LAKEVILLE — The Ohio Elections Commission issued a ruling on Thursday that recent TV ads paid for by Congressman Zack Space’s campaign committee made false statements about his opponent Bob Gibbs in the race for the congressional seat in Ohio’s 18th Congressional District.
Phil Richter, executive director of the Ohio Election Commission, said the commission does not have the authority to issue a fine in a false statement case.
“It could have been sent along to the appropriate county prosecutor’s office but the commission didn’t even consider that. They didn’t think this was anywhere near worthy of such action,” Richter said. “A motion was placed before the commission to have the commission issue a letter of reprimand, which the commission can do. This is a letter that identifies the statements that are false and instructs the candidate not to use them in any future election. The motion did not pass, so the commission just allowed the fact of the finding of violation to stand as the penalty.”
A message was left with Space’s campaign committee for comment but the call was not returned by press time.
“This ruling proves that Congressman Space lied to the voters of the district in an attempt to distort my record of cutting taxes for families and working to create jobs for Ohioans,” said Gibbs in a press release. “We cannot trust anything that comes from Space and his campaign, as they have continued to demonstrate that they have no respect for the laws regarding fair and honest campaigning.”