House District 22 candidate Liz Vazquez, hoping to win back the seat she lost to Rep. Jason Grenn, is the subject of a campaign complaint with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.
Chaz Rivas filed the complaint, which was logged and acknowledged this week by the commission staff. In it, he alleges that Vazquez is running her campaign under three different names: Liz Vazquez for State House, Alaskans for a Brighter Future, and Liz Vazquez for House. She also is alleged to have posted items on Facebook without the proper “paid for by” disclosure. And Rivas notes that on her donation function on her web site, there are not proper “paid for by” disclosures.
Vazquez has 15 days in which she may file a response to the complaint, including any objections and documentation to support her response.
Vazquez said today that her disclosures are proper. The reason the complaint was filed, she said, was because her campaign is doing so well. She has over 100 yard signs out, and is adding three to five signs per night during her door-to-door. She added that anyone can file a complaint, but that doesn’t make it legitimate.
Complaints of this type are typically filed by supporters of opposing candidates and have the effect of distracting a candidate from campaigning. This complaint comes in the last month before the primary election, and Vazquez will have to respond, a time-consuming process.
Vazquez is running in the Republican primary against Sara Rasmussen; the winner of the race will face Grenn, who is proceeding as a nonpartisan candidate to the November ballot, and must gather signatures on a petition to do so.
The commission will conduct an investigation and then may assess a penalty against Vazquez. Penalties can be hefty, but are typically negotiated down.
The complaint is a reminder that candidates need to be vigilant about their “paid for by” disclosures in social media.