Lawmakers had the chance today to limit their own ability to be in public service announcements during an election year, but killed a bill that would have done just that.
A bill limiting when a candidate can do a public service announcement failed to get out of the House today.
The legislation would forbid sitting lawmakers and statewide office holders from appearing in PSAs during an election year. Often lawmakers appear on television as part of an awareness campaign, and the author of House Bill 1451 says the appearance equates to unfair free airtime during an election.
Rep. Rob Johnson, R-Kingfisher, said incumbents should not get an unfair advantage in touting their name through a public service announcement during an election year. His bill does not apply to challengers and covers the entire election year.
Rep. James Covey, D-Custer City, tried to amend the bill to restrict a candidate or incumbent from being in a commercial other than one paid for by his or her own campaign account. The amendment failed with a vote of 43-52.
The bill failed the House by a vote of 45-55. Johnson kept the right to reconsider the bill at a later time.
Do you think it is wrong for a lawmaker or statewide office holder to be able to appear in a public service announcement in an election year?