FAQ on 43rd District Democrats PAC Closure

Originally Published Dec 08 2017

How will the 43rd District Democrats continue to operate?

The 43rd District Democrats have not participated in traditional PAC activities in many years, such as donating money to candidates or running a separate campaign for candidates. The only change for our members is that we will no longer print a sample ballot. We will continue working to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, we will endorse candidates, and members will see very few changes to how we operate. 

What is a Political Action Committee (PAC)?

The Public Disclosure Committee outlines that you become a political action committee “when you first have the expectation of receiving contributions or making expenditures in support of, or opposition to, any candidate or any ballot proposition.” Courts have clarified that supporting or opposing candidates must be one of the group’s primary purposes to qualify as a PAC.

Why did the 43rd District Democrats close their PAC?

The executive board determined that continuing to operate a PAC was not in line with the current goals of the organization and that it was too much risk considering that our only PAC activity was printing a sample ballot. It made sense to close.

Why was this decision made by the executive board alone?

This was an emergency situation, and the executive board needed to exercise its implied authority to take actions for the best interests of the organization. Given the pending litigation, executive session needed to be invoked to protect the district.

Why did the 43rd executive board send money to the Washington State Democrats?

When a PAC is closed, the funds that have been collected must be disbursed. There were few options presented to the board by our legal counsel. We felt sending the money to the State Party was most in line with the intention of our donors. 

How will members be informed of changes?

We are committed to transparency and openness to our members. We will share what we can, recognizing that other legislative districts are in the midst of pending litigation, which complicates what we are able to share in public. We promise to keep our members up to date as we work through this and we will endeavor to keep our members informed promptly. We will share updates through our website, Facebook page, and by email. We will continue to discuss this issue with our members at our January meeting and we always welcome emails to be sent to our communications team at communications@43rddems.org.