Dems File Complaint on Fox 'Illegal GOP Contribution'

Candidate's web site crawl an 'in-kind' contribution
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 3, 2010 4:45 AM CDT
Everyone knows who Fox loves.   (?Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)

(Newser) – Ohio Democrats have filed documents accusing Fox News of illegally contributing to a Republican Party candidate. Fox broke election law by plugging a GOP gubernatorial candidate by running his web site address along the bottom of the screen as he solicited contributions on Bill O'Reilly's program last month, according to the seven-page complaint filed yesterday by the Democratic Governors Association with the Ohio Elections Commission. The complaint characterizes the plug as an illegal "in-kind" campaign contribution, reports the Huffington Post. Candidate John Kasich raised $21,000 during the program.

Election law prohibits in-kind contributions in the form of free political advertising, and Fox failed to include a required "paid for by" disclaimer on what amounts to a political advertisement, according to the submitted documents. "We did our homework," said DGA's executive director. "We talked to other networks and other networks told us they have policies against putting up campaign websites like Fox did. Certainly networks have candidates on the air. But people don't take it as far as Fox does." Fox is already under fire for parent company News Corp's $1 million campaign contribution to the Republican Governors Association.
(Read more Fox News stories.)

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