Posted by: sweeneyblog | March 11, 2014

Rep. Vincent Buys Appears to Break State Fundraising Laws

Rep. Vincent Buys

Rep. Vincent Buys

UPDATE: I spoke with Lori Anderson with the Public Disclosure Commission and asked her point blank if  sending out invitations of a campaign kickoff during the session against the rules. “Yes. That is definitely prohibited.”

While the state Legislature is in session, sitting legislators are strictly prohibited from raising or soliciting campaign donations. The Public Disclosure Commission is very clear about this, “During a legislative freeze period, a state elected official may NOT solicit or accept contributions.”

Furthermore, “Caucus political committees and other persons who are employed by or act on behalf of state officials are also prohibited from soliciting or accepting contributions for the above purposes during a freeze period.”  In plain speak, neither a candidate, nor anyone on behalf of a candidate, can ask for money while the state Legislature is in session.

Rep. Vincent Buys appears to have violated this law recently. I heard reports that invitations to a campaign fundraiser had arrived at Whatcom households over the weekend and when I checked facebook, Buys had created a campaign event and invited attendees. See below for screenshots of facebook event.

This seems to be a reasonably textbook violation of the laws. An invitation to a fundraiser is a pretty clear solicitation for funds, and the state Legislature is still in session. I have called Buys soliciting comment, and called the chair of the local Whatcom Democrats to see if they will file a PDC complaint. I will update this story as it develops.

Date posted: March 8th

Date posted: March 8th

Buys created the event March 6th

Buys created the event March 6th



  1. These guys are so plugged up with corporate buyoffs they don’t know when to quit! You’d have thought that their CEO masters would have given them ENOUGH!

  2. This law is not that hard to follow.

    I have heard of candidates getting into hot water when there was a special session and something they’d scheduled in advance, but this was a short and regular session. It’s been on his calendar forever. No confusion about dates. No confusion about what the law says. And yet…he didn’t follow it. This is disappointing.

  3. It might be disappointing to people like Lisa but it’s not at all surprising.

  4. I really don’t see how inviting people to your birthday party/campaign kick off is soliciting funds. Nowhere in the invite does he ask for money or specifically solicit funds. Nice try tho Riley, I know you really, really wanted it to be a violation.

    • I just checked with the PDC – it is a violation of the law.

  5. So far as I can tell Vince Checked with the lawyer at PDC Lawyer says communication okay if it does not mention soliciting funds. His invite does not.

    Now Riley quotes PDC in such a way that he looks bad. What else is new with PDC Democrat Partnership

    • You know of a campaign kickoff where funds are not solicited? (aside from Bob Burr)

    • Wayne, you and members of your party need to grow up and refer to Democrats by their proper name: the DemocratIC Party. Would you like to be referred to as a member of the Republic Party? Or how about the Repugnican Party?

  6. […] the Whatcom Democrats have filed a PDC complaint over Rep. Vincent Buys fundraising attempts during the legislative freeze. From their press release, “This isn’t a gray area: state elected officials and their staff […]

  7. […] still have a couple of big articles in the queue: a follow-up about Gary Goldfogel, a follow-up on Vincent Buys PDC complaint and the last legislative update post. But for now, let’s cover some odds and […]

  8. […] investigated Rep. Vincent Buys alleged violations of campaign fundraising laws and responded. I first identified them in my article here, and as a result, the Whatcom Democrats filed a PDC […]

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