Public service announcements by statewide officeholders don’t count legally as campaign ads, but they can have that effect on voters — promoting the Kansas state treasurer, say, as he or she promotes the Learning Quest college-savings plan. State Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka, thinks there should be a 30-day blackout period for such ads when the officeholder’s name will be on an upcoming ballot. As Washburn University political science professor Bob Beatty told the Topeka Capital-Journal, “You shouldn’t have to turn on the TV and see your opponent get free advertising. During a campaign period, candidates should have to pay for their own ads.”
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