Saturday, September 18, 2010

Democratic Governors Association Complaint: Pure Slop

The DGA filed a complaint against Faux News with the Ohio Election Commission. It's pure crap. Here's the gist: the (R) gubernatorial candidate in OH, John Kasich, was on Faux and they put his fundraising website's address on the screen. According to the thin filing, this was in-kind contribution from a corporation, which is prohibited by ORC 3517.10(I)(5).

Try reading the law next time, guys.

Here's 3517.01(e), creating an exception from the definition of "contribution" for "[a]ny contribution as defined in section 3517.1011 of the Revised Code that is made, received, or used to pay the direct costs of producing or airing an electioneering communication."

Next we turn to 3517.1011 to see how it defines "contribution:"
A communication that appears in a news story, commentary, public service announcement, bona fide news programming, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcast, cable, or satellite television or radio station, unless those facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate

There's plenty of fun to be had from wondering whether Faux News is controlled by a political party, but as a legal matter it clearly falls within the scope of "bona fide news programming." What that tells us is that its communications will not - can not - constitute a in-kind contribution.

In short, the DGA complaint is crap.