A Wisconsin auto dealer can continue airing car ads even though its founder and namesake is running for the Senate, election officials said Thursday.
The Federal Election Commission (search) said that because the candidate, Russ Darrow Jr. (search), won't appear in the ads or have any role in making or airing them, the auto dealership, Russ Darrow Group (search), can go ahead with the commercials.
The FEC ruled 4-0 that political ad restrictions in the nation's new campaign finance law did not apply. The law bans the use of corporate money for ads clearly identifying a federal candidate within one month of a primary and two months of a general election.
Darrow is competing in a Republican primary Sept. 14 that will determine who challenges Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold (search) in the November election.
The dealership had asked the FEC for advice on whether it could run its ads. Darrow's son, Russ Darrow III, runs the business day to day and will appear in the ads. The candidate is the founder, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of the business.