Kirby Delauter Might be Violating Campaign Finance Law
Frederick County Councilman Kirby Delauter has not had a very good year. He’s peddling fake news, attacking cancer victims, and has people convinced he wants to lose. Now, he and his campaign could be in violation of state campaign finance law thanks to a new website that has popped up.
On his Facebook page yesterday, Delauter posted this about a new website attacking Delegate Kathy Afzali:
The idea is copied from State Senator Michael Hough’s 2014 campaign when he launched a site aimed at then-incumbent David Brinkley.
When you go to the site, however, something interesting is noticeable.
There’s no authority line on the post. And that’s a no-no according to state campaign finance laws.
Article 12.1 of the Election Code states: Campaign material includes signs, buttons, letters, tickets, solicitations, radio and television advertisements, websites, bumper stickers, and paraphernalia such as pencils, hats, and t-shirts. Each item of campaign material must include an authority line, set apart from the other printing or content of the campaign material. The authority line must state the name and address (unless the address is on file with the State Board) of the person who is responsible for the production and distribution of the campaign material.
And individual found distributing campaign material without an authority line may be fined up to but not exceeding $1,000, imprisoned for up to
one (1) year, or both.
The evidence linking Delauter to the website is circumstantial. The identity of who purchased the website has been masked. But the key thing on the smear site is the phrase “restore common-sense conservative government to Frederick County” in the email collection request. A version of that phrase, “restore common-sense conservative leadership has been used at least six times on Delauter’s campaign Facebook page, most recently on August 23rd.
No word yet on what exactly this website is going to publish about Afzali, though we’ve noted a few of her poor choices previously. However, one thing that does seem certain to continue is for Kirby Delauter to continue to have a Lollar-style meltdown on the campaign trail. This Frederick County Executive primary has all the earmarks of being the ugliest primary election in the state, and the more desperate Delauter gets as we get closer to next June, the uglier it is going to get.
EDIT: As of Saturday morning, the Delauter campaign (finally) decided to comply with campaign finance laws and add the authority line.