Saturday, November 04, 2006

 

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Daniels

A last minute ethics complaint has been filed against Charlie Daniels in his race for re-election to the Secretary of State's office. Mary Mann, campaign manager for Jim Lagrone, filed the ethics complaint after hearing some suspicious commercial spots in Fayetteville. A little research and she knew something was amiss.

She sent out a message to everyone on the Jim Lagrone mailing list, informing them of the action. Below is a copy of the complaint she filed with the ethics commission.


Statement of Complain Against Charlie Daniels Filed with the Arkansas Ethics

Commission 11/3/06

On Friday, Oct. 27, 2006 at approximately 11:20 a.m. I heard a 30 second votenaturally.org (HAVA) radio spot run on KFAY-AM radio in Fayetteville. It was immediately followed by a 30 second Charlie Daniels campaign spot. As an experienced campaign media buyer I knew that this specific station only sells radio spots in 60 second increments of time. No 30 second spots are available. I was immediately curious as to how a HAVA spot (non-political in nature) that touts the benefits by a disabled man of voting on the new electronic voting machines, could possibly run together with a campaign spot promoting the re-election of Charlie Daniels as Secretary of State.

I called my sales rep at that station and asked how those spots could run together. After investigating, she called back to say that "spot" was sent as a 60 second "package"from ARN radio in Little Rock. I then called a contact at ARN who investigated and called back to say he was told that it was a coincidence the spots ran together. This didn't make sense, as I knew that could not be the case and my sales rep said the spots were ordered together as a package.

I did find out that the spots were paid for separately. The HAVA votenaturally.org spots were purchased by a media firm in Little Rock and Charlie Daniels' spots were paid for by a media firm in Georgia. At that point, I let the issue drop because ARN kept insisting it was a "coincidence"and I had no proof otherwise. They also insisted that the Oct. 27th play was the only time those two spots ran together.

On Thursday, Nov. 2 at 3:30 p.m. I heard the same exact two spots run again on KFAY as one 60 second package. I called my sales rep again, who said she had a log order (see attached) that instructed these spots to always run together in a 60 second package. I called ARN again. My contact talked with the production manager at ARN, who told him the two 30 second spots were produced and sent to ARN as one 60 second spot and ordered to always run together as one 60 second spot.

My complaint is that Charlie Daniels is using his position as Secretary of State, and his control over HAVA funds, to deliberately violate Statute 21-8-304 Sec. 3 and Statute 7-1-103.Byec 3. By using the votenaturally.org commercials - which are non-political and paid for with government HAVA funds - to positively influence voters in his favor.

These 60 second radio spots have been running statewide through the ARN network for over 10 days and have provided him a distinctly unfair advantage in this race. He should not be able to use his position as Secretary of State, and someone who has access to HAVA funds, to influence the outcome of this election.

Daniels has had a history of ethics complaints filed against him for one thing or another - hiring family, deciding on ES&S over a company that was recommended by his own committee, etc. This time it appears to be something that will stick. This is a flagrant violation of campaign ethics. Let's make sure that he is not in office when the Ethics Commission finally gets around to ruling on this matter.

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