Ethics violations handed down on negative mailers

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Two candidates and an associate behind negative postcard mailings in Kansas City and Hickman Mills school board races have admitted actions that the state says violated ethics laws.

Kansas City school board member Melissa Robinson, former Hickman Mills school board member Breman Anderson and attorney Clinton Adams signed consent orders, each admitting roles in producing at least one of three mailers that blasted opponents without stating who had paid for the ads — which is required under the law.

Robinson ran successfully against incumbent Joseph Jackson in April 2014 to win a seat on the Kansas City board.

In the consent order, signed Friday, Robinson agreed with the Missouri Ethics Commission that she was aware that Adams had prepared a negative postcard against Jackson.

The mailer did not say “paid for by,” and named only a group — “Parents and Neighbors for Quality Education” — which the commission said is not a registered entity with the ethics commission or the Missouri secretary of state.

Robinson also knew that Adams paid $480 toward the $1,400 costs of the mailer but did not report the funds as either a donation or an in-kind gift.

Robinson’s mistakes were “unintentional,” her attorney, Matt Dameron, said in a written statement.

“Ms. Robinson has taken steps to make sure this does not happen again,” he said, “and looks forward to continuing to be a strong advocate for the families she serves.”

Anderson, in April 2014, was the incumbent in a race for at-large seats on the Hickman Mills school board. Anderson agreed in his consent order that he had sought Adams’ assistance to produce mailers against opponents Bonnaye Mims, Karry Palmer and Dan Osman.

One mailer gave no attribution and the other named “Citizens United to Protect Our Children,” which is not a registered entity with any state agency, the commission said.

Anderson, reached by phone Monday, said he had no comment.

Anderson was not re-elected.

To read the full story on the Kansas City Star website, please click here.

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