By LOUIE DIAZ
San Benito Mayor Ricardo Guerra was fined by the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) for political advertisements that violated the Texas Election Code.
The original sworn complaint alleges that the respondent did not include a complete political advertising disclosure statement in political advertising that was published in a local newspaper.
The complaint states that Guerra made advertising violations under the Texas Election Code during his 2020 mayoral campaign.
One violation concerning Guerra’s advertising banners, was classified as a der minimis violation, meaning it was considered minor and does not warrant any action. The complaint alleged that his advertising banners did not include a disclosure statement. However, the banners did contain a disclosure statement that read, “Pol. Ad. Paid for by the Candidate.” The order states that disclosure statement was incorrect because it did not include Guerra’s full name; however, it was not misleading, thus considered der minimis.
A second violation dealt with political advertisements in newspapers. The complaint alleged that Guerra did not include a complete disclosure statement in an advertisement printed in the San Benito News. The complaint included copies of the NEWS from Nov. 27, 2020 and Dec. 11, 2020, with Guerra’s advertisements in them with a disclosure statement that read, “Paid for by the Citizens of San Benito.”
The order states that Guerra swore he paid for the two political advertisements and provided credit card receipts as verification. He also provided statements he received from private citizens who sponsored other advertisements for him. Guerra also affirmed that the “Citizens of San Benito” was not a political action committee (PAC).
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