Political Advertising

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    664:14 Signature, Identification, and Lack of Authorization. –
        I. All political advertising shall be signed at the beginning or the end with the names and addresses of the candidate, his fiscal agent, or the name and address of the chairman or the treasurer of a political committee, or the name and address of a natural person, according to whether a candidate, political committee, or natural person is responsible for it. Said signature shall clearly designate the name of the candidate, party or political committee by or on whose behalf the same is published or broadcast.
        II. Political advertising to promote the success or defeat of a measure by a business organization, labor union, or other enterprise or organization shall be signed. The name of the enterprise or organization shall be indicated and the chairman or treasurer of the enterprise or organization shall sign his name and address. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit contributions which are prohibited under RSA 664:4.
        III. In the case of printed or written matter, the signature and address of signer shall be printed or written in a size of type or lettering large enough to be clearly legible.
        IV. (a) In the case of political advertising broadcast on radio, television, or any public address system, the name and address of the signer shall be clearly identified.
           (b) All political advertising broadcast on television shall identify the name of the candidate who pays for the advertisement or whose advertisement is paid for by a campaign committee. Such identification shall be made both aurally and visually. The visual presentation shall be clearly legible and shall use letters equal to or greater than 12 percent of the vertical picture height and shall air for not less than 4 seconds at the conclusion of the broadcast. For the purpose of this section, "campaign committee'' means any committee established to elect a particular candidate to office, including raising funds for that purpose.
        V. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, buttons or any printed or written political advertising which is attached to or displayed on any motor vehicle need not be signed.
        VI. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any advertising in support of or in opposition to a candidate by a political committee shall comply with this paragraph. If the advertising is not authorized by the candidate or candidate committee, the advertising shall so state and shall identify the sponsor of the advertisement. All such political advertising shall include the statement: "This advertisement has been paid for by (name of sponsor) and has not been authorized by any candidate.'' Such statement shall be made both aurally and visually if broadcast on television. The visual presentation on television shall be clearly legible and shall use letters equal to or greater than 12 percent of the vertical picture height and shall be broadcast for not less than 4 seconds at the conclusion of the advertisement.
        VII. Any advertising which is not political advertising because it does not advocate the success or defeat of a party, measure, or person, but which mentions or depicts a candidate, shall include the statement: "This advertisement has been paid for by (name of sponsor) and has not been authorized by any candidate.''
        VIII. Political advertising in the form of signs or placards may contain an Internet address in lieu of the signature and identification requirements of this section, if the Internet address is printed or written in a size of type or lettering large enough to be clearly legible and the website immediately and prominently displays all of the information required by this section through election day.
     

    664:14-a Prerecorded Political Messages. –
        I. In this section, "prerecorded political message'' means a prerecorded audio message delivered by telephone by:
           (a) A candidate or political committee; or
           (b) Any person when the content of the message expressly or implicitly advocates the success or defeat of any party, measure, or person at any election, or contains information about any candidate or party.
        II. No person shall deliver or knowingly cause to be delivered a prerecorded political message unless the message contains, or a live operator provides, within the first 30 seconds of the message, the following information:
           (a) The name of the candidate or of any organization or organizations the person is calling on behalf of.
           (b) The name of the person or organization paying for the delivery of the message and the name of the fiscal agent, if applicable.
        III. No person shall deliver or knowingly cause to be delivered a prerecorded political message to any telephone number on any federal do not call list.
        IV. (a) A violation of this section shall result in a civil penalty of $5,000 per violation.
           (b) Any person injured by another's violation of this section may bring an action for damages and for such equitable relief, including an injunction, as the court deems necessary and proper. If the court finds for the plaintiff, recovery shall be in the amount of actual damages or $1,000, whichever is greater. If the court finds that the act or practice was a willful or knowing violation of this section, it shall award as much as 3 times, but not less than 2 times, such amount. In addition, a prevailing plaintiff shall be awarded the costs of the suit and reasonable attorney's fees, as determined by the court. Any attempted waiver of the right to the damages set forth in this paragraph shall be void and unenforceable. Injunctive relief shall be available to private individuals under this section without bond, subject to the discretion of the court. Upon commencement of any action brought under this section, the clerk of the court shall mail a copy of the complaint or other initial pleadings to the attorney general and, upon entry of any judgment or decree in the action, shall mail a copy of such judgment or decree to the attorney general.
     

       

    664:14-b Misrepresenting Origin of Campaign Call. –
        I. No person shall knowingly misrepresent the origin of a telephone call which expressly or implicitly advocates the success or defeat of any party, measure, or person at any election, or contains any information about any candidate or party. Such knowing misrepresentation shall include, but shall not be limited to, causing the displayed caller identification information, as defined in RSA 359-E:1, I-a, to indicate that a telephone call originates from a number, person, or organization other than the number, person, or organization originating the call, or making a call knowing that some other person has caused said misrepresentation, except if the displayed caller identification number is a number at which the person or organization responsible for sponsoring or making the call may directly receive a return call.
        II. (a) A violation of this section shall result in a civil penalty of $5,000 per violation.
           (b) Any person injured by another's violation of this section may bring an action for damages and for such equitable relief, including an injunction, as the court deems necessary and proper. If the court finds for the plaintiff, recovery shall be in the amount of actual damages or $1,000, whichever is greater. If the court finds that the act or practice was a willful or knowing violation of this section, it shall award as much as 3 times, but not less than 2 times, such amount. In addition, a prevailing plaintiff shall be awarded the costs of the suit and reasonable attorney's fees, as determined by the court. Any attempted waiver of the right to the damages set forth in this paragraph shall be void and unenforceable. Injunctive relief shall be available to private individuals under this section without bond, subject to the discretion of the court. Upon commencement of any action brought under this section, the clerk of the court shall mail a copy of the complaint or other initial pleadings to the attorney general and, upon entry of any judgment or decree in the action, shall mail a copy of such judgment or decree to the attorney general.
     

       

    664:15 Approval of Candidate or Fiscal Agent. – A person or business organization publishing a newspaper or periodical or selling billboard space or operating a radio or television station or public address system shall not publish, print or broadcast any political advertising by or in behalf of a candidate in an election unless the same shall be signed by or authorized in writing by the candidate or his fiscal agent. 

       

    664:17 Placement and Removal of Political Advertising. – No political advertising shall be placed on or affixed to any public property including highway rights-of-way or private property without the owner's consent. All political advertising shall be removed by the candidate no later than the second Friday following the election unless the election is a primary and the advertising concerns a candidate who is a winner in the primary. Signs shall not be placed on or affixed to utility poles or highway signs. Political advertising may be placed within state-owned rights-of-way as long as the advertising does not obstruct the safe flow of traffic and the advertising is placed with the consent of the owner of the land over which the right-of-way passes. No person shall remove, deface, or knowingly destroy any political advertising which is placed on or affixed to public property or any private property except for removal by the owner of the property, persons authorized by the owner of the property, or a law enforcement officer removing improper advertising. Political advertising placed on or affixed to any public property may be removed by state, city, or town maintenance or law enforcement personnel. Political advertising removed prior to election day by state, city, or town maintenance or law enforcement personnel shall be kept until one week after the election at a place designated by the state, city, or town so that the candidate may retrieve the items. 

       

    664:17-a Advertising on Government and Law Enforcement Vehicles. – No printed or written political advertising shall be attached to or displayed on any motor vehicle:
        I. Which is used by a police officer authorized to make arrests or serve process; or
        II. Which displays government license plates and is registered in the name of the state or of a political subdivision of the state.
     

    664:18 Complaints. – Any candidate or voter may make complaint in writing to the attorney general of any violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
        I. Upon receipt of such complaint, the attorney general or his designee shall review the complaint, and where sufficient evidence of a violation is presented, conduct investigations to determine whether a violation of this chapter has occurred.
        II. Following investigation, the attorney general is empowered, if he determines that a provision of this chapter has been violated, to:
           (a) Issue an order requiring the violator to cease and desist from his or her violation. If the attorney general's order is not obeyed, the attorney general or designee may petition the superior court of the county in which the violation occurred for an order of enforcement.
           (b) Prosecute to final judgment through his designee if sufficient cause for such prosecution is found.
        III. If, in the opinion of any person making complaint, the family, business or political connection of the attorney general's designee is such as to make it unlikely that he will act diligently and earnestly in any proceeding therefor, the person complaining may state such facts to the attorney general.
        IV. If the attorney general believes that his designee will be hampered by any existing facts or circumstances and in any manner prevented from vigorously proceeding against any respondent complained against for such violation, or that the service of more than one attorney in any proceeding would be in the interest of the state, he shall have authority to employ and assign additional attorneys, to conduct or assist in conducting such proceeding. Such attorneys shall be allowed reasonable compensation, to be approved by the governor and council and paid by the state out of funds not otherwise appropriated.