Update: Candidate caught in flap over use of Obama in election signs
Political signs linking fellow Democrats Barack Obama and state legislative candidate Jehan Gordon were not approved by either campaign, both camps said Tuesday.
So how are these joint signs featuring the two names with Obama's "Yes we can!" logo popping up around Peoria?
They're the work of Citizens for a Better Peoria, which wants to boost Gordon's campaign for the 92nd District Illinois House seat, group member Jackie Petty said.
"Quite frankly, we feel that she really needed it. Quite frankly, I feel like she's gotten poor press," Petty said.
Justin DeJong, Illinois director of communications for Obama for America said, "We were not aware of, nor did we authorize, use of the Obama logo on the signs."
Gordon and her campaign also were unaware of the local group's activity, a spokesman said Tuesday.
"We didn't authorize the use of the name, we didn't design the signs and we didn't put the signs up," said Gordon's campaign manager, Bob Denneen.
Citizens for a Better Peoria isn't registered with the Illinois State Board of Elections because it did not surpass the $3,000 spending threshold with the 25 signs it printed.
Petty described the organization, which has existed for at least a few years, as 'a citizens group of African-Americans' committed to the "betterment of the city."
Republican congressional candidate Aaron Schock and Gordon's opponent, Republican Joan Krupa, also share campaign signs. However, both Schock and Krupa authorized them and paid their half of the costs, said Steve Shearer, Krupa's co-campaign manager.
Election authorities say no permission is needed from any candidate to use their name.
"I thought it was a nice gesture," Petty said. "They were completely surprised. It's just an African-American group of people that wanted to do that and that's the end of it."
Karen McDonald can be reached email@example.com.