycle Contributions from Persons or Political Committees. All persons or political committees are prohibited from making contributions during the election cycle totaling more than $1,200 in the aggregate to any candidate for King County Council, Executive, Sheriff, or Assessor.

6.3.2 Acceptance of Contributions by County Office Candidates from Persons or Political Committees. No candidate for King County Council, Executive, Sheriff, or Assessor shall accept or receive in an election cycle campaign contributions totaling more than $1,200 in the aggregate from persons or political committees.

6.3.3 Exceptions. The limitations imposed by this section shall not apply to:

a) A candidate's contributions of his/her own resources to his/her own campaign; and

b) Independent expenditures as defined in K.C.C. 1.05; and

c) The value of in-kind labor; and

d) Contributions to or expenditures from public office funds made consistent with the provisions of RCW 42.17.243.

6.4 Surplus Campaign Funds/Contributions Received by Candidates in Connection with a Campaign for Another Office.
In addition to the requirements imposed by state and federal law, the following restrictions apply to the use of surplus campaign funds.

6.4.1 Surplus campaign funds, as defined by R.C.W. 42.17.020, from a candidate's prior campaign, and contributions received by candidates in connection with a campaign for another office, may be used by that candidate for the candidate's current campaign only to the extent that such funds are derived from contributions that were within the dollar limitations imposed by K.C.C. 1.05.

6.4.2 If such funds are from a campaign which is not governed by K.C.C. 1.05, a candidate may use only so much of each contribution previously received as would have been allowable as a contribution under K.C.C. 1.05 if it had applied to that campaign. The source of such funds shall be determined to be derived from the most recent contributions received by such candidate or that candidate's political committee which in total equal the amount of such funds.

6.4.3 A candidate must file a statement with the Records and Elections Division which identifies any surplus funds which are transferred to the candidate's current campaign and which must include the following information:

a) The original contributor; b) The original date of the contribution; c) The amount originally contributed; and d) The portion of each contribution transferred to the current campaign.

6.5 Compliance.

6.5.1 The Records and Elections Division manager shall review copies of PDC Form "C" series reports submitted by candidates to King County Records and Elections to determine compliance with the campaign limitation provisions of K.C.C. 1.05.

6.5.2 In the event that a candidate's acceptance of contributions exceeds the campaign contribution limitations, the manager will generate an Internal Overage Report (campaign contribution). Candidates will be notified to correct any discrepancies and must do so within five business days of such notification, supported by a memorandum of correction addressed to the Records and Elections Division, Campaign Contribution Program, 500 4th Avenue, Room 553, Seattle, WA 98104 or faxed to the above at 206-296-0108. (If faxing, please call 206-296-1540 to confirm receipt.)

If left unresolved following that period, a written notification of the overage will be sent to the candidate by certified mail with a copy to the King County Prosecuting Attorney. If not resolved within five business days of the receipt of the certified letter, the manager will forward the information, with supporting documents, to the Prosecuting Attorney for appropriate action as provided below.

6.6 Penalties.

The violation or failure to comply with the provisions of K.C.C. 1.05 and these rules shall constitute a civil violation as provided for in K.C.C. 1.05.120.

7.0 PROCEDURES:

Action By
Action
7.1 Campaign Disclosure
Candidates for King County Council Executive, Sheriff, or Assessor 7.1.1 Will submit campaign disclosure reports as required by RCW 42, using the prescribed Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) Campaign Disclosure Report Form "C" series, as prescribed by law and regulation. (See also Washington State PDC Campaign Disclosure Instructions for Local & Judicial Candidates, available from the PDC and the Records and Elections Division, for procedures pertaining to forms completion and submission.)

"C" Series Campaign Disclosure Report Forms are available from: The Records and Elections Division, 500 4th Avenue, Room 553, Seattle, WA 98104 or from the Public Disclosure Commission, 711 Capitol Way, Room 206, PO Box 40908, Olympia, WA 98504-0908 (Toll-free Phone: 877-601-2828).

7.1.2 File all Campaign Disclosure Reports ("C" Series) with the PDC and a copy with the Records and Elections Division.

7.2 Review and Report of Contribution Overage

Manager, Records and Elections Division or designee 7.2.1 Reviews campaign disclosure reports to ensure that campaign contributions reported are within the policy criteria stated in Section 6.3 of these rules.

7.2.2 Provides initial notification to the candidate regarding the overage of contributions.

7.2.3 If the overage is not corrected and a memorandum documentation of the correction filed in the campaign file within five business days of notification, sends a certified letter of notification.

7.2.4 If the overage is not corrected within five business days of the receipt of the certified letter, transmits the file and the notification to the King County Prosecuting Attorney.

Prosecuting Attorney

7.2.5 Reviews the case and determines whether a penalty in accordance with the policies set forth in K.C.C. 1.05.120 is called for, and if so, takes appropriate action to impose the penalty.

8.0 RESPONSIBILITIES:

8.1 Candidates for the offices of King County Council, Executive, Sheriff, and Assessor must complete and file public disclosure reports as required by state law and regulations (see Section 7.0) and as further supplemented by these rules and comply with contribution limitations.

8.2 The Records and Elections Division manager shall provide written responses resolving questions of a procedural nature that are not expressly addressed in these rules.