City Council Candidate Brint Ryan's Campaign Materials Violate Texas Election Code

The battle for the city council's District 13 seat is already quite a pricy one, as Ann Margolin takes on Brint Ryan for the right to take over for Mitchell Rasansky, who's leaving because of term limits. Both candidates have been flooding area residents with mailers and campaign materials over the last couple weeks, with a recent one from Ryan drawing criticism from one local blogger and even on Ryan's own Web site.

But no matter what you think about Ryan or his mailer about trash pickup, it turns out he hasn't been playing by the rules. His campaign materials are missing the word "for" in between his name and "Dallas City Council," which may not seem like a big deal to some folks, but it just so happens to be a violation of Section 255.006 the Texas Election Code.

We have the full section after the jump, and we contacted Mari Woodlief, president of Allyn & Company (which represents Ryan), to get the scoop on what went wrong. She takes full responsibility for the violation, and says her company is in the process of reprinting signs.

"That's our fault," Woodlief tells Unfair Park. "We checked that out early on just through a phone call to the city secretary's office, and apparently we got inaccurate information. We should have been more thorough. It was an Allyn & Company error."

Woodlief says she wasn't the one that made the phone call and isn't sure who was spoken with from the city. We have word that a citizen is in the process of filing an ethics complaint against Ryan, and we'll have more when the paperwork has been completed. Till then, here's the aforementioned section of the code, along a look-see at Margolin's latest brochure that's hitting mailboxes today.

§ 255.006. Misleading Use of Office Title

(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly enters into a contract or other agreement to print, publish, or broadcast political advertising with the intent to represent to an ordinary and prudent person that a candidate holds a public office that the candidate does not hold at the time the agreement is made.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly represents in a campaign communication that a candidate holds a public office that the candidate does not hold at the time the representation is made.

(c) For purposes of this section, a person represents that a candidate holds a public office that the candidate does not hold if:

(1) the candidate does not hold the office that the candidate seeks; and

(2) the political advertising or campaign communication states the public office sought but does not include the word "for" in a type size that is at least one-half the type size used for the name of the office to clarify that the candidate does not hold that office.

(d) A person other than an officeholder commits an offense if the person knowingly uses a representation of the state seal in political advertising.

(e) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Margolin Book Mailer

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Sam Merten
Contact: Sam Merten