Campaign ad by Jefferson Burton again runs afoul of Defense Department rules

Jefferson Burton — the former Utah National Guard commander who now leads the Utah Department of Health’s COVID-19 efforts — apparently again ran afoul of Defense Department rules that ban featuring photos of him in uniform in ads for his legislative campaign.

That comes after Burton acknowledged that an earlier flyer had violated a ban on retired military members who run for office from using pictures of themselves in uniform “as the primary graphic representation in any campaign media.”

He had promised to fix problems going forward. “I can’t call back the one that was sent, but I will fix all future correspondence,” he said at the time — adding that he had just called back another mailer to alter it as needed.

(Courtesy photo) Photo of a first mailer sent by Jefferson Burton that violates Defense Department rules about campaign materials using photos of a candidate in uniform.

However, The Salt Lake Tribune was sent a copy of another mailer that again shows him in full uniform in a central featured photo, surrounded by a montage of numerous smaller photos also showing him in uniform.

“The second mailer was already sent to the post when your initial article was released,” and it was too late to pull it back, Burton said in a text, although he had not said at the time of the first story. He said disclaimers about that were then posted on his campaign website and Facebook.

Brian Chapman, Burton’s campaign manager, said the campaign did pull back a problematic third mailing to fix problems. He said the corrected postcard was sent this week and also contains photos of Burton in uniform.

Defense Department directives allows such pictures in uniform if used as secondary photos. It also permits mention of military information in campaign materials — but they “must be accompanied by a prominent and clearly displayed disclaimer that neither the military information nor photographs imply endorsement by the Department of Defense.”

Chapman said the latest mailing includes that disclaimer, and said he ran the mailer past Utah National Guard legal officials to help ensure that the campaign is now following rules.

Republican Burton is facing Woodland Hills City Council member Kari Malkovich in the June 30 GOP primary in a race to replace Rep. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, who is running for the state Senate. The winner of that House District 66 primary essentially wins the overall race because no Democrat nor minor party candidate filed in the race.

Malkovich also ran into problems of her own with flyers.

She was sent a letter from Spanish Fork complaining that she had used its logo in violation of city rules in a campaign mailer. Also, that flyer claimed she had won the endorsement of City Council member Mike Mendenhall — who said he never gave her permission to use his photo or name as an endorser.

(Courtesy photo) Picture of a flyer with endorsements for legislative candidate Kari Malkovich. Spanish Fork says it improperly used a city logo, and Mike Mendenhall says he did not OK being included as an endorser.