A. It shall be unlawful for any owner, proprietor, editor, manager, officer, clerk, agent, reporter, or employee of any newspaper, magazine, or periodical printed or published in this Commonwealth to accept or receive or agree to accept or receive, for himself or another, any money or other valuable consideration for such newspaper, magazine, or other periodical supporting or advocating the election or defeat of any candidate. But nothing in this section shall prevent any person, firm, or corporation engaged in the publication of any newspaper, magazine or periodical from receiving from any person compensation for printing and publishing any matter, article or articles advocating the election or defeat of any candidate, if a statement, "Paid Advertisement," appears in plain type in boldface Roman capitals in a conspicuous place at the beginning of the matter or article and the matter or article otherwise complies with the provisions of this chapter.
B. The person accepting a "Paid Advertisement" for the newspaper, magazine or periodical shall require, and for one year shall retain a copy of, proof of the identity of the person who submits the advertisement for publication when the authorization statement on the advertisement is made pursuant to this chapter by an individual or entity other than a candidate, candidate campaign committee, political party committee, or political action committee. Proof of identity shall be submitted either (i) in person and include a valid Virginia driver's license, or any other identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States, or (ii) other than in person, in which case, the person submitting the advertisement shall provide a telephone number and the person accepting the advertisement may phone the person to verify the validity of the person's identifying information before publishing the advertisement. Any candidate clearly identified in the advertisement is entitled to the name of the person who submitted the advertisement after the publication of the advertisement in the newspaper, magazine, or periodical.
C. Any such owner, proprietor, editor, manager, officer, clerk, agent, reporter, or employee violating the provisions of subsection A or B shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $50; and, in the case of a willful violation, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The procedure to enforce the civil penalty provided in this section shall be as stated in Article 8 (§ 24.2-953 et seq.) of Chapter 9.3.
Code 1950, § 24-406; 1952, c. 4; 1970, c. 462, § 24.1-276; 1991, c. 709; 1993, c. 641, § 24.2-1013; 2001, c. 747; 2002, c. 487; 2006, cc. 787, 892; 2008, c. 825.