Chesterton Tribune



Local GOP files yard sign complaint against council candidate

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The Chair of the Duneland District of the Porter County Republican Party--Chesterton Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela--has filed a formal complaint with the Porter County Election Board alleging that municipal primary candidate and Democrat Robert Allison’s yard signs lack the disclaimer required under Indiana Code.

Allison--in the only contested municipal primary race in Duneland--is challenging fellow Democrat and incumbent Chesterton Town Council Member Dane Lafata for his 3rd District seat.

Kuziela filed the complaint on Thursday. The full text of her two-sentence allegation:

“Dear Porter County Election Board:

“I am writing to inform you regarding the election signs of Robert “Bob” Allison. The signs do not include the disclaimer as required on all yard signs according to page 66 of the Campaign Finance Manual and IC 3-9-3-2.5”

Kuziela attached two photographs to her complaint: one of an Allison sign placed in front of the Chesterton town hall, 726 Broadway; the other of a sign placed at the intersection of 23rd Street and Marquette Road. Neither photo appears to show a disclaimer on the sign in question.

The Porter County Election Board is not currently scheduled to meet until after the primary election, on Tuesday, May 7, to certify the results of the election. As of deadline today, Porter County Clerk Jessica Bailey, who sits on the Election Board, has not returned a call to the Chesterton Tribune.

Under IC 3-9-3-2.5, a candidate’s yard sign must include a disclaimer “that appears and is presented in a clear and conspicuous manner to give the reader or observer adequate notice of the identity of persons who paid for and, when required, who authorized the communication. A disclaimer does not comply with this section if the disclaimer is difficult to read or if the placement of the disclaimer is easily overlooked.”

IC 3-9-3-2.5 also requires that a disclaimer “be of sufficient type size to be clearly readable by the recipient of the information.” In the case of a yard sign, the statute states, a “disclaimer in 12-point type face satisfies the size requirement . . . when the disclaimer is used for a yard sign, a flyer, a newspaper, a magazine, or a direct mailing.”

According to page 67 of the Campaign Finance Manual, “Circulating or publishing material concerning a candidate without the required disclaimer is a Class A misdemeanor and can be punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and not more than one year imprisonment, or possibly both.”



Posted 5/3/2019




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