Chapter 2.20
CAMPAIGN DISCLOSURE

Sections:

2.20.010    Short title.

2.20.020    Definitions.

2.20.030    Applicability.

2.20.040    Obligation of political committees to file statement of organization.

2.20.050    Campaign treasurer and depositories.

2.20.060    Deposit of contributions – Investment of campaign funds – Unidentified contributions – Cash contributions.

2.20.070    Authorization and restriction of expenditures.

2.20.080    Candidates’ and treasurers’ duty to report.

2.20.090    Contents of report.

2.20.100    Identification of contributions and communications.

2.20.110    Name and address of printer, etc., and distributor of handbills.

2.20.120    Use of public office facilities in campaign prohibited.

2.20.130    Report forms.

2.20.140    Enforcement.

2.20.010 Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “campaign disclosure ordinance.” (Ord. 387 § 1, 1975).

2.20.020 Definitions.

A. “Ballot proposition” means any “measure” as defined by RCW 29.01.110 submitted by the city to the voters of Mercer Island.

B. “Campaign depository” means a bank designated by a candidate or political committee pursuant to MICC 2.20.050.

C. “Campaign treasurer” and “deputy campaign treasurer” mean the individuals appointed by a candidate or political committee, pursuant to MICC 2.20.050.

D. “Candidate” means any individual who seeks election to the city council. An individual shall be deemed to seek election when he first:

1. Receives contributions or makes expenditures or reserves space or facilities with intent to promote his candidacy for office; or

2. Announces publicly or files for office.

E. “Contribution” includes a loan, gift, deposit, subscription, forgiveness of indebtedness, donation, advance, pledge, payment, transfer of anything of value, including personal and professional services for less than full consideration, but does not include interest on moneys deposited in a political committee’s account, ordinary home hospitality and the rendering of part-time personal services of the sort commonly performed by volunteer campaign workers or incidental expenses personally incurred by volunteer campaign workers not in excess of $25 personally paid for by such worker. “Part-time” services, for the purposes of this chapter, means services in addition to regular full-time employment, or, in the case of an unemployed person, services not in excess of 20 hours per week, excluding weekends. For the purposes of this chapter, contributions other than money or its equivalent shall be deemed to have a money value equivalent to the fair market value of the contribution. Sums paid for tickets to fundraising events such as dinners and parties are contributions; however, the amount of any such contribution may be reduced for the purpose of complying with the reporting requirements of this chapter, by the actual cost of consumables furnished in connection with the purchase of such tickets, and only the excess over the actual cost of such consumables shall be deemed a contribution.

F. “Election” includes any election for the city council and any election in which a ballot proposition is submitted to the voters of Mercer Island by the city.

G. “Election campaign” means any campaign in support of or in opposition to a candidate for election to the city council and any campaign in support of, or in opposition to a ballot proposition submitted to the voters of Mercer Island by the city.

H. “Expenditure” includes a payment, contribution, subscription, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable, to make an expenditure. The term “expenditure” also includes a promise to pay, a payment or a transfer of anything of value in exchange for goods, services, property, facilities, or anything of value for the purpose of assisting, benefiting, or honoring any public official or candidate, or assisting in furthering or opposing any election campaign. For the purposes of this chapter, agreements to make expenditures, contracts, and promises to pay may be reported as estimated obligations until actual payment is made. The term “expenditure” shall not include the partial or complete repayment by a candidate or political committee of the principal of a loan, the receipt of which loan has been properly reported, or payment of service charges against a political committee’s campaign account.

I. “Final report” means the report described as a final report in MICC 2.20.080B.

J. “Political committee” means any person (except a candidate or an individual dealing with his own funds or property) having the expectation of receiving contributions or making expenditures in support of, or opposition to, any candidate for election to city council or any ballot proposition submitted to the voters of Mercer Island by the city. (Ord. 387 § 2, 1975).

2.20.030 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter relating to election campaigns shall apply to elections to membership to city council and all ballot propositions submitted by the city to the voters of the city. (Ord. 387 § 3, 1975).

2.20.040 Obligation of political committees to file statement of organization.

A. Every political committee, within two weeks after its organization, or within two weeks after the date when it first has the expectation of receiving contributions or making expenditures in any election campaign, whichever is earlier, shall file a statement of organization with the city clerk.

B. The statement of organization shall include but not be limited to:

1. The name and address of the committee;

2. The names and addresses of all related or affiliated committees or other persons, and the nature of the relationship or affiliation;

3. The names, addresses and titles of its officers, or, if it has no officers, the names, addresses and titles of its responsible leaders;

4. The name and address of its campaign treasurer and campaign depository;

5. A statement whether the committee is a continuing one;

6. The name and office sought of each candidate whom the committee is supporting or opposing, and if the committee is supporting the entire ticket of any party, the name of the party;

7. The ballot proposition concerned, if any, and whether the committee is in favor of or opposed to such proposition;

8. What distribution of surplus funds will be made in the event of dissolution;

9. The street address of the place and the hours during which the committee will make available for public inspection its books of account and all reports filed in accordance with MICC 2.20.080;

10. Such other information as the city clerk may by regulation prescribe, in keeping with the policies and purposes of this chapter.

C. Any material change in information previously submitted in a statement of organization shall be reported to the city clerk within the 10 days following the change. (Ord. A-50 § 1, 1986; amended during 1980 codification; Ord. 387 § 4, 1975).

2.20.050 Campaign treasurer and depositories.

A. Each candidate, within two weeks after becoming a candidate, and each political committee at the time it is required to file a statement of organization, shall designate and file with the city clerk the names and addresses of:

1. One legally competent individual, who may be the candidate to serve as a campaign treasurer; and

2. One bank, mutual savings bank, savings and loan association or credit union doing business in this state to serve as campaign depository and the name of the account therein maintained.

B. A candidate, a political committee or a campaign treasurer may appoint as many deputy campaign treasurers as is considered necessary and may designate not more than one additional campaign depository. The candidate or political committee shall file the names and addresses of the deputy campaign treasurers and additional campaign depositories with the city clerk.

C. A candidate may not knowingly establish use, direct or control more than one political committee for the purpose of supporting that candidate during a particular election campaign. This does not prohibit (a) in addition to a candidate’s participation in a political committee established to support a slate of candidate’s which includes the candidate; or (b) joint fundraising efforts by candidates when a separate political committee is established for that purpose and all contributions are disbursed to and accounted for on a pro rata basis by the benefiting candidates.

D. 1. A candidate or political committee may at any time remove a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer or change a designated campaign depository.

2. In the event of the death, resignation, removal or change of a campaign treasurer or depository, the candidate or political committee shall designate and file with the city clerk the name and address of any successor.

E. No campaign treasurer, deputy campaign treasurer, or campaign depository shall be deemed to be in compliance with the provisions of this chapter until his name and address is filed with the city clerk. (Ord. A-50 § 2, 1986; amended during 1980 codification; Ord. 387 § 5, 1975).

2.20.060 Deposit of contributions – Investment of campaign funds – Unidentified contributions – Cash contributions.

A. All monetary contributions received by a candidate or political committee shall be deposited by the campaign treasurer or deputy treasurer in a campaign depository in an account established and designated for that purpose. Such deposits shall be made within five business days of receipt of the contribution.

B. Political committees which support or oppose more than one candidate or ballot proposition or exist for more than one purpose may maintain multiple separate bank accounts within the same designated depository for such purpose; provided, that each such account shall bear the same name followed by an appropriate designation which accurately identifies its separate purpose; and, provided further, that transfers of funds which must be reported under MICC 2.20.090A.4, as now or hereafter amended, may not be made from more than one such account.

C. Nothing in this section prohibits a candidate or political committee from investing funds on hand in a campaign depository in bonds, certificates or savings accounts or other similar savings instruments in financial institutions other than the campaign depository; provided, that the commission and the appropriate county elections officer is notified in writing of the initiation and the termination of the investment; provided further, that the principal of such investment when terminated together with all interest, dividends and income derived from the investment are deposited in the campaign depository in the account from which the investment was made and properly reported to the commission and the appropriate county elections officer prior to any further disposition or expenditures thereof.

D. Accumulated unidentified contributions, other than those made by persons whose names must be maintained on a separate and private list by a political committee’s campaign treasurer pursuant to MICC 2.20.090, which total in excess of one percent of the total accumulated contributions received in the current calendar year or $300 whichever is more, shall not be deposited, used or expended, but shall be returned to the donor if his identity can be ascertained. If the donor can not be ascertained, the contribution shall escheat to the state, and shall be paid to the State Treasurer for deposit in the estate general fund.

E. A contribution of more than $50 in currency may not be accepted unless a receipt, signed by the contributor and by the candidate, campaign treasurer, or deputy campaign treasurer, is prepared and made a part of the campaign or political committee’s financial records. (Ord. A-50 § 3, 1986; Ord. 485 § 1, 1979; Ord. 387 § 6, 1975).

2.20.070 Authorization and restriction of expenditures.

No expenditures shall be made or incurred by any candidate or political committee except on the authority of the campaign treasurer or the candidate, and a record of all such expenditures shall be maintained by the campaign treasurer. (Ord. 387 § 7, 1975).

2.20.080 Candidates’ and treasurers’ duty to report.

A. On the day the campaign treasurer is designated, each candidate or political committee shall file with the city clerk, in addition to any statement of organization required under MICC 2.20.040, a report of all contributions received and expenditures made in the election campaign prior to that date.

B. At the intervals set forth in RCW 42.17.060 currently or as hereafter amended each campaign treasurer shall file with the city clerk a further report of the contributions received and expenditures made since the date of the last report. (Ord. A-50 § 4, 1986; Ord. 387 § 8, 1975).

2.20.090 Contents of report.

Each report required under MICC 2.20.080 shall disclose for the period beginning at the end of the period for the last report or, in the case of an initial report, at the time of the first contribution or expenditure, and ending not more than five days prior to the date the report is due such information as is required by RCW 42.17.090 currently or as hereafter amended. (Ord. A-50 § 5, 1986; Ord. 387 § 9, 1975).

2.20.100 Identification of contributions and communications.

No contribution shall be made and no expenditure shall be incurred, directly or indirectly, in a fictitious name, anonymously, or by one person through an agent, relative, or other person in such a manner as to conceal the identity of the source of the contribution or in any other manner so as to effect concealment. (Ord. 387 § 10, 1975).

2.20.110 Name and address of printer, etc., and distributor of handbills.

It is unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, political committee, or organization of any kind to distribute, deposit, hand out, mail, or circulate in any other manner, in any place, any printed or written matter, any sample or device, any dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, newspaper, magazine, paper booklet, or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter or literature which purports to be in support of or in opposition to any candidate or ballot proposition which does not have printed on the cover, front or back thereof, the name and address of the following:

A. The person or legal entity who printed, wrote, compiled or manufactured the same; and

B. The person or legal entity who caused the same to be distributed; provided, however, that in the case of a fictitious person or legal entity in addition to such fictitious name, the true names and addresses of the owners, managers, or agents of the person or legal entity sponsoring said handbill shall also appear thereon. (Ord. 387 § 11, 1975).

2.20.120 Use of public office facilities in campaign prohibited.

No elective official, nor any employee of his office nor any person appointed to or employed by any public office or agency may use or authorize the use of any of the facilities of his public office or agency, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of assisting a campaign for election of any person to any office or for the promotion or opposition to any ballot proposition. Facilities of public office or agency include but are not limited to use of stationery, postage, machines and equipment, use of employees of the office or agency during working hours, vehicles, office space, publications of the office or agency and clientele lists of persons served by the office or agency; provided, the foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply to the following activities:

A. Action taken at an open public meeting by members of an elected legislative body to express a collective decision, or to actually vote upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order or ordinance, or to support or oppose a ballot proposition so long as (1) any required notice of the meeting includes the title and number of the ballot proposition, and (2) members of the legislative body or members of the public are afforded an approximately equal opportunity for the expression of an opposing view;

B. A statement by an elected official in support of or in opposition to any ballot proposition at an open press conference or in response to a specific inquiry;

C. Activities which are part of the normal and regular conduct of the office or agency. (Ord. A-50 § 6, 1986; Ord. 387 § 12, 1975).

2.20.130 Report forms.

A. Information required to be reported under the provisions of this chapter shall be reported on the forms which are utilized in reporting to the public disclosure commission.

B. Copies of the forms which are required to be forwarded to the public disclosure commission may be submitted to the city clerk in satisfaction of the reporting requirements of this chapter. (Amended during 1980 codification; Ord. 387 § 13, 1975).

2.20.140 Enforcement.

A. If the court finds that a violation of any provision of this chapter by any candidate or political committee probably affected the outcome of any election, the result of said election may be held void and a special election held as soon as practicable as determined by the court. Any action to void an election shall be commenced within one year of the date of the election in question.

B. Any person, including a candidate or political committee, who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $500 or be imprisoned for a period not to exceed 90 days, or both so fined and imprisoned. (Amended during 1980 codification; Ord. 387 § 14, 1975).