UPDATE: The Grand Junction Sentinel reported that use of the Colorado State Seal is allowed in political campaign videos. We were told to stop by the Secretary of State’s office, so we’ll just start using it again, too. Thanks Mike Johnston, you just made our photo hunting so much easier for posts about the Secretary of State’s office. Hope you had fun on the West Slope!
Everyone knows that showing the Colorado State Seal is a no-go when politicking in Colorado. Or, at least, we thought everyone knew. Apparently, newly-announced Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston is the exception. Except that he really should have known – this ain’t his first rodeo. Here’s a screen shot of the seal, which is literally the only thing in the video in this frame.
In case you weren’t familiar with this rule, here’s a quick memo from the Secretary of State’s office. Here’s a section on the punishment:
“24-80-902. Punishment for illegal use. Any person who illegally uses or affixes the seal of this state to any written or printed document whatever, or fraudulently forges, defaces, corrupts, or counterfeited seal to any commission, deed, warrant, pardon, certificate, or other written or printed instrument, or has in his possession or custody any such seal, knowing it to be falsely made and counterfeited, and willfully conceals the same, commits a class 5 felony and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-401, C.R.S.”
We’re not lawyers, but it doesn’t take a J.D. to see that this could cause some problems for Johnston. Is it the worse thing Johnston’s ever done? No, the billion dollar tax increase was the worst thing he pulled as a politician, but who needs headaches right out of the gate?