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Advisory Opinion

IECDB AO 2004-01

February 5, 2004

TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS:

Pursuant to Iowa Code section 68B.32A(11) and rule 351—1.2, the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board issues this opinion on the permitted and prohibited placement of campaign yard signs. We note at the outset that the Board’s jurisdiction is limited to the application of Iowa Code chapters 68A and 68B and rules in Iowa Administrative Code chapter 351.

OPINION: In order to clarify the requirements concerning the placement of campaign yard signs, the Board issues this opinion. This opinion reflects the provisions of Iowa Code sections 68A.501(2)“b” and 68A.503(4),1 Board rules 351—4.39 and 4.44(2), and IECDB Advisory Opinions 2000-22, 2000-31, 2001-02, and 2001-17.

A. Yard signs for candidates:

Permitted locations:

1. Property belonging to individuals.
2. Property belonging to any type of organization, business, association, or other person that is not a corporation, financial institution, of insurance company (except as set out below).
3. Property belonging to an individual who has rented or leased the property to a corporation, if the prior written permission of the property owner is obtained.
4. Residential property owned by a corporation but rented or leased to an individual if the prior permission of the renter or lessee is obtained.
5. Property belonging to a family farm corporation as defined in Iowa Code section 9H.1.
6. Property rented by a candidate, committee, or organization and used as the campaign headquarters by the candidate, committee, or organization.
7. Property belonging to a governmental entity if the governmental entity has adopted a policy that would permit any group to place a sign on the property.

Prohibited locations for candidate yard signs:

1. Property belonging to a corporation, financial institution, or insurance company (except as set out above).
2. A governmental entity may not permit the placement of campaign yard signs on its property unless the governmental entity has adopted a policy that would permit any group to place a sign on the property.

B. Yard signs for ballot issues:

Permitted locations:

1. Property belonging to any individual, corporation, financial institution, insurance company, business, association, organization, or other person.
2. Property belonging to a governmental entity if the governmental entity has adopted a policy that would permit any group to place a sign on the property.

Prohibited location:

1. A governmental entity may not permit the placement of campaign yard signs on its property unless the governmental entity has adopted a policy that would permit any group to place a sign on the property.

In closing, this opinion is limited to state and local campaigns and the Board does not have jurisdiction over the placement of campaign yard signs by federal candidates.

BY DIRECTION AND VOTE OF THE BOARD

James Albert, Board Chair
1st Vice-Chair Geraldine Leinen
2nd Vice-Chair Gwen Boeke
Mark McCormick
Bernie McKinley
Phyllis Peters

Submitted by: W. Charles Smithson, Board Legal Counsel


1 Prior to July 1, 2003, these sections were numbered 56.14(2)“b” and 56.15(4) respectively.

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