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WAC 390-16-058

Independent expenditureDefinition and application.

(1) "Independent expenditure," as that term is used in chapter 42.17A RCW and in these rules, except RCW 42.17A.255, means an "expenditure" as defined in RCW 42.17A.005 that has each of the following elements:
(a) It is made in support of or in opposition to a candidate for public office subject to the filing requirements in chapter 42.17A RCW, by a person who is not:
(i) A candidate for that office;
(ii) An authorized committee of that candidate for that office;
(iii) A person who has received the candidate's encouragement or approval to make the expenditure, if the expenditure pays in whole or in part for any political advertising supporting that candidate or promoting the defeat of any other candidate or candidates for that office.
(b) It is made in support of any or in opposition to a candidate for office by a person with whom the candidate has not collaborated for the purpose of making the expenditure, if the expenditure pays in whole or in part for any political advertising supporting that candidate or promoting the defeat of any other candidate or candidates for that office;
(c) The expenditure pays in whole or in part for any political advertising that either specifically names the candidate supported or opposed, or clearly and beyond any doubt identifies the candidate without using the candidate's name;
(d) The expenditure, alone or in conjunction with another expenditure or other expenditures of the same person in support of or opposition to that candidate, has a value equal to or greater than one-half the contribution limit from an individual per election. A series of expenditures, each of which is under one-half the contribution limit from an individual per election, constitutes one independent expenditure if their cumulative value is equal to or greater than one-half the contribution limit from an individual per election; and
(e) The expenditure is not a contribution as defined in RCW 42.17A.005 and clarified by WAC 390-05-210.
(2) Exempt activities. The following activities are not considered independent expenditures for purposes of RCW 42.17A.255, 42.17A.630, or 42.17A.320:
(a) Ordinary home hospitality;
(b) A news item, feature, commentary, or editorial, or communications with journalists or editorial staff designed to elicit the same, in a regularly scheduled news medium that is of primary interest to the general public, that is in a news medium controlled by a person whose business is that news medium, and that is not controlled by a candidate or a political committee;
(c) Participation in the creation of a publicly funded voters' pamphlet statement in written or video form;
(d) An internal political communication primarily limited to:
(i) The members of or contributors to a political party organization or political committee;
(ii) The officers, management staff or stockholders of a corporation or similar enterprise; or
(iii) The members of a labor organization or other membership organization.
(e) Messages in the form of reader boards, banners, or yard or window signs displayed on a person's own property or the property occupied by a person. However, a facility used for such political advertising for which a rental charge is normally made shall be reported as an in-kind contribution at its fair market value and counts toward any applicable contribution limit of the person providing the facility; or
(f) The rendering of personal services of the sort commonly performed by volunteer campaign workers or incidental expenses personally incurred by volunteer campaign workers not in excess of two hundred fifty dollars personally paid by the worker.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 42.17A.110(1) and 2018 c 304. WSR 18-24-074, § 390-16-058, filed 11/30/18, effective 12/31/18.]
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