Candidate's panel says chamber ads violate law - East Valley Tribune: Phoenix & The Valley Of The Sun

Candidate's panel says chamber ads violate law

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Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 10:57 pm | Updated: 9:37 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

An election complaint filed Wednesday by Scottsdale mayoral candidate Jim Lane's political committee alleges a recent Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce campaign blitz has violated state campaign finance laws.

The chamber's Scottsdale Campaign for Economic Development 2008-09 is airing a television commercial and has sent a four-page mailer highlighting four candidates it says support economic prosperity and thus the quality of life in Scottsdale, including Lane's opponent Mayor Mary Manross.

Both ads have pictures of Manross, City Council members Betty Drake and Ron McCullagh and council candidate Suzanne Klapp, all four of whom were endorsed by the chamber.

The four are identified as "candidates," but the Sept. 2 election is not mentioned.

The complaint alleges that the commercial and mailer clearly identify candidates for Scottsdale city office and indicates the chamber supports these candidates.

"The chamber is seeking to influence the outcome of our local election," the complaint states. "This is an unequivocal violation of the ban on corporate involvement in Arizona political campaigns."

The complaint alleges the chamber is required to register as a political committee to produce these ads, which would require filing campaign finance reports.

The complaint was signed by Paul Messinger, chairman of the Lane for Scottsdale political committee.

City Clerk Carolyn Jagger said she will forward the complaint to the chamber for a response.

Chamber President Rick Kidder could not be reached for comment late Wednesday to discuss the complaint.

In an interview Tuesday with the Tribune about the chamber's new campaign, Kidder said the creation of a political committee was not necessary to produce these ads because they do not advocate voting for a specific candidate.

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