Declaration of policy.
It is hereby declared by the sovereign people to be the public policy of the state of Washington:
(1) That political campaign and lobbying contributions and expenditures be fully disclosed to the public and that secrecy is to be avoided.
(2) That the people have the right to expect from their elected representatives at all levels of government the utmost of 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 government at all levels is essential and must be promoted by all possible means.
(6) That public confidence in government at all levels can best be sustained by assuring the people of the impartiality and honesty of the officials in all public transactions and decisions.
(7) That the concept of attempting to increase financial participation of individual contributors in political campaigns is encouraged by the passage of the Revenue Act of 1971 by the Congress of the United States, and in consequence thereof, it is desirable to have implementing legislation at the state level.
(8) That the concepts of disclosure and limitation of election campaign financing are established by the passage of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 by the Congress of the United States, and in consequence thereof it is desirable to have implementing legislation at the state level.
(9) That small contributions by individual contributors are to be encouraged, and that not requiring the reporting of small contributions may tend to encourage such contributions.
(10) That the public's right to know of the financing of political campaigns and lobbying and the financial affairs of elected officials and candidates far outweighs any right that these matters remain secret and private.
(11) 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 government on every level must be assured as a fundamental and necessary precondition to the sound governance of a free society.
The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to promote complete disclosure of all information respecting the financing of political campaigns and lobbying, and the financial affairs of elected officials and candidates, and full access to public records so as to assure continuing public confidence of fairness of elections and governmental processes, and so as to assure that the public interest will be fully protected. In promoting such complete disclosure, however, this chapter shall be enforced so as to insure that the information disclosed will not be misused for arbitrary and capricious purposes and to insure that all persons reporting under this chapter will be protected from harassment and unfounded allegations based on information they have freely disclosed.
[1975 1st ex.s. c 294 § 1; 1973 c 1 § 1 (Initiative Measure No. 276, approved November 7, 1972). Formerly RCW 42.17.010.]