A flap over a county-funded newsletter turned into new legislation Tuesday as the Pierce County Council moved to tighten the rules on newsletters, brochures and other mass mailings during election season.
It’s now against the Ethics Code for an elected county official who’s running for office to use public money for such mailings between May 31 and Nov. 30 in an election year. The new rules also apply to e-mail.
But there are some exceptions.
The county auditor, for example, can mail out voter’s pamphlets and ballots. Ditto for the assessor-treasurer and tax statements.
The County Council unanimously approved the rules in an amendment to the Ethics Code on Tuesday afternoon, acting in part because of a controversy generated by a June newsletter mailed by Councilman Shawn Bunney, who is running for the Legislature. Here’s an image of the newsletter in question.