Chapter 1.30
CAMPAIGN FINANCE PROVISIONS

Sections:

1.30.010    Intent.

1.30.015    Definitions.

1.30.020    Limits on timing of contributions.

1.30.030    Limits on contributions.

1.30.035    Enforcement process.

1.30.040    Civil violation.

1.30.010 Intent.

A. It is the public policy of the City:

1. That political campaign contributions and expenditures be fully disclosed to the public and that secrecy in the sources and application of such contributions be avoided;

2. That the people have the right to expect from their elected representatives the utmost integrity, honesty and fairness in their dealings;

3. That the people shall be assured that the private financial dealings of their public officials, and of candidates for those offices, present no conflict of interest between the public trust and private interest;

4. That our representative form of government is founded on a belief that those entrusted with the offices of government have nothing to fear from full public disclosure of their financial and business holdings, provided those officials deal honestly and fairly with the people;

5. That public confidence in municipal government is essential and must be promoted by all possible means;

6. That public confidence in municipal government can best be sustained by assuring the people of the impartiality and honesty of the officials in all public transactions and decisions;

7. That small contributions by individual contributors are to be encouraged;

8. That the public’s right to know of the financing of political campaigns far outweighs any right that this matter remain secret and private;

9. That, mindful of the right of individuals to privacy and of the desirability of the efficient administration of government, full access to information concerning the conduct of municipal government must be assured as a fundamental and necessary precondition to the sound governance of a free society; and

10. That, while a candidate’s contributions of his or her own resources cannot be limited under law, candidates for municipal government offices are encouraged to engage in fair play and respect the spirit of our community by not utilizing excessive amounts of self-funding during a campaign.

B. The provisions of this section shall be liberally construed to promote complete disclosure of all information respecting the financing of political campaigns so as to assure continuing public confidence of fairness of elections, so as to assure that the public interest will be fully protected. In promoting such complete disclosure, however, this section shall be enforced so as to ensure that the information disclosed will not be misused by arbitrary and capricious purposes and to ensure that all persons reporting under this chapter will be protected from harassment and unfounded allegations based on information they have freely disclosed.

C. Further, it is the intent of the Council that this chapter be interpreted and applied consistent with the de minimus maxim, that inadvertent minor violations of this chapter may be corrected and cured without full penalty in a manner consistent with the spirit and intent of this chapter. (Ord. 2554 § 1, 2009).

1.30.015 Definitions.

A. Unless otherwise enumerated in this section, all relevant definitions associated with this chapter shall be those found in RCW 42.17.020, as now exists or as may hereafter be amended.

B. “Election cycle” means that period of time from January 1st of the year in which an election for citywide office is held until 14 days after the date of that general election. (Ord. 2554 § 1, 2009).

1.30.020 Limits on timing of contributions.

A candidate for Mayor or member of the City Council may only accept or receive a campaign contribution during an election cycle. (Ord. 2554 § 1, 2009).

1.30.030 Limits on contributions.

A. Limits. No candidate for Mayor or member of the City Council shall solicit or accept campaign contributions of more than $500.00 from any person in any election cycle, as reflected on candidate filings with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission.

B. Exceptions.

1. The limitations imposed by this chapter shall not apply to a candidate’s contributions of his or her own resources to his or her own campaign, or contributions to the candidate’s campaign by the candidate or the candidate’s spouse of assets of their marital community;

2. The limitations imposed by this chapter apply to contributions of the candidate’s spouse’s separate property;

3. The limitations imposed by this chapter shall not apply to contributions consisting of the rendering of clerical or computer services on behalf of a candidate or an authorized political committee, to the extent that the services are for the purpose of ensuring compliance with City, county or state election or public disclosure laws.

C. Candidate filings with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission shall constitute the only evidence of contributions received during an election cycle for the purposes of enforcement of the penalty for violation as described in IMC 1.30.040. (Ord. 2554 § 1, 2009).

1.30.035 Enforcement process.

A. Any person who has knowledge of a violation committed by any candidate may file a complaint in writing with the City Code Compliance Officer. The complaint must set forth specific facts detailing the alleged violation, including: the amounts of the contributions accepted or received; the name of the candidate receiving the contribution(s); and the name(s) of the contributor(s). The complaint must include the name, address, and telephone number of the person submitting the complaint.

B. Upon report of an alleged violation of this chapter to the Code Compliance Officer, that individual shall investigate whether a violation has occurred within 10 days of the date such violation is reported. If the allegation appears substantiated by the records of the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, a civil violation action shall be filed against the alleged violator candidate with the Issaquah Municipal Court. The candidate shall have 15 days in which to respond to the civil violation, and may either pay the fine, or request a hearing in the Issaquah Municipal Court. Failure of the candidate to respond as set forth above shall result in a default judgment. A time payment plan for payment of the monetary penalty may be set up through the Issaquah Municipal Court. (Ord. 2554 § 1, 2009).

1.30.040 Civil violation.

A. Civil Violation. Any person who shall commit any violation of the provisions as set forth in this chapter shall have committed a civil violation and, upon finding by the Issaquah Municipal Court that such civil violation has been committed, shall pay a monetary penalty to the City of Issaquah equivalent to the monetary amount of contributions above $500.00 received by the candidate, in the aggregate, from the source giving rise to a violation during the election cycle. Should the violation occur outside an election cycle, the penalty shall be equivalent to the full aggregate contribution amount received from the source giving rise to the violation.

B. Any appeal from the Municipal Court’s decision shall be to the King County Superior Court. (Ord. 2554 § 1, 2009).