State board says billboards without disclosure do not violate rules

The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosures Board investigated complaints about a dual candidate billboard on display in Rockwell City and other locations in the region, finding the billboards did not violate a state requirement to display a line stating who paid for them.

Director and Counsel Megan Tooker said she looked into the complaint about the billboards, which were paid for by the campaigns for Democratic candidates Jake Thompson and John O’Brien. The complaint sought an opinion on whether the billboards should have contained a “paid for by” disclosure statement. Thompson is running for the state House, while O’Brien is running for the state Senate.

“A 20 foot billboard with your face on it is not exactly the place to hide a violation,” Thompson said in an email Friday afternoon.

The Graphic-Advocate learned of the complaint Oct. 23; an initial email to Tooker about the situation did not receive a reply. A follow up Nov. 2, too late for an article prior to the Nov. 6 General Election, did.

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