Update: Two candidates list public e-mails as campaign contacts | Political Notebook
August 18, 2009 · Updated 5:37 PM
Editor's note: Both candidates named in this story have said they will change or have changed the e-mail addresses they are using in relation to their campaigns. They said they did not know that using taxpayer supported e-mails for personal political campaigns was improper.
Two candidates for office on San Juan Island may want to change the e-mail addresses they are using in relation to their campaigns.
On the contact information they provided for the county voters pamphlet, Town Council candidate Noel Monin listed his e-mail address at San Juan Island Fire Department; Port Commission candidate Greg Hertel listed his e-mail address at the port district.
Monin is a captain and maintenance supervisor at the fire department. Hertel is a port commissioner.
While some might see the e-mail use as a minor slip, state law — specifically RCW 42.17.130 — prohibits the use of "public office or agency facilities" in campaigns.
"They shouldn't be doing that," said Lori Anderson, communications and training officer for the state Public Disclosure Commission. She indicated her office would contact the candidates.
The state law says, "No elective official nor any employee of his [or her] office nor any person appointed to or employed by any public office or agency may use or authorize the use of any of the facilities of a public office or agency, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of assisting a campaign for election of any person to any office or for the promotion of or opposition to any ballot proposition.
"Facilities of a public office or agency include, but are not limited to, use of stationery, postage, machines, and equipment, use of employees of the office or agency during working hours, vehicles, office space, publications of the office or agency, and clientele lists of persons served by the office or agency."