This Note engages in three areas of analysis. Part II reviews the case of Telford v. Thurston County Board of Commissioner, which, for the first time in Washington State, confronted the issue of whether associations of state officials or agencies are the equivalent of agencies for purposes of the state Public Disclosure Act. Part III examines the broader implications of Telford: (1) whether the principles in Telford should be applied to other state safeguards and restrictions on government agencies, such as the state Open Public Meetings Act, (2) whether the constitutional requirement of one-person-one-vote should be applied to associations of officials that pass resolutions, lobby, and spend tax funds on political call and (3) whether associations of officials and agencies are the equivalent of agencies, acting as “shadow governments,” doing indirectly what public agencies cannot do directly, and thereby avoiding public accountability. Part IV discusses whether the legislature has allowed the delegation of too much power and whether it should (1) restrict associations of government officials or agencies to narrowly defined, nondiscretionary information activities, and (2) open these associations to more effective public disclosure requirements than those provided in existing law, such as a requirement that all association activity be placed on publicly available Internet sites—an Internet Sunshine Law.
Leslie L. Marshall, Telford: Casting Sunlight on Shadow Governments—Limits to the Delegation of Government Power to Associations of Officials and Agencies , 24 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 139 (2000).