Democrats allege in a legal filing that, by plugging an Ohio gubernatorial candidate’s website in a chyron, Fox News illegally contributed to the Republican’s campaign.
A seven-page complaint filed Thursday by the Democratic Governors Association with the Ohio Elections Commission accuses Fox News of making an illegal in-kind contributions to gubernatorial candidate John Kasich (R-OH), reports Sam Stein.
During an Aug. 18 appearance on Bill O’Reilly’s show, the network displayed the candidate’s website at the bottom of the screen as he spoke, which the DGA says constitutes an in-kind contribution. Kasich’s campaign raised over $21,000 from the FOX News solicitation, according to the complaint.
DGA Executive Director Nathan Daschle told Stein that there was a difference between running a website URL on screen and just allowing a candidate to pitch his or her website on their own
“We did our homework,” he said. “We talked to other networks and other networks told us they have policies against putting up campaign websites like Fox did… Certainly other networks will have candidates on the air. But people don’t take it as far as Fox does.”
But as Stein points out, there is another possible motivation for the complaint — feuds between Democrats and the network can reel in the donations. A recent $1 million donation by Fox News parent company News Corp. brought in a similar amount for the DGA.
Kasich is not the only GOP member pulling his URL on Fox. Nevada Republican Sharron Angle, Sen. Harry Reid’s Republican opponent, has said she goes on shows which allow her to give out her web address.
“Well, in that audience will they let me say I need $25 dollars from a million people go to Sharron Angle.com send money? Will they let me say that? Will I get a bump on my website and you can watch whenever I go on to a show like that we get an immediate bump,” Angle said.
The DGA complaint is embedded below.
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