A local government agency in Texas has sued to block an outdoor advertising campaign sponsored by a state agency.
The agency, Tuscaloosa County Ad Council, is a non-profit corporation created to provide support and services for the county’s residents.
The ad, titled “Be a Better Neighbor,” is scheduled to run on Tuscalos County buses and the county website this fall.
The county has asked Tuscatoosa County to stop the ads and to stop using the Tuscallan County logo on advertising materials.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Texas, says the agency is a political action committee created by the county and that it does not have the authority to restrict the ad’s use by a county agency.
“County boards, commissions, and other governmental bodies are prohibited from spending public money for advertising purposes that disparage, insult, threaten, or discriminate against any individual or group,” the lawsuit states.
The county is not the only local government to receive complaints about political advertising.
In February, the city of Houston received a complaint from a resident that Tuscalla County had posted ads with a message that said, “If you can’t stand the way people look, then you can still go to a gas station.”
A month earlier, the Texas Public Policy Foundation filed a lawsuit against Tuscallah County, claiming that it had used the TUSCOAL banner to promote a “pro-homosexual agenda.”
The group’s complaint states that “the Tuscallas County banner is displayed across billboards throughout the county as well as on county websites, in the county parks and in other county facilities.”
The Texas Public Ethics Commission has opened an investigation into Tuscala County.