The City of Fort Oglethorpe has been mired in controversy for the past year. Their elections are this year, so, naturally, controversy has to be introduced. Apparently some anonymous person (or persons) decided to send out a mailer discussing a “Dream Team” of candidates for Fort Oglethorpe City Council(you can see the mailer posted over at the Walker County Messenger’s website).
The candidates, their supporters, and others mentioned on the mailer are not at all pleased with the message, and call it false, misleading information. However, it’s not forbidden for this type of anonymous material to be distributed according to the state commission formerly known as the State Ethics Commission. From the Chattanooga Times-Free Press:
But the head of what formerly was known as the Georgia Ethics Commission says mailers involving city council candidates don’t have to identify who paid for them.
“The only time you have to put that information out there is if it’s for a ballot referendum,” said Holly LaBerge, executive secretary of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. “There’s nothing in our statute that says you have to identify who paid for it. You’re not required to say ‘paid for’ at the state level.”
That could change with potential changes made to Fort Oglethorpe’s city charter:
[Jack] Goodlet serves on a state-appointed committee that’s been reviewing Fort Oglethorpe’s city charter and will recommend changes, among which will be an ethics code and the creation of a city ethics committee.
“That kind of stuff will be eliminated,” he said of the phony flier, if the ethics changes are made to the city charter.
Early voting has been high for the city: 442 at the close of business on Monday and is expected to exceed 1,000 in the city of almost 9,500 citizens.