The 2010 election year is rapidly approaching and the Missouri Ethics Commission is offering candidates and political campaigns a guide to the do’s and don’ts of campaigning. The Guide to Ethics Laws 2010: A Plain English Summary is available through the Commission and will be given to any candidate who files to run for a public office or for any campaign that files on behalf of an issue or initiative.
“This ethics guide really gives a bird’s eye view of the different laws that govern candidates or committees – campaign finance, personal financial disclosure – anything related to the Ethics Commission,” said Missouri Ethics Commission Executive Director Julie Allen in an interview with the Missourinet.
While concise, this 16 page booklet is packed with important information that any candidate or campaign needs to stay on the right side of the law.
“It actually has a candidate check-list,” said Allen. “Just simple steps: ‘Have you done all of these nine steps? If you’re a successful candidate what do you have to do? If you’re an unsuccessful candidate what do you have to do?’ It has a lot of good filing deadlines for campaign finance and personal financial disclosure. It talks about conflict of interest. It talks about the requirements for identifying your printed campaign materials.”
The guide also informs each candidate of the need to form a committee to keep track of such things as contributions and expenditures.
“Your committee needs to be formed 30 days before your election,” said Allen.
When filing, each candidate also receives information on such important requirements as filing deadlines.
“When you file as a candidate there’s an actual packet that the candidates get,” said Allen. “It includes this Ethics Guide, but it includes – for instance – our deadlines and reminders, our campaign material identification requirements … So they do get some good information when they file for their candidacy.”
In addition to being handed out to any candidate filing for public office, the guide and other pertinent information can be found on the Missouri Ethics Commission’s website.