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Fellow DA candidate Reed files ethics complaint against Lehmberg

Friday, February 8, 2008 by Austin Monitor

District Attorney Candidate Rick Reed filed two ethics complaints Thursday with the Texas Ethics Commission against fellow DA candidate Rosemary Lehmberg for posting campaign signs without the proper disclaimer information on them.


Reed’s complaint alleges that Lehmberg printed and distributed a number of 4 X 8-foot signs that did not state that the message was political advertising or who paid for the advertising. In a second complaint, Reed alleges Lehmberg’s signs did not contain a required disclaimer that such signs cannot be placed in the public right of way.


“It’s a small detail,” said Colin Strother, Reed’s campaign consultant. “But the DA’s job is all about details. If she can’t get these details right, how’s she going to get the details right when she’s running the DA’s office?”


Sam Allen of American Campaign Signs and Graphics in Pittsburg, Texas, who printed the 4 x 8 signs for the Lehmberg campaign, said the oversight was his. Allen said that his print shop plans to ship adhesive stickers with the required disclaimer language to the Lehmberg campaign so they can be attached to the signs.


Joene Grissom, Lehmberg’s campaign manager, said she received a call Thursday afternoon about the missing disclaimer language from a volunteer who had been helping to put up Lehmberg’s signs. Grissom said the signs had been shipped from the printer directly to a supporter’s garage last week, and that neither she nor Lehmberg had personally seen the  signs before some volunteers began to put them up.


“Unfortunately our printer made a mistake,” said Grissom. “I didn’t learn  about  the missing disclaimer language until today (Thursday). Our campaign is going to correct the mistake immediately by adding adhesive stickers to the signs with the required language,” she said. Grissom also said that any large signs in the public right-of-way would be removed.


Texas Ethics Commission rules give political candidates 14 days to address complaints filed with the Commission before fines for violations can be incurred. If it is found to be in violation, the Lehmberg campaign could be fined up to $4,000 on each complaint. 


Lehmberg is District Attorney Ronnie Earle’s First Assistant and he has endorsed her candidacy. Reed was an Assistant District Attorney until recently. Assistant District Attorneys Gary Cobb and Mindy Montford are also vying for the Democratic nomination for the job. No Republicans have filed for the seat.

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