In the Matter of a Complaint: by Jeffrey Shorts, Coventry
A candidate's campaign flyer that promotes the candidate and that does not include the "paid for" and "approved by" information can violate Connecticut General Statutes §9-621(a). In April 2012, John Murphy announced his intention to campaign for state representative and allegedly handed out a flyer that included his qualifications. The candidate made the expenditure for the campaign flyer without the knowledge or authorization of his campaign treasurer. Murphy allegedly used his home computer to prepare the flyer, which included the statements, "He will be a steadfast advocate for the people of the 8th General Assembly District" and "He'll not only give the 8th Assembly District a new voice in Hartford, he'll make sure our voice is heard." The press release omitted any attribution to indicate who paid for and who approved the message. In response to a complaint that the flyer did not include attributions required by Connecticut General Statutes §9-621(a), the State Elections Enforcement Commission found that the press release should have included the attribution "paid for by John Murphy," the candidate's address and the attribution "approved by John Murphy." Mitigating factors existed, because authorship of the candidate's flyer was clear to the reasonable observer, it cost less than $50 to produce, and there was no evidence of any similar violation that took place previously. The State Elections Enforcement Commission did not recommend any fine or penalty.