MD AG: Former Governor's WBAL Show Not A Campaign Contribution
May 24, 2010 at 12:40 PM (PT)
HEARST Talk WBAL-A/BALTIMORE's airing of the weekly show hosted by former MARYLAND Governor BOB EHRLICH does not constitute a political contribution to EHRLICH's campaign to regain the State House, according to the MARYLAND Attorney General's office.
The BALTIMORE SUN reports that in an eleven page letter to the State Board of Elections prompted by a complaint from the MARYLAND DEMOCRATIC PARTY, Assistant Attorney General JEFFREY L. DARSIE said that broadcasting a candidate's political remarks is not "a possible in-kind contribution. In general, state efforts to regulate media appearances by a candidate, potential candidate or others through a state's campaign finance laws raises significant First Amendment concerns. This is true even where the person appearing has some practical control over the content of the broadcast, including as host."
EHRLICH has said he will remain on the air until he officially files his paperwork for the election with the state and may then turn the show over to his wife and co-host KENDAL EHRLICH; DEMOCRATIC PARTY Chairwoman SUSAN TURNBULL told the SUN that EHRLICH is "exploiting a technicality in the law."