Ads on Candidates' Views Not Necessarily Subject to Disclosure Rules

April 23, 2006 - Posted at 12:16 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ If non-candidate groups run ads that are

critical of candidates' views, but don't urge a vote for or against

one, they don't have to disclose their finances.

That's the ruling of the state Ethics Commission. The panel said

the anti-abortion group Arkansas Right to Life doesn't have to

disclose its finances to campaign finance regulators if the group

decides to run ads critical of certain political candidates.

The ethics panel says such ads are considered protected by the

right of free speech. For the group to be exempt from campaign

finance reporting, the ads must not urge a vote for or against a

candidate and the money for the ad must come from the group's

general funds rather than contributions from a candidate.

Arkansas Right to Life has a political action committee, but

director Rose Mimms says the group hasn't decided yet what races to

run ads in and she says no one has sought an endorsement yet from

the group.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)