Equal time for Terry Lamphier?

Terry Lamphier Overexposed here

Terry Lamphier
Overexposed here

Dan Miller Overexposed at KNCO?

Dan Miller
Overexposed at KNCO?

Grass Valley Mayor Dan Miller has declared his candidacy for the county supervisor’s seat now held by Terry Lamphier, yet continues to appear regularly on KNCO radio.

While this isn’t a violation of the Federal Communications Commission’s equal opportunities requirement, KNCO’s use of Miller in its coverage of Nevada Union football raises questions about fairness when just a few media outlets dominate a small community.

Miller can be heard on Friday nights providing color commentary during Miners games, hardly an enviable task this season. But given the popularity of prep football in this area, it doesn’t hurt to be publicly associated with the team.

The FCC’s equal opportunities (also known as “equal time”) provisions don’t kick in until an on-air personality becomes an official candidate. Neither Miller nor Lamphier have filed the necessary paper work yet, according to the county Registrar of Voters office. (The first filing deadline is in February.)

Many broadcasters don’t wait that long, removing employees from the air as soon as they say they’re candidates. Fox News removed Newt Gingrich from the air when he announced his candidacy for President last year, football analyst Craig James disappeared from ESPN when he decided to run for the Senate in Texas, and a Chicago radio station recently removed a sports talk show host from the air when he ran for mayor of a suburban city.

The equal time rules apply to local and state races as well as federal contests, according to long-time broadcast law attorney David Oxenford, and they also apply even if the employee-candidate never mentions his or her candidacy on the air.

KNCO is a major media outlet in our community, and has the potential to reach every voter in the third district. If Miller becomes an official candidate before the football season ends, Lamphier should make a call to the management of the station and demand equal time. (By the way, that would be free of charge.)

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4 Responses to Equal time for Terry Lamphier?

  1. terry lamphier says:

    FYI
    RE: “The FCC’s equal opportunities (also known as “equal time”) provisions don’t kick in until an on-air personality becomes an official candidate. Neither Miller nor Lamphier have filed the necessary paper work yet, according to the county Registrar of Voters office. (The first filing deadline is in February.”

    I can’t speak for Dan, but I am current with filing requirements with our County and the State. Also, it is my understanding that the “equal time” clause disappeared years ago, so any air time on KNCO would be at their discretion. I’d appear if they asked (and I’ve enjoyed sharing air with the folks there).
    As far as Dan’s continued work as a sports announcer, folks probably appreciate his commentary (otherwise he wouldn’t still be on radio). While it likely does create a voter bonding effect, informed voters who want the best county leadership are unlikely to confuse issues with “celebrity”. I welcome debate on issues.

    Anyone with questions about my candidacy or stand on issues are welcome to contact me at gvsupe@yahoo.com. or write me at Re-Elect Terry 2014, PO Box 1784, Grass Valley 95945.

    terry

    • ag101board says:

      When I called the registrar’s office Oct. 2, I was informed that neither you nor Miller had filed the paperwork necessary to become an official candidate.

      As for being okay with Miller remaining on the air, you’re a lot more tolerant than most candidates.

    • terry lamphier says:

      In the interest of clarity, I spoke with our elections office and no candidate for any office may file a “declaration of candidacy” for next year’s elections any sooner than February 10, 2014. As regards any other required paperwork, I am current on filings.
      terry

    • ag101board says:

      Then we agree–you haven’t qualified to get your name on the ballot yet.

      As for the “equal time” rule, it is still very much the law, despite what your sources may have told you.

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