Who Signed for the Sign?

Campaign snafus of questionable legality continue

More (possible) campaign advertising shenanigans in the Place 1 race: First, a large campaign sign for Jason Meeker appeared (without permission) in front of the office of Lee Leffingwell's campaign manager, Mark Nathan. That didn't sit well with Nathan – who also pointed out that the sign lacked language identifying it as political advertising and identifying who paid for it. But Meeker says the sign isn't even his: "I can't accept responsibility for the sign you are describing," Meeker says. "I didn't print the sign or even order it. All the signs my campaign is printing and endorsing do include the proper legal language and have my name and my treasurer, Allan McMur­try." Then Nathan spotted some similar signs, but this time with a sticker affixed at the bottom reading, "Pol. Adv. paid by Rick Culleton."

Culleton, of course, is the former treasurer of the Meeker campaign who's been embroiled in similar advertising snafus and has hired former Meeker campaign manager Jason Stanford to produce pro-Meeker TV spots – which Meeker, Culleton, and Stan­ford all claim has been done independently of Meeker's campaign (thus avoiding the city's $300 cap on City Council campaign contributors). Of course, that raises the question: If Culleton is using signs that exactly mimic Meeker's official ones, is an illegal coordination between Meeker and supposedly independent contributors occurring? "These were not made by me or my people," Meeker insists, and he speculates that Culleton scanned a Meeker bumper sticker to create the signs. Stanford says he has no knowledge of the signs, and Culleton did not return a phone call. Nathan doesn't buy it and speculates that this is an illegally coordinated campaign. "I'm not sure how anyone can draw any other conclusion. ... Rick Culleton either doesn't know what he's doing or doesn't care."

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

City Council election, election, Jason Meeker, Mark Nathan, Rick Culleton, Jason Stanford, campaign signs

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