Bad ads?

| August 15, 2012

Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature want to prohibit the county from spending money on ads featuring county elected officials. | Legislator Josh Bauroth introduced the proposal, which he says was inspired after he saw his own name on a plaque at the Seneca Park Zoo. The plaque is on the new lion exhibit, thanking people who helped fund it, including all county legislators. Bauroth says it would have been more appropriate to list the Legislature as a whole, and not individual representatives. | Other ads — in the airport, at the zoo, and at the Department of Motor Vehicles offices — feature County Executive Maggie Brooks or County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo. The county typically uses contracted entities, such as the county Airport Authority, to pay for the ads. | Bauroth's proposal would also bar county elected officials from appearing in the ads. | High-profile elected officials, Republicans and Democrats, are frequently featured in ads for government programs and services. | "Although it is a common custom, it is not the right thing to do," Bauroth says. | Occasionally, an ad will backfire on an official; former Governor George Pataki stopped appearing in ads for a state health insurance program after receiving a volley of criticism.

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