A negative attack ad against a Republican state House candidate could be investigated by state officials in the wake of the May 20 primary.
Marc Woerner, who lost his GOP bid for the 169th state House seat, said negative ads were mailed about him illegally from a group calling itself PA Taxpayers for Integrity. He provided copies of the mailers, which give a Montgomery County address for the group.
But no group with that name is registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State as a political committee, according to Ron Ruman, press secretary for the department. Political committees must file a registration statement within 20 days of receiving total contributions of $250.
In his complaint, Woerner maintains that PA Taxpayers for Integrity sent out its ads illegally.
“It’s not going to change the outcome of the election, but if someone wants to join the political process, they need to do it legally,” Woerner said. “Whoever spent money on those ads needs to be exposed.”
Under campaign finance law, complaints filed with the state department are confidential, Ruman said.
“We can’t confirm that we’ve gotten a complaint or are investigating anything,” Ruman said. “The law doesn’t permit us to do that. Once it gets here, as far as we’re concerned, we can’t say anything about it.”
If state department officials believe a complaint has merit, it is referred to either the Attorney General or the relevant district attorney, Ruman said. But even then, the state department is not allowed to disclose anything about the complaint, he said.
Woerner, who serves as a West Manheim Township supervisor, garnered 24.5 percent of the vote in the primary, finishing third out of four candidates.