|Marty Kotis III, via http://www.kotis.org/|
Elections law dictates that companies aren’t allowed to donate directly to political campaigns, but Collicutt said that as long as Kotis paid for the ads himself (essentially reimbursing his company for the actual rate of the advertisements).
District 5 Councilman Tony Wilkins reported an in-kind contribution of $400 for the ads, and Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson amended her report to include the contribution because her campaign didn’t know the amount until after the filing period. Collicutt said Councilwoman Nancy Vaughan and another candidate (whose name escaped him) would also be working to amend their finance reports to reflect the in-kind billboard donation from Kotis.
“As far as the billboard that you’re referencing, the process that we’re working with the candidates that have been advertised on the billboard, we have to make sure it was an in kind contribution to the campaign for the actual cost of the billboard,” Collicutt said.
Elections law states that media outlets can’t provide free or in-kind advertising to political candidates, but as long as the donation is from Kotis and not his company, the contributions are fine, Collicutt said.
Vaughan already filed an amended report that does not list the contribution. Johnson’s amended report listed “Outdoor Signage/Mr. Kotis” while Wilkins’ first report listed Kotis and not the company. Collicutt couldn't immediately recall the name of the fourth candidate who received advertising.