Once again, Pinellas School Board candidate Elliott Stern is the subject of a complaint lodged with the Florida Elections Commission. Just last week, Stern’s campaign came under fire for multiple alleged violations related to a $20,000 contribution his campaign treasurer made to an ECO and a mailer the organization sent on his behalf. Now Stern faces scrutiny related to the content of his television ads as well.
The latest complaint filed against Stern alleges that, in two instances, the Stern campaign violated Section 106.165 of the Florida Statutes. Section 106.165 stipulates:
Each candidate, political party, affiliated party committee, and political committee must use closed captioning and descriptive narrative in all television broadcasts regulated by the Federal Communications Commission that are on behalf of, or sponsored by, a candidate, political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee or must file a written statement with the qualifying officer setting forth the reasons for not doing so. Failure to file this statement with the appropriate qualifying officer constitutes a violation of the Florida Election Code and is under the jurisdiction of the Florida Elections Commission.
According to the complaint filed with the FEC, the two unique advertisements in question ran on July 24 and August 3 and neither met the requirements of Section 106.165. The complaint, the evidence can be viewed online here and here and here.