For about the last week, the City of Goddard, Kansas, has been using its website to campaign for its mayor in her race for the Sedgwick County Commission.
The website, located at www.goddardkansas.us, usually looks like a typical city website, holding general news and information, with links to city departments. But around October 21, according to the date given on the site, the normal front page was replaced with the page illustrated above. (Click here for a full-size image of the page.)
The message on this new front page is nothing else but a campaign advertisement for Marcey Gregory, Goddard’s mayor. It seeks to rebut the facts about tax increases in Goddard that were revealed in her opponent’s advertisements and in news stories.
It’s not right for governmental units to use their websites for this purpose. The proper place for candidates to get out their message is in their campaigns, funded by themselves and their donors. The same goes for the Goddard City Council members (Craig Bassett, Bob Means, Larry Zimmerman, Mary Carpenter, and Todd Wentz) who are speaking to voters through this message.
I don’t know if this campaign message, delivered as it is using government property and at government expense, violates campaign laws. If not, there should be a law prohibiting this.
Note to the writer of this advertisement: when forming the plural of citizen, don’t use the greengrocers’ apostrophe. An apostrophe indicates possession, not the plural form. Also, use a colon instead of a semicolon at the end of the heading.