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Greg Abbott group files ethics complaint against Beto O'Rourke campaign website

The complaint says the website was missing a political disclaimer required by law.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texans for Greg Abbott has filed an ethics complaint Thursday against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke for his website.

The group supporting Gov. Abbott's reelection campaign says O'Rourke's website doesn't have a disclaimer required for political advertising, which is against state law.

The complaint filed with the Texas Ethics Commission says the disclaimer for the website, which includes information about O'Rourke's campaign, requests contributions and provides information about him as a candidate, has been missing as of Monday, Nov. 15, which is the day O'Rourke officially announced his run for governor.

According to the state election code, political advertising must include the name of the person who paid for the advertising, the political committee authorizing it, or the candidate or specific-purpose committee supporting the candidate.    

The penalty for the violation is punishable by a maximum fine of $4,000. 

The complaint includes screenshots of the campaign website and an email sent out from an address associated with the website. Screenshots of the website included show that it does not include the political advertising disclaimer, while the email does have the disclaimer at the bottom.

Looking at O'Rourke's campaign website as of Nov. 18, a disclaimer has been added which says "political ad paid for by Beto for Texas." It is unclear, however, how the addition of the disclaimer might affect the ethics complaint.

O'Rourke announced his run for governor of Texas earlier this week, after a run for the U.S. Senate in 2018 and brief campaign for president in 2020.

O'Rourke's campaign manger, Nick Rathod, released the following statement Thursday:

“If Greg Abbott was focused more on fixing the energy grid than scanning websites for a technical mistake made by a vendor, the state would be in a much better place right now.”


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