Dems Accuse Fox News of Illegal Campaign Contribution

Rupert Murdoch, News Corp chairman and CEO, May 9, 2007. AP

John Kasich
John Kasich, Republican candidate for governor in Ohio.
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The Democratic Governors Association is accusing Fox News of making an illegal campaign contribution to a Republican gubernatorial candidate, the Huffington Post reports.

The DGA reportedly filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission accusing Fox of giving Ohio candidate John Kasich free political advertising.

When Kasich appeared on Fox News earlier this month, the complaint reportedly lays out, he solicited donations on air while Fox added the graphics "John Kasich (R), KasichforOhio.com" under Mr. Kasich's image. The complaint says Kasich raised more than $21,000 from the solicitation.

Promoting Kasich's website while he was on air amounted to free political advertising, the DGA is arguing, which would be a violation of election laws. Fox also violated the rules by failing to provide a "paid for" disclaimer on its political advertisement, the DGA is charging.

"We talked to other networks and other networks told us they have policies against putting up campaign websites like Fox did," DGA's executive director Nathan Daschle told the Huffington Post. "This isn't accidental. It is part of a pattern of activities Fox has taken to elect Republicans."

While Fox is known largely for its conservative commentators, the network maintains its news is nonpartisan. However, its parent company News Corp. came under fire for giving $1 million to the Republican Governors Association. The DGA was able to exploit that incident to raise over $1 million of its own.

Daschle said its complaint to the Ohio Elections Commission is legitimate, but he acknowledged to the Huffington Post the financial benefit to portraying Fox as an adversary

"When Fox does this, our donors and a lot of new donors come to the DGA as a way to say, 'Keep fighting Fox'."

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