Type Complaint Opinion 
Date 10/23/2003 
Number 03-10 
Topic Campaign use of public resources - email 
Respondent Rep. Geoff Simpson 
Question/Complaint
The complaint alleges the Respondent violated RCW 42.52.050 by gaining access to, and using, a confidential list of e mail addresses and violated RCW 42.52.180 by using state resources to send e mail regarding the sponsor of an initiative - a pending ballot measure.
Summary

The Board cited C03-02 where it dismissed the complaint based on its holding that the courts have primary jurisdiction to interpret the public records act.  In addition, the Board noted that there is no statute or legislative policy that makes confidential the e mail address of a citizen who sends an e mail, or is cc'd on an e mail, received by a legislator.  On the substantive issue of whether the content of the e-mail may be viewed as a use of public resources in opposition to a pending ballot measure, the Board concluded the e mail's incidential references to that measure were in the context of political debate that was occurring in the Legislature, permissible under either (2)(c) or (2)(d) of RCW 42.52.180.  Complaint dismissed for lack of reasonable cause.

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