SB 338--
Session of 1997
By Senators Hensley, Barone, Biggs, Downey, Feleciano,
Gilstrap, Gooch, Goodwin, Karr, Lee, Petty and Steineger

9 AN ACT concerning elections; relating to campaign practices; repealing 10 K.S.A. 25-4119g. 11 12 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas: 13 Section 1. (a) A copy of the following statement of fair campaign 14 practices shall be mailed by the Kansas commission on governmental 15 standards and conduct to each candidate at the time of the receipt of 16 notice of appointment of a treasurer or candidate committee by such 17 candidate: 18 Statement of Fair Campaign Practices 19 (1) I shall conduct my campaign, and to the extent reasonably possible shall insist that 20 my supporters conduct themselves, in a manner consistent with the best American tradition, 21 discussing the issues and presenting my record and policies with sincerity and candor. 22 (2) I shall uphold the right of every qualified voter to free and equal participation in 23 the election process. 24 (3) I shall not participate in, and I shall condemn personal vilification, defamation, and 25 other attacks on any opposing candidate or party which I do not believe to be truthful, 26 provable, and relevant to my campaign. 27 (4) I shall not use or authorize, and I shall condemn material relating to my campaign 28 which falsifies, misrepresents or distorts the facts, including, but not limited to, malicious 29 or unfounded accusations creating or exploiting doubts as to the morality, patriotism or 30 motivation of any party or candidate. 31 (5) I shall not appeal to, and I shall condemn appeals to, prejudices based on race, 32 creed, sex or national origin. 33 (6) I shall not practice, and I shall condemn practices, which tend to corrupt or under- 34 mine the system of free election or which hamper or prevent the free expression of the will 35 of the voters. 36 (7) I shall promptly and publicly repudiate the support of any individual or group which 37 resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of my opponent(s) to methods 38 in violation of the letter or spirit of this code. 39 ______________________________ 40 (name of candidate) 41 _____________________________________________ 42 (office for which individual is candidate) SB 338

 1    (b)  No candidate shall be required to file a statement of fair campaign
 2  practices, but any candidate may make such statement in the office of
 3  the Kansas commission on governmental standards and conduct. Written
 4  and signed complaints alleging a violation of one or more specific provi-
 5  sions of the statement of fair campaign practices for candidates may be
 6  submitted to the commission by any person. Upon receipt of a complaint,
 7  the executive director shall forward a copy of the complaint to the com-
 8  plainee accompanied by a request for a response to the complaint and
 9  that the response be returned within the time prescribed by this section.
10  If a complaint is received prior to 12:00 noon on any day the executive
11  director shall contact, or attempt to contact, the complainee by telephone
12  and also shall send a copy of the complaint by telefacsimile and first class
13  mail to such complainee on the same day such complaint is received. If
14  a complaint is received at or after 12:00 noon on any day the executive
15  director shall contact, or attempt to contact, the complainee by telephone
16  and also shall send a copy of the complaint by telephone facsimile and
17  first class mail to such complainee on the day next following the day of
18  receipt by the commission. The complainee shall be advised that a re-
19  sponse to such complaint must be received by the commission not later
20  than 24 hours after the time required for first class mail delivery from
21  the residence of the complainee to Topeka. Upon receipt of the com-
22  plainee's response, the executive director shall forward a copy to the com-
23  plainant. A copy of the complaint and the response shall be sent to news
24  media. The complaint and the response shall be available at the commis-
25  sion office for public inspection and copying. If the complainee does not
26  respond within the time prescribed by this subsection, the complaint shall
27  be made public without a response. The commission will not issue com-
28  ments or opinions about complaints or responses. In the absence of any
29  contrary intention as expressed by the complainant, the filing of a com-
30  plaint with the commission constitutes implied consent to have the com-
31  plainant's identity disclosed.
32    Sec. 2.  (a) It is a violation of this section for a person to sponsor with
33  actual malice:
34    (1)  Political advertising that contains a false statement of material
35  fact;
36    (2)  political advertising that falsely represents that a candidate is the
37  incumbent for the office sought when in fact the candidate is not the
38  incumbent;
39    (3)  political advertising that makes either directly or indirectly, a false
40  claim stating or implying the support or endorsement of any person or
41  organization when in fact the candidate does not have such support or
42  endorsement; or
43    (4)  the publishing or causing the publication of any postcard, letter,
SB 338

 1  brochure, flyer or other political fact sheet which is designed or tends to
 2  aid, injure or defeat any candidate for nomination or election to a state
 3  or local office, unless such matter identifies the candidate which such
 4  matter is designed to assist and includes a statement that such candidate
 5  has read and approved the same and such matter is followed by the name
 6  of the chairperson and treasurer of the political or other organization
 7  sponsoring the same or the name of the person who is responsible there-
 8  for and the city of residence of such person or the city in which the
 9  primary office of such organization is located.
10    (b)  (1) Except as provided in subpart (2) of this subsection, the re-
11  sponsibility for compliance with subsection (a) shall rest with the sponsor
12  of the political advertising and not with the broadcasting station or other
13  medium.
14    (2)  If a broadcasting station or other medium changes the content of
15  a political advertisement, the station or medium shall be responsible for
16  any failure of the advertisement to comply with subsection (a) that results
17  from such change.
18    (c)  The commission may assess a civil fine, after proper notice and
19  an opportunity to be heard, against any person violating the provisions of
20  this section, in an amount not to exceed $1,000. Fines shall be paid by
21  the offending candidate's campaign committee or the candidate's state
22  party to the state treasurer within 10 days of receiving notification from
23  the commission. No candidate shall be sworn into office until all fines are
24  paid in full. Upon receipt thereof, the state treasurer shall deposit 1/2 the
25  entire amount in the state treasury and credit it to the Kansas commission
26  on governmental standards and conduct fee fund and shall remit the
27  remaining 1/2 to the state committee of the political party of the opposing
28  candidate.
29    Sec. 3.  K.S.A. 25-4119g is hereby repealed.
30    Sec. 4.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
31  publication in the statute book.