Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Press release from the Todd Camenisch for Senate campaign (LD 30):
Camenisch: Antenori complaint shows ‘fat cat’ influence
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett and State Elections Director Amy Bjelland have been asked to immediately investigate state Sen. Frank Antenori (R) for allegedly violating campaign laws.
The complaint stems from the Oct. 15 broadcast of the conservative Jon Justice Show on Tucson radio station KQTH-104.1 FM, “The Truth,” which is owned by Journal Broadcasting.
“Mr. Antenori has violated the prohibition on corporate contribution by hosting a two-hour radio show without paying for the air time, thereby receiving an in-kind contribution from the radio station,” according to the complaint, which was filed Tuesday afternoon. “Under A.R.S. § 16-919(A), a candidate campaign committee cannot ‘accept any contribution of money or anything of value from a corporation or a limited liability company for the purpose of influencing an election.’”
Since the election is less than a week away, the complaint asks for an immediate investigation.
“This is an example of big media trying to control the electoral process with excessive influence,” said Todd Camenisch, whose all-volunteer grass-roots campaign for the Legislative District 30 Senate seat refused to accept money from declared lobbyists and large corporations.
“This is also typical of the way politicians like my opponent get bought and sold by fat cats and big corporations that care more about tax loopholes than schools for our kids,” Camenisch said.
“Campaign finance violations are an issue that should be taken very seriously,” Camenisch said. “The ugly truth about Frank Antenori and the state Legislature is that they have been bought and sold by large out-of-state corporations. This needs to stop.”
If proven, Antenori would be guilty of a Class 6 felony. In Arizona, conviction of a felony suspends the right to vote, hold office, sit on a jury and own firearms. Ariz. Const. art. VII § 2(C); ARS §§ 13-904(A)(1), 16-101(A)(5); 21-201(3).
“Throughout the two hours … Mr. Antenori promoted his campaign, espoused his political beliefs, and disparaged Democratic candidates and elected officials,” the complaint says. “At the end of the two-hour program, Mr. Antenori announced a campaign fund-raising event in Green Valley and asked listeners to attend the fundraiser and to vote for him.
“This kind of express advocacy must be paid for by the campaign, include proper disclaimers pursuant to A.R.S. § 16-912, and be reported by Mr. Antenori on his campaign finance reports,” the complaint says. “By failing to do so, Mr. Antenori violated several campaign finance laws and should be held accountable, including a fine of three times the value of the radio air time pursuant to A.R.S. § 16-912(E).”
The station’s programming director, Ryan McCredden, confirmed that Antenori hosted the show as a favor to Justice and his campaign didn’t pay for a two-hour infomercial. Podcasts of Antenori’s show are posted online at http://www.1041thetruth.com/podcast/justiceondemand. On the show, Antenori says he has “volunteered to fill in” for Justice. Antenori also repeatedly identifies himself as “State Senator Frank Antenori” throughout the program.
Camenisch is available for interviews.