Mast running ad in violation of election law & regulations – should pull down ad immediately
End Citizens United (ECU) today filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) against Congressman Brian Mast. The complaint states Mast violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and FEC regulations by failing to comply with disclaimer requirements for television advertising. The ad in question fails to include in the disclaimer a clear, full-screen image of Mast, but instead has an indistinct, postage stamp-sized picture of an individual behind an American flag backdrop. The ad is in violation and should be pulled from the air immediately.
According to the FEC, candidates must convey that they approved the paid communication either through “an unobscured, full-screen view of the candidate making the statement” or “in voice-over, accompanied by a clearly identifiable photographic or similar image of the candidate” to ensure candidates take personal responsibility for their campaign communications.
In an apparent attempt to avoid linking Mast to the advertisement, the advertisement does not comply with the disclaimer requirements imposed by the Act and Commission regulations. While the advertisement has a spoken disclaimer and the printed disclaimers required by the Act, it does not include a full-screen image of Mast delivering the required disclaimer or a clearly recognizable image of Mast during the delivery of the statement. Instead, it shows a fuzzy, indistinct postage stamp-sized image of an individual against an American flag backdrop that is barely recognizable.
“The FEC requires basic disclosure requirements for transparency and accountability to ensure voters know who is seeking to influence their vote. Yet, Brian Mast, while running a deceptive, false and negative attack ad, has failed to take responsibility for his own ad. It is no wonder why he has sought to distance himself. Unfortunately for him, the law requires him to take responsibility. Rep. Mast should pull down his ad immediately, and the FEC should investigate this violation,” said End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller.
Click here to read the FEC complaint.