The League of Women Voters supports H.B. 389 HD1 to prohibit candidates for public office from appearing in public service announcements from the time of filing nomination papers until the time the person is no longer a candidate. We supported the original bill, and agree with this version. As amended, the bill specifies when an individual is no longer a candidate, and therefore adds clarity.
We feel this is a sound prohibition that will benefit the public, and level the playing field for all candidates. If elected officials who are also candidates for office make public service announcements, they not only gain advantage over other candidates by the exposure, but by association with the public service announcement message, gain from an implied effectiveness in carrying out the duties of their office. The proposed prohibition should minimize such perceptions. It should also lessen the potential for claims by opponents of misuse of power or position by a candidate. It is another step forward in ensuring fair and honest elections.
We urge passage of H.B. 389 HD1. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on this bill.