Is “A Better Lake County” a Political Action Committee?

By Brian Massie, Citizen Journalist

We sent the following email to Mr. Dale Fellows, Chairman of the Lake County Board of Elections, asking the BOE to investigate the local group known as “A Better Lake County”.


To Lake County Board of Elections

Chairman Dale Fellows:

Lobbyists for Citizens is very concerned that the 501 (c) (4) Nonprofit Corporation, known to the State of Ohio as “A Better Lake County”, is really operating in the State of Ohio as a Political Action Committee (PAC).  We are requesting an investigation by the Lake County Board of Election into the conduct of “A Better Lake County”.

A 501(c)(4) is a popular choice for groups that wish to pursue activities that are intended, broadly speaking, to promote change within society.

An important limitation of the 501(c)(4) is that it cannot be organized primarily for the purpose of influencing political campaigns. Although a 501(c)(4) may offer endorsements of candidates that agree with its positions, it must be careful to avoid appearing to be primarily about supporting a particular candidate or party. If a group wants to organize primarily to support a particular federal political campaign, it should look at forming a PAC instead.  

We are aware that “A Better Lake County” has been paying for political ads on Facebook primarily for influencing political campaigns.  This violates the rules for a 501 (c) (4).

Attached are examples of advertisements that are clearly negative campaigning and political in nature.  They are not intending to promote changes in society.

Transparency is a key to good governance.

Thank you,

Brian Massie

Lobbyists for Citizens
a 501 (c) (4) Non-Profit


We will inform our readers about any actions taken by the Lake County Board of Elections on this matter.


To see what ads “A Better Lake County” bought go to Facebook Ad Library:

Choose “issues, elections or politics” as the ad category and then search “A Better Lake County” and you can view all the ads they bought and information about the ads.

Here are some of the advertisements run by “A Better Lake County”.


Categories: Lake County Politics


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