Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Greg Fischer Violates FEC Law (Again)

Greg Fischer appears to have violated Federal Election law yet again. Fischer, who wants to run as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, has released a television ad that appears to clearly violate FEC rules.

Federal candidates are required to state in their TV ads that the candidate approved the ad's message. Fischer's tag line, at the end of his ad, does not follow the FEC rules.

The FEC gives the candidate two options to indicate he approved the TV ad, but Fischer still failed to comply with either alternative.

Fischer could have met the FEC requirements by simply appearing on camera and stating that he approved the ad. But he did not. Or he could have said the words as a voice over, that is Fischer takes responsibility for the ad on the audio track while the camera shows a shot of Fischer kissing babies or whatever. He didn't bother to follow that prong of the rule, either.

Likewise, Fischer's ad violates the requirement that the disclaimer appear in writing at the ad, with enough color contrast that voters can notice it, for at least four seconds. Fischer does include a written disclaimer, but it flashes by almost as quickly as the subliminal messages in the Beatles's music he plays in the background.

Fischer's campaign has a history of sloppy compliance with campaign law. He conducted campaign business using a corporate email account -- essentially an illegal corporate contribution. He used corporate underlings to register domain sites for his campaign. And he exceeded the $5000 spending limit without declaring his candidacy.

Given that Fischer enjoys a paltry six percent approval rating in the polls, maybe it makes no difference.

Update: Fischer's approval rating has inched up to nine percent. Perhaps he's waiting to obey the election laws until he breaks into double digits.

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