Barrasso Files Complaint About Dodson Ads
Senator John Barrasso has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission about his Republican opponent Dave Dodson.
Barrasso’s office says, the latest TV ads run by the Dodson campaign lack the familiar tag line that the advertisement was paid for and approved by the campaign and the candidate.
In addition, the Barrasso complaint contends that since the ads lack these identifiers, they do not qualify the favorable advertising rates given to political ads.
Here is the pertinent section of the FEC regulations for political ads...
Both authorized and unauthorized television communications must also contain a “clearly readable” written statement that appears at the end of the communication, for a period of at least four seconds with a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background and the disclaimer statement. The written statement must occupy at least 4% of the vertical picture height, and it must be shown for a period of four seconds.
Authorized by candidate’s committee – the “stand by your ad” provision
In addition to the requirements noted under “Wording of disclaimer notice," radio and television communications (or any broadcast, cable or satellite transmission) that are authorized or paid for by a campaign require additional language. For such ads, the candidate must deliver an audio statement identifying himself or herself and stating that he or she has approved of the communication. For example, “I am [candidate’s name], a candidate for [federal office sought], and I approved this advertisement.”
In a television ad, the disclaimer must be conveyed by:
A full-screen view of the candidate making the statement; or
A voiceover by the candidate with an image of the candidate occupying no less than 80% of the vertical screen height.
Additionally, television communications must contain a clearly readable written statement of approval, similar to what is spoken, that appears at the end of the communication for a period of at least four seconds with a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background and the disclaimer statement (for example, black text on white background). The written statement must occupy at least 4% of the vertical picture height.
Dave Dodson has replied to the complaint with the following statement.
Dodson for Senate Response to Barrasso FEC Suit
Greybull, WY- August 15, 2018- Dave Dodson said, “John Barrasso has filed a suit with the Federal Election Commission complaining that in a series of ads where I introduce myself with my real name, show my real face, use my real voice, in my real RV and end with ‘Dodson for Senate’ across the screen, that I confused voters that it was really me. After I got done laughing, I went back to knocking on doors in Greybull.”
The Dodson for Senate campaign has posted the complaint on their website and encourages Wyoming voters to take a look and have a laugh.
There has been no response from the FEC yet.