Lower Milford Mailer Questioned by County Board of Elections
Mailer sent by "Concerned Citizens for Lower Milford" not registered as political action committee with Lehigh County Board of Elections.
On Monday Nov. 7 -- the eve of Election Day -- a mailer made the rounds in Lower Milford Township endorsing independent supervisor candidate Bruce Kaplan in the race against Donna Wright for a six-year term and write-in Jeffrey Tapler against Mike Snovitch for a two-year term.
The problem with the mailer? The group that sent it out, Concerned Citizens of Lower Milford Township, isn't registered with the Lehigh County Board of Elections as a policital action committee.
"They are not registered with Lehigh County," said board of elections chief clerk Tim Benyo.
Wright and Snovitch won their board of supervisors races.
A political action committee, or PAC, is a private group of any size that is organized to work to elect political candidates or move legislation forward.
According to federal law, all groups endorsing candidates must be registered as a PAC to send mailers, create signs or engage in other activities that spend money to try and elect candidates.
"According to election law, it's an offense to support an election or candidate without identifying themselves [by registering]," said Benyo. "Organizations need to ID themselves, let candidates know that they are being supported and if they are spending money, they need to report that."
Candidate Kaplan said he was informed of the mailer, though he claims he didn't participate in its production.
"I knew about the mailer. I'm guilty of allowing my name to be used," Kaplan said. "I didn't write it, nor do I necessarily agree with everything in the mailer."
Wright said she too was aware of the mailer. "I'm very interested to see what the board of elections has to say [about the mailer]. There was a statement in that mailer that [Wright and candidate Snovitch] are under investigation when we're not," Wright said.
In an email, Benyo says the board of elections will move forward to question those involved with the group -- identified on the mailer with the names Jeffrey and Bruce and a phone number -- and give them an opportunity to file proper reports.