Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

What Is the Proper Measure of Damages for Violations of Washington’s Fair Campaign Practices Act?

February 2022 Bar Bulletin

By Christopher L. Young

State v. Groc. Mfrs. Ass’n, No. 99407-2 (Jan. 20, 2022). At issue: whether the penalty for the intentional concealment of the source of political contributions may be based on the amount concealed. In a split decision, Washington’s Supreme Court answered in the affirmative.

Washington’s Constitution empowers Washington voters to propose and enact laws.1 Through this constitutional mechanism, Washington voters proposed and enacted the Fair Campaign Practices Act.2 Among other things, the Act requires candidates, political committees, and lobbyists to disclose campaign contributions and spending.3

The public interest in such disclosures far outweighs any confidentiality or privacy...

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