Secretary of State Accused of Violating Election Law
Friday, July 09, 2010
On Wednesday, Mollis sent what might seem like an routine e-mail newsletter through the Secretary of State’s office.
“I think the egregious offense is that this is a person in office who is charged with upholding this law,” Arcand said.
Chris Barnett, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office, said including Mollis’ photo in the e-mail was an oversight. But he also went on the offensive, saying Raptakis was the one not following the state law.
But Arcand said the situation was not the same, noting that Raptakis does not have direct control over his General Assembly Web page and is not actively using it. “I think there’s a big difference between the static page and actively promoting and broadcasting your image using the budget that is under your control in your office,” she said.
Moreover, she said that if Raptakis needed to take his picture down from his General Assembly page, every other state rep and senator running for re-election should have to as well. She said Raptakis would welcome a formal opinion from the Secretary of State as to how the election law should be applied to those Web pages.
“Email is a tool that most elected officials use to keep the public informed about their work,” Barnett said. “If Senator Raptakis is suggesting that the public should be kept in the dark about who wants to represent them or assistance for small businesses, he is misguided or just playing politics.”
Arcand said the comment couldn’t be farther from the truth. She said the issue was the photo in the e-mail, not the e-mail itself. “That’s a disingenuous comment,” she said. “We’re not saying he can’t send out e-mails as Secretary of State.”
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