The Norman Transcript

Government

May 30, 2013

City council campaign reports clarified

NORMAN — Norman City Attorney Jeff Bryant provided the election commission with information on Wednesday afternoon that clarified previous questions about two groups filing expenditure reports for the city council campaigns.

The Norman Chamber of Commerce was one of the groups in question after they sent out mailers which some felt opposed incumbent candidates. However, after further review of the Norman code provision and federal election laws, Bryant said the language used on the mailers was not specifically targeting any candidate, therefore the laws do not require them to file.

“I think we would be hard-pressed under our Norman code provision to require them to file those reports,” he said.

Bryant said the chamber did offer to come in voluntarily to file those reports and disclose how much they spent on the particular mailers, but did not feel they were required by law.

“They were very forthcoming that they never intended to hide or to not take responsibility for the positions that were taken on those fliers,” he said.

“Their view of what those fliers were for was to talk about topics, not particular candidates, but about topics about what they perceived as a way of changing the discussions in an election cycle and looked at ways to improve the business climate in Norman.”

The other group in question was the Better Norman Advocates Inc. and whether or not they had filed their expenditures in a timely manner. The deadline for filing the reports was March 22. The group did not file until March 29.

It was initially believed the expenditures occurred after the March 22 deadline, Bryant said. However, after further research from assistant city attorney Kristen Bell, they learned the expenditures actually occurred before the filing deadline.

Bryant said they informed the advocacy group who took full responsibility for the mistake.

“They apologized, said it was not intentional at all,” he said.

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