FPPC Takes Action to Disclose Backers of Political Campaign Signs


May 25, 2016


Jay Wierenga, (916) 322-7761

    To ensure voters have the vital information they need before an election, the FPPC is publicizing those individuals that have violated the law by failing to properly disclose the true source of various political signs.

    The case involves signs in Butte County supporting Measures G and H, which are on the ballot for the June 7th primary. Campaign committee Citizens for a Safer Butte County and its treasurer, Kelly Lawler, admit to violating the Political Reform Act by not meeting the disclosure requirements for an advertisement. Under the Act, advertisements like these must contain a disclosure statement of a certain size on the advertisement that identifies the source for people to see.

    Citizens for a Safer Butte County is the source of various campaign signs in Butte County in support of Measures G & H, including 30 4’x 8’ campaign signs, 50 4’x 4’ campaign signs, and 300 24’’x 18’’ campaign signs. Although the Citizens for a Safer Butte County advertisements include disclosure statements, the text of the statements is not large enough to provide adequate disclosure under the Political Reform Act. The respondents, Kelly Lawler and the Citizens for a Safer Butte County, have admitted the violations and agreed to the release of this information. This case is pending in the Enforcement Division.

    “Our goal is to ensure that all campaign ads provide adequate and timely disclosure of the funders,” said Galena West, FPPC Enforcement Chief. “I’m happy we’ve found a way to achieve disclosure before the election. The spirit of the law is for campaigns to compete fairly, and give the voters the information they deserve and are legally entitled to.”

    The FFPC is providing this information in advance of the June primary so the voters of Butte County have the information which clearly states the source of these advertisements, information that is required to be of a certain size for the public to see.

    Every election, the FPPC takes a number of pro-active measures to make sure campaigns are following the rules. This includes making sure candidates file reports properly, quickly resolving complaints initiated by competing campaigns, and to compel legally required disclosure on political advertising.