Type Complaint Opinion 
Date 3/18/1999 
Number 98-03 
Topic Publication on ballot measure - normal and regular conduct - de minimis 
Respondent Rep. Karen Schmidt, Rep. Tom Huff 
Question/Complaint
Respondents requested and approved 107 page booklet prepared by staff to be distributed at public expense.  Booklet addressed a ballot measure, contained language favoring one side of the issue and referred to opponent's postion as "the big lie."
Summary
This use of public facilities violated RCW 42.52.180.  Presentation or distribution of information that suggests it is intended to solicit support or opposition to a ballot measure is a violation, AO's 95-18 and 96-11.  Tone, tenor and content were issues.  Exceptions to .180 and allowance for "de minimis use" are narrowly construed.  Legislators are ultimately responsible for their communications.  Reimbursement ordered.
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