Brian McClatchey, City Council Policy Advisor, No Phone Number Available
Monday, November 12, 2018 at 4:32 p.m.
Are you interested in running for Mayor, Spokane City Council, or Municipal Court Judge? If so, you should know about the newly-enacted Spokane Fair Elections Code. To help candidates stay informed and remain in compliance with City campaign finance law, the City has crafted a candidate guide which provides helpful hints and contacts to help you stay in compliance with state law. You can find a copy of this guide here (PDF 834 KB). The rest of this post provides a quick rundown of the City of Spokane’s Fair Elections Code.
In late 2017, the Spokane City Council adopted the Spokane Fair Elections Code. This Code is a package of regulations for the fair conduct of elections for local elected office in Spokane public offices, and aims to ensure a high degree of transparency in the conduct of our local elections.
The Fair Elections Code prohibits candidates for local public office from soliciting and receiving contributions from individuals and entities who have or had contracts with the City of Spokane valued over $50,000 in the two years prior to the candidate’s election cycle. The City provides a database of City contractors which can be accessed here. Candidates may also search for the value of contracts at the City’s Public Records portal.
Under the City’s new campaign finance rules, nonprofits engaging in political activity (also known as “incidental committees”) may be required to file with the state Public Disclosure Commission or with the City of Spokane. If these nonprofits make or plan to make contributions or expenditures in excess of $5,000 in a local election, the incidental committee must fill out the incidental committee form and disclose the top ten contributions over $500. The incidental committee must update this form with the City of Spokane each time there is a change to the top ten contributors to the incidental committee.
Candidates for local office are also prohibited from soliciting and receiving contributions from foreign-owned entities. Candidates must obtain verification from the contributor that they are not foreign-owned at the time of the contribution. To certify, candidates should use the affidavit provided by the city here. (PDF 80 KB)
The City of Spokane’s Contract and Business Standards Compliance Office is the agency which has the responsibility for enforcing the Spokane Fair Elections Code. Individuals who believe a candidate is not in compliance with the Spokane Fair Elections Code may submit a detailed description of the violation.
If you have any questions, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.