Be careful with that bond or TRE advertising

The Texas Ethics Commission slapped a $1500 fine on a former school superintendent for using public funds to promote the passage of a TRE (Tax Ratification Election).   This was mainly about a video produced by the district that included a graphic of a TaxPayer Knight fending off a Lost Funding Dragon.  The Commission said the video, taken as a whole, was constructed as a persuasive argument asking voters to support the TRE. 

There are “watchdogs” all over the place scrutinizing district materials in conjunction with a bond or TRE.  It’s fine to produce materials that provide factual information, but those materials are not supposed to advocate. The distinction between “factual information” and “advocacy” is a fine one. 

Walsh Gallegos attorneys can help you with this. If you have a matter going to the voters, let us know if we can help with the review of your materials. 

This decision comes from the Texas Ethics Commission “In the Matter of Ted Moore.”  It was decided in November, 2019, Docket No. SC-3170599.   


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