Washington Revised Code Title 42. Public Officers and Agencies § 42.17A.335. Political advertising or electioneering communication--Libel or defamation per se

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(1) It is a violation of this chapter for a person to sponsor with actual malice a statement constituting libel or defamation per se under the following circumstances:

(a) Political advertising or an electioneering communication that contains a false statement of material fact about a candidate for public office;

(b) Political advertising or an electioneering communication that falsely represents that a candidate is the incumbent for the office sought when in fact the candidate is not the incumbent;

(c) Political advertising or an electioneering communication that makes either directly or indirectly, a false claim stating or implying the support or endorsement of any person or organization when in fact the candidate does not have such support or endorsement.

(2) For the purposes of this section, “libel or defamation per se” means statements that tend (a) to expose a living person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy, or to deprive him or her of the benefit of public confidence or social intercourse, or to injure him or her in his or her business or occupation, or (b) to injure any person, corporation, or association in his, her, or its business or occupation.

(3) It is not a violation of this section for a candidate or his or her agent to make statements described in subsection (1)(a) or (b) of this section about the candidate himself or herself because a person cannot defame himself or herself.  It is not a violation of this section for a person or organization referenced in subsection (1)(c) of this section to make a statement about that person or organization because such persons and organizations cannot defame themselves.

(4) Any violation of this section shall be proven by clear and convincing evidence.  If a violation is proven, damages are presumed and do not need to be proven.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Washington Revised Code Title 42. Public Officers and Agencies § 42.17A.335. Political advertising or electioneering communication--Libel or defamation per se - last updated April 06, 2022 | https://codes.findlaw.com/wa/title-42-public-officers-and-agencies/wa-rev-code-42-17a-335.html


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