AG Ferguson: Google will pay more than $423,000 over repeated violations of Washington campaign finance law

Sunday, June 20, 2021

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today Google will pay $423,659.76 to Washington’s Public Disclosure Transparency Account for violating the state’s campaign finance disclosure law, which Washingtonians adopted by initiative in 1972.

Washington’s voter-approved Fair Campaign Practices Act requires political advertisers to retain records related to political ads because the public has a right to inspect the records, including the cost of the ad, the sponsor, and the person paying for the advertisement. Ferguson’s lawsuit followed Google’s failure to retain and disclose state political ad records.

This is the second time Ferguson has taken legal action against Google for violating Washington’s voter-approved law on political advertising. 

In June 2018, the Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against Google for similar conduct. Ferguson’s 2018 lawsuit resulted in Google paying a $200,000 judgment and an additional $17,000 to reimburse the state’s attorney fees. This case involves approximately one-third the amount of ad expenditures as the 2018 lawsuit. In this case, Google is paying double that judgment amount, in addition to attorney fees.

“Google is one of the largest corporations in the world, and should be able to figure out how to follow our campaign finance laws,” Ferguson said. “Today’s judgment is twice as high as the one Google paid in 2018. Repeat violators of Washington’s voter-approved campaign transparency laws will be held accountable.”

More information here.


Anonymous,  June 20, 2021 at 8:24 AM  

While I do not care for or agree with Ferguson. I can at least find some common ground for the law here. Although the amount the Ferguson is getting is nothing to Google since Google makes that amount back in mere minutes. So paying these mere 'pennies' are not gonna stop Google repeating this violation in the future.

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