JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Ethics Commission dismissed four cases in April, one of which in part because state statute does not require “paid-for-by” disclosures on digital media.
The MEC dismissed a complaint alleging Anthony McDonald and the St. Louis Guardian failed to file an expenditure report related to Facebook advertisements and didn’t include “paid-for-by” disclosures.
The commission determined the advertisements did not meet the monetary threshold nor did evidence support they were campaign expenditures.
“Similarly, Missouri statutes do not require ‘paid-for-by’ disclosures on digital media, such as FaceBook or the St. Louis Guardian,” the dismissal order states.
Also dismissed was a complaint involving a Lee’s Summit School Board candidate and a bag of candy. The allegation was that Mike Allen and Mike Allen for LSR7 failed to include a “paid-for-by” disclosure.
“Missouri’s campaign finance laws contain an exception: the paid-for-by disclosure is not required to be placed on personal items, such as a bag of candy,” the dismissal order states.
Additionally, the commission dismissed a complaint alleging Lewis Reed coordinated with an individual and/or entity to disseminate campaign materials and messaging.
Dismissed by the commission was the allegation of nepotism and conflict of interest against Joe Aughinbaugh, an official in Washington Township in DeKalb County. Aughinbaugh’s son voluntarily operated the road grader during a snow emergency.
The MEC issued a fine of $1,000 to Firefighters for Progress for failing to amend its Statement of Committee Organization within the necessary days. If it cuts a check within 45 days, the group is only on the hook for $100.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.