So, watching AR-04 Republican candidate Beth Anne Rankin’s recent assault on your eyes and brain commercial somehow led to my watching her previous commercial again. You know, the one where she discusses Nash Equilibrium as applied to campaigning by determining that an ad regarding the ratio of her height to Nancy Pelosi’s height was the best possible course of action given Mike Ross’s strategy of not doing amazingly ridiculous things.
My tears of laughter when I originally saw this ad must’ve made me miss her little gaffe therein. You see, when she tells us “I’m Beth Anne Rankin, and I approved this message,” we don’t actually see her; we only hear the voice over her campaign logo. Unfortunately, the FEC has some pretty specific rules for this kind of thing, to wit:
Like radio broadcasts, televised communications must include an oral disclaimer spoken by the candidate in which the candidate identifies himself or herself and states that he or she has approved the communication. 11 CFR 110.11(c)(3)(ii).
This disclaimer can be conveyed in one of two ways:
- A full-screen view of the candidate making the statement (11 CFR 110.11(c)(3)(ii)(A)); or
- A “clearly identifiable photographic or similar image of the candidate” that appears during the candidate’s voice-over statement. (11 CFR 110.11(c)(3)(ii)(B)).
Say what you will about my obsessive need to check these sorts of things, but it’s pretty hard to argue that the ad meets either of the two criteria above, no?