JACKSON, MS – With election day right around the corner, you may have seen political mailers but they may not be legal.
That’s what Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann told WJTV’s Beth Alexander.
Hosemann calls certain mailers gutless and illegal . He says the hit pieces have all been reported to him within the past 48 hours, just 6 days before the primary election.
“Here’s one. The speaker of the MS State House of Representatives says we should erase our state flag,” he points out.
This is just one example of thousands of political mailers sent to voters in Mississippi. There’s no identification as to who sent this out and that’s the problem: the organizations or individuals sending out the mailers sometimes don’t identify themselves or have not properly filed financial reports with the Secretary’s Office.
This is one example. The group filed a report but listed no contributions or disbursements which Hosemann says is impossible because they sent out mail. He says,
“We have the right to free speech in Mississippi. We don’t have the right to ambush in Mississippi. We have the right and the persons who are attacked in these type of ads have the right to defend themselves. And people who do these should have enough guts to stand up and say we did these.”
The mailers address everything from Obamacare to the state flag to gun control. They even name senators such as Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn, Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler and others.
Beth reached out to Speaker Gunn’s office. So far they have not made a statement about the mailers, but Mayor Hawkins-Butler did say,
“I only just saw one she showed me and I know it didn’t say who paid for by.”
Hosemann says he’s afraid the mailers, so close to election day, could jeopardize the political process. He warns voters, saying,
“Don’t allow them to influence your ballot or worse yet not show up to cast your ballot on Tuesday.”
The Attorney General’s Office is working with the Secretary of State to make sure campaign laws are followed. Those who don’t follow the law could face a three thousand dollar fine and six months in jail.