In the lead up to election day on November 8th, many employees are engaging in water cooler conversations regarding candidates and issues. Our internal Ethics Policy (GA-23) as well as RCW and WAC speak to where the line is drawn. While we all want and should encourage civil discourse, please familiarize yourself with the state and college guidelines so no one inadvertently runs afoul of them.
- RCW 42.52.180: Use of public resources for political campaigns
- WAC 292-110-030: Measurable expenditure
Excerpt from Green River’s Policy, GA-23:
“Use of Public Resources for Political Campaigns
Employees and officers of the college are prohibited from using college facilities to assist a political candidate’s election campaign or to promote or oppose a ballot proposition. The law broadly defines the term “facilities” to include, but not be limited to, stationery, postage, machines, equipment, office space, vehicles, publications, and the use of state employees during working hours, and clientele lists of persons served by the agency. For example, the use of e-mail to encourage letter-writing campaigns to promote candidates or a ballot measure is prohibited.
An employee may also violate the ethics law if she/he lets someone else use public resources for political campaigns.
An exception to this rule permits activities that are the normal and regular conduct of a state agency, such as renting property under customary rental arrangements or providing a college ‘neutral forum’ for political presentations.”