Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oops! Potential Ethics Violation from Fletcher support group

The most recent Fletcher ad on TV looks just like the other one.  That's because it is the same ad - with a different disclosure.

Nathan Fletcher for Mayor (the committee) produced an ad that ran on TV with the Fletcher for Mayor disclosure. But just this weekend, another substantially similar ad (actually, exactly the same except for the last card) aired, with the disclosure from the pro-Fletcher Restoring Trust in San Diego independent expenditure.  That's an election no-no.

If the IE committee duplicates an ad designed, produced, paid for, or distributed by the candidate that's not an independent payment. Independent expenditure committees, like the name says, has to expend money independent from the candidate's campaign.

Here it is in black and white from the Ethics Commission:
When a committee makes a payment that advocates for or against a City candidate, it is presumed that the payment is not “independent” if:
  • it is based on information about the candidate's campaign needs or plans that the candidate has provided to the committee, or
  • it is made by or through an agent of the candidate in the course of the agent's involvement in the current campaign, or
  • the committee retains the services of a person who provides the candidate with professional services related to campaign or fundraising strategy for that election, or
  • the communication duplicates, in whole or in substantial part, a communication designed, produced, paid for, or distributed by the candidate.
See for yourself:
Here is the link to Fletcher's ad:

And attached is the ad from the IE.

And here's a screen shot of the disclaimer:

 Sure looks like someone isn't so independent.

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