Carterville, Missouri candidates violated finance disclosure requirements during their 2022 run
Three former candidates for Carterville City Council have been busted for not properly disclosing the source of their campaign finances.
Allison Pendergrass ran for Carterville City Council in April of 2022. During her campaign she had distributed lawn signs to the community in support of 3 candidates, her self being one of them. At least five different individuals helped fund these lawn signs, yet Pendergrass failed to disclose that information.
This discrepancy was reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission who found that it went against a campaign finance disclosure requirement which states, “Any person publishing, circulating, or distributing any printed matter relative to any candidate for public office or any ballot measure shall on the face of the printed matter identify in a clear and conspicuous manner the person who paid for the printed matter with the words ‘Paid for by’ followed by the proper identification of the sponsor pursuant to this section…it shall be sufficient identification to print the name of the individual or individuals and the respective mailing address or addresses.”
The provision went on to explicitly state lawn signs are included in the definition of “printed matter”. The bottom of Pendergrass’ signs simply read “Paid for by Carterville Citizens”.
The Missouri Ethics Committee found Pendergrass violated this provision during her 2022 campaign and was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000.
Likewise, Robert Andy Martin was also busted for Carterville campaign violations. Martin had collected more than $800 which he used to buy yard signs in support of three candidates. Martin, however, never registered a committee with the Commission.
According to the Missouri Ethics Commission registering as a committee would be required if, “a person or any combination of persons, who accepts contributions or makes expenditures for the primary or incidental purpose of influencing or attempting to influence the action of voters for or against the qualification, passage, or defeat of any ballot measure.”
In addition to failing to register as a committee before engaging in election activities Martin was also found to be in violation of same campaign finance disclosure requirement that Pendergrass had violated. Martin was issued a $2,000 fine.
Darlene Taylor ran for Carterville City Council in 2022. Taylor also distributed lawn signs during her campaign and, much like Pendergrass and Martin, did not properly disclose where her funds were coming from. Taylor agreed to waive all liability claims and actions against the Missouri Ethics Commission and was levied a $100 fine.
Justin Lawson ran for Carterville City Council as well in 2022. Lawson distributed printed matter in the form of lawn signs that also failed to properly disclose the origins of funding. Lawson agreed to waive all liability claims and actions against the Missouri Ethics Commission and was ordered to pay a $100 fine.