New Transparency Rules Enacted for WA Elections
Due to rule changes by the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, WA citizens will now be able to have more scrutiny about where candidates' money comes from.
Rule change requires money from previous campaigns and sources to be revealed
The PDC (public disclosure commission) is in charge of overseeing campaign financing in WA state. They have just unanimously voted to revise some of their rules, including requiring the disclosure of fund transfers from previous campaigns to new campaigns.
According to The Center Square, Seattle attorney Tallman Trask had asked the PDC during the meeting about such disclosures. Tallman said:
“Voters cannot access accurate information about the actual source of transferred surplus funds, and those funds are maybe effectively exempted from the otherwise applicable contribution limits. In that the transferred surplus funds act a lot like a shell contribution. The only record voters can access do not reflect the true contributor and the hidden contributor may be able to sidestep contribution limits.”
Previous rules did not require public documentation of these transferred funds. According to The Center Square, this ruling could have the biggest impact on Governor candidate and current WA AG Bob Ferguson. Prior to the PDC ruling, he had transferred about 1/3 of a $3.8 million dollar fund to his campaign.
Ferguson had announced on May 2 he was starting an exploratory campaign for Governor, an exploratory campaign is different than a formal declaration. Once you formally officially declare to run for office (any office), you have a limited time window to file with the PDC.
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