Investigation of complaint against Tryon Forward committee complete

Published 4:19 pm Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An investigation has been completed into a complaint against the Tryon Forward Committee for advertisements and letters to the editor the committee placed in the Tryon Daily Bulletin during the 2007 elections.

Robert Neely, Wim Woody and Austin Chapman, candidates in the 2007 Tryon election, filed a complaint with the N.C. State Board of Elections against the Tryon Forward Committee after the election.

The state board of elections investigated the complaint and found the Tryon Forward Committee in violation regarding advertisements placed in the Bulletin because they did not state whether the advertisements were endorsed by a candidate.

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Concerning advertisements for elections, N.C.G.S. 163-278(a)(5) states that an advertisement supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more clearly identified candidates must indicate whether the ad was authorized by a candidate.

The Tryon Forward Committee was ordered to read and sign a statement of understanding saying that in the future advertisements will contain the proper endorsement information.

The board also found the Tryon Forward Committee or the Tryon Daily Bulletin made no violations regarding letters to the editor that were published.

The board of elections based the decision on N.C.G.S. 163-278.14(A), which states that&bsp; communications appearing in a news story, commentary or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper or magazine are not subject to regulation as a contribution or expenditure. As such, the board of elections determined, letters written to the editor are not regulated under North Carolina campaign finance law.