Type Advisory Opinion 
Date 9/4/1996 
Number 96-11 
Topic Press releases - Normal and Regular Conduct 
Respondent  
Issue/Question
At issue in this opinion was whether legislators could use public resources to issue a press release in response to the Governor's criticism of tax cuts and those legislator/candidates who supported the cuts.
Summary
The Board said that the issuance of press releases to inform constituents about legislative matters is well within the traditional understanding of legislative duty.  In addition, in determining whether a particular responsive press release qualifies as "normal and regular conduct: pursuant to RCW 42.52.180, the Board will consider (1) the timeliness of the response, (2) the proximity of the response to an election, (3) the relevance of the response to a legislative issue and to the initial outside statement, (4) the source of the initial outside statement, and (5) the tone and tenor of the response.  Self-initiated press releases from legislators, using public resources, are very different from responses to outside sources and deserve a highler level of scrutiny.
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