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“intermediary” for a contribution and also prohibits an individual from making a contrib
“on behalf of another” without providing to the recipient certain specified information about the
But this law must be read in context and must not violate either federallaw or the Washington or United States Constitutions.
The complete picture therefore includes review of other applicable law. Committees areexpressly permitted to utilize the services of volunteers, which could include parishioners orother church attendees.
Churches may contribute directly to ballot committees,
expenditures without incurring any reporting obligation,
and may make additionaldirect and in-kind contributions to the committee without triggering registration or reportingobligations other than an occasional obligation to provide the committee with the value of its in-kind contribution so the committee may report the same.
The law also specifically contemplates
“contributions” made “
either directly or indirectly
” from any person to committees and further
instructs how t
hose contributions are to be treated under Washington’s campaign finance law.
There is no question that, at a minimum, a church may allow a Preserve MarriageWashington volunteer or volunteers (who may be deacons, elders, lay-leaders, ushers, thespeaker making the weekly announcements, or any other individual(s) in the church) to distributematerial related to Referendum 74, including envelopes for donations; collect the envelopes withthe donations and required contributor information; and work with Preserve MarriageWashington to send the same to Preserve Marriage Washington at PO Box 13350, Mill Creek,WA 98082.
If these procedures are followed, a church is not transmitting contributions inviolation of Washington law. It is my understanding that this is how the churches are proposingto facilitate the collection of contributions.Without question, a church may accommodate Preserve Marriage Washington, and allowPreserve Marriage Washington to collect contributions from parishioners, members andattendees. The church is not delivering or transmitting the contributions to you.
RCW § 42.17A.470.
WAC § 390-05-040.
RCW § 42.17A.005 and WAC § 390-17-405.
RCW 42.17A.405(12) (listing the corporate and labor union contribution prohibitions tocandidates and political committees supporting or opposing candidates).
Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church of East Helena, Inc. v. Unsworth
, 556 F.3d 1021 (9th Cir.2009).
See RCW § 42.17A.005(37).
RCW § 42.17A.460.
Each individual collecting the funds and transmitting them to Preserve Marriage Washingtonshould provide to Preserve Marriage Washington his or her full name, street address, occupation,name of employer, if any, or place of business if self-employed, the address of the employer, andthe same information for each contributor.
RCW §§ 42.17A.470(2); 42.17A.235 and WAC 390-16-034. Any contribution in excess of $90 per contributor should be by written instrument suchas a check or money order.
RCW § 42.17A.475 and WAC § 390-05-400.