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Missouri Attorney General asks FCC whether candidate can air hate ads

Sunday, April 18, 2010 | 4:28 p.m. CDT; updated 8:11 p.m. CDT, Sunday, April 18, 2010

KANSAS CITY— The Federal Communications Commission is being asked to decide whether a white supremacist who is a fringe candidate in Missouri's high-profile U.S. Senate race should be allowed to air campaign commercials.

The Kansas City Star reported that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed the request with the FCC on Friday. He was joined by the Missouri Broadcasters Association and a radio station chain in mid-Missouri.

The question Koster and the broadcasters want decided is whether Glenn Miller is a "bona fide" write-in candidate for the Senate in Missouri. Miller, of Aurora, has been buying or trying to buy airtime to voice anti-Semitic views and goading white people to "take our country back."

The FCC requires broadcasters to give qualified federal candidates access to airtime. Federal law says the stations can't censor or edit the ads.

Some stations have aired Miller's spots, saying they have no choice.

The petition before the FCC argues Miller isn't legally qualified because he isn't a bona fide candidate with a campaign committee, an office or press releases, as FCC rules require for write-in campaigns.

"Whatever Miller's commitment might be," the petition says, "it is not about getting elected in the general election, but simply to pervert the campaign laws to his true purpose of requiring FCC licensees to broadcast his non-campaign messages to an unsuspecting public."

Attorney Mark Sableman, representing the broadcasters, said the FCC needs to provide guidance to his clients.

"The integrity of the process is at stake," he said. "If anybody can have this very unusual right (of access) without truly being a bona fide candidate, then our whole political process has been undercut."

However, Miller disputed the claim that his candidacy lacks legitimacy.

"What possible evidence could be presented to argue the point that I'm not a bona fide candidate?" he said. "It's just a conspiracy trying to shut me up."


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Comments

Gloria Poole April 18, 2010 | 5:18 p.m.

I do not know what Glenn Miller has said or written.Why is it secretive if he is running for office?
My other point is, does the FCC decides who qualifies as a candidate instead of the state in question? Isn't the FCC only about communications? Isn't the appropriate directed by Congress agency to ask the FEC-Federal Election Campaign agency?
And my third point is, isn't censorship of speech unconstitutional on the face of it? IS it different if the FCC censors than if the newspaper does? If so, how so? IS a nation that allows a board of 10-15 people [I don't think FCC exceeds that number] to decide on what the entire nation wants to hear or could independently decide on given the content, free? Does not Glenn Miller have first amendment liberties whether or not he is running for office? Is running for office a less-than-citizenship-situation as far as civil liberties are concerned? Does one park one's first amendment liberties at the secretary of states' office when he or she registers as a candidate?
And finally, what constitutes a 'candidate' in any State? Is it a willingness to hold office, to seek to be a servant to the people of the state, or what?
If Glenn Miller is anti-semitic as the state says why is he not reported/quoted by the news since that is generally considered a 'dangerous' viewpoint in America? Classifying words as dangerous is dangerous in my way of thinking since the real dangers are those who use weapons to kill innocents. Words are not weapons.
I am very curious now as to what Glenn Miller said or wrote that made the state seek an opinion on an election in a STATE about whether or not to censor a candidate? Gloria Poole

(Report Comment)
Dobie Smart April 19, 2010 | 7:53 a.m.

You can see his website and ridiculous comments here: http://www.whty.org/

He's a "write in" candidate.

(Report Comment)

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