Last week IG Burton, former Sussex County Councilman (302) 270-5358 and John Rieley, Sussex
County Councilman (302) 858-8649 mailed an “attack” post card to the voters of the 5th District
Sussex County Council area slandering Rieley’s opponent Keller Hopkins in the September 13th
The post card was mailed with money supplied by a Political Action Committee controlled by IG Burton.
Title 15 Chapter 80 of the Delaware Code is the Law which regulates Political Action Committees. You can find the law at (https://elections.delaware.gov/pdfs/901Regulation.pdf). There is a line on the attack card that says “Plan for Sussex” in the lower left corner of the card. This was intended to meet the discloser law of the Delaware law which
requires the full name of the Political Action Committee and the physical address of the committee.
The lack of discloser is a violation of law Title 15 Chapter 80. The mail piece very clearly does not include a Mailing address. §8002 (14) Delaware Code specifies that a “Mailing address means a physical mailing address, and shall not include a post office box.” This mailer specifically uses the words “Re-Elect John Rieley Sussex County Council, District 5” and is an expressed advocacy as described by the US Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo 1976
(Buckley) (https://www.fec.gov/resources/legal-resources/litigation/Buckley.pdf). It is illegal for a Political Action Committee to directly advocate for a specific candidate. This is also a direct violation of the law Title 15 Chapter 80.
John Rieley is both a Candidate as well as a “Clearly Identified Candidate” in the State of Delaware as defined under Delaware Code Title 15 Chapter 80 §8002 (1) and (2) in an Election as defined in (9) of the same section. Further, the item in question is a “Communications Media” as defined in (7), as well as an “Electioneering Communication” as defined in (10). “Plan for Sussex” is a Political Action Committee in the State of Delaware as defined under (18). John Rieley participated actively in the production and design of the attack card with IG Burton.
This is a direct violation of Delaware Law Title 15, Chapter 80. If the Political Action Committee consults with a candidate or cooperates with the candidate on what the Political Action Committee intends to do to benefit the candidate, any expenditures made by the Political Action Committee are to be considered contributions to the candidate and are subject to the contribution limits. The attack card was produced by IG Burton and John Rieley prior to the last disclosure/reporting period of candidates’ filling with the Department of Elections and no
expenditure or contribution appears on Rieley’s disclosure report. This is a direct violation of campaign finance law. §8041, and Superior Court under §8043 specifically identifies this expenditure as a contribution to Rieley’s committee.
It has become known to the Hopkins campaign that IG Burton and John Rieley have produced a second attack post card to be mailed this coming week. IG Burton is known to have made statements in the community over the past week that he and Rieley intend to mail the second attack card this coming week. The Keller Hopkins campaign publicly calls for the Rieley campaign to cease and desist from these illegal activities and refrain from mailing the second illegal post card.
Source: Press Release (Keller Hopkins for Sussex County Council)