Type Complaint Opinion 
Date 4/18/1996 
Number 96-03 
Topic Legislative newsletter - partisan messages - normal and regular conduct 
Respondent Rep. Duane Sommers, Rep. Jean Silver 
Question/Complaint
Does the inclusion of a questionnarie in a newsletter render the document something other than a newsletter in an election year when mailings are restricted to newsletters?  Is it "normal and regular conduct" for a newsletter to describe the legislator's agenda and points of view on a partisan basis?
Summary
A questionnaire may  be included in a newsletter without changing its classification as a newsletter.  It is normal and regular conduct to report to consitutents on issues which will be taken up in a legislative session and it is acceptable to express positions in partisan terms.  Board warned that a newsletter solely devoted to national issues not tied to state legislative issues would be a concern.  RCW 42.17.1321 and 42.52.180.
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