Tuesday, April 26, 2005

No Laffey Matter

The state Board of Elections today pulled the plug on Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey's Friday morning radio show which aired on WPRO-AM. They reasoned that the free publicity, not to mention the free airtime, that Laffey received was nothing more than an in-kind contribution to a current officeholder. Ya' think? How many other local politicians get such generous contributions from the media, still the primary conduit for getting your name and message in front of the voters? As Cranston City Council President Aram Garabedian, a Democrat who filed the complaint leading to the Board's action, said, "It's worth thousands of dollars. Everybody knows its value, because we all spend that money to get in front of the people.'' D**n straight. Laffey's lawyer can start tossing all the First Amendment Red Herrings he wants, but the Board's ruling is not putting a muzzle on Laffey (pity.) He can talk all he wants -- he just can't do so on the public airwaves subsidized by some corporate largesse. And when the mouthpiece further tweaks our nose with the contention that Laffey's not a candidate receiving a political advantage, we're hearing the most transparent political denial since Richard Nixon's "I am not a crook." The good news for the radio station is that they don't have to miss a beat. The famous old actor "Francis the Talking Mule" is available to fill the time slot with yet another publicity-seeking a**.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Andrew said...

If we carry the state Board of Elections ruling that Cranston Mayor’s Steve Laffey’s radio program is an in-kind contribution to its logical conclusion, shouldn’t an op-ed in the newspaper also be defined as an in-kind contribution? How much would it have cost these representatives to get the same exposure they got for free by writing in the Projo....

More reply here

4/28/2005 09:10:00 AM  

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