Have you received these Illegal political ads circulating in Mis - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Have you received these Illegal political ads circulating in Mississippi?

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -

Suspicious campaign mailers sent a week before the election drew the attention of Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and the State Attorney General’s Office.

“Sending campaign hit pieces a week before the election without disclosing who is sending the mailer is not only gutless, it’s illegal,” says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.  “We strongly believe in the right to free speech, but we also believe in the right to recourse.  Ambushing candidates from behind a mail-piece without putting a name or committee is spineless.”

“In 2004, our Office supported and helped pass a law that would have prevented the use of last-minute defamatory campaign material and closed other loopholes in our campaign laws.  Unfortunately, Governor Haley Barbour vetoed the legislation and we have been unable to pass such a law ever since.  Our office will make every effort to enforce state campaign laws as currently written,” adds Attorney General Jim Hood.

Several campaign mailers aimed at smearing candidates were sent to the Secretary of State’s Office in the last week.

They're aimed primarily at Republican incumbent candidates. 

The mailers either did not disclose the name or committee of the sender; the name or committee name was not registered with the Secretary of State’s Office; or, the committee on the mailer registered with the Secretary of State’s Office on the last day and filed they had received or spent no money in the latest campaign finance reporting period.

“Either they are doing mailers for free, or someone is not being truthful in disclosure,” says Secretary Hosemann.  “This type of politics denigrates the entire voting process, promotes voter apathy in Mississippi and discourages future candidates.  We are pleased the Attorney General is looking into these mailers.”

The Mississippi Attorney General's Office is investigating. Those responsible could face up to six months in jail and/or a $3,000 fine. 

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