Clarification of Fair Campaign Provisions concerning staff
TO: LSB Staff and listener candidates
FROM: Caleb Kleppner, WBAI Local Election Supervisor
RE: Clarification of Fair Campaign Provisions concerning staff
DATE: October 28, 2004
This memo attempts to clarify the implications of the Fair Campaign Provisions (FCPs) for staff participation in candidate forums and use of other station resources.
Provision #1, "No Foundation or radio station management or staff (paid or unpaid) may use or permit the use of radio station air time to endorse, campaign or recommend in favor of, or against any candidates for election as a Listener-Sponsor Delegate."
Provision #3 reads, "No foundation or radio station management or staff (paid or unpaid) may give any on-air endorsements to any candidates for Listener-Sponsor Delegate.
Provision #8 reads, "Station Resources: No station resources, including, but not limited to staff services, equipment, and meeting space may be provided unequally to some candidates but not others."
In consultation with National Election Supervisor Kenny Mostern, we have already ruled that:
1. Staff candidates are not permitted to endorse listener candidates and slates in their candidate statements, which are posted on the station's website and printed and mailed to all staff members;
We wish to clarify how these same principles apply to:
1. Candidate forums that include staff candidates,
The following guidelines shall apply to staff candidate forums, other station-publicized events and other on air resources:
Violations of these guidelines will generally lead to additional air of the carts of harmed candidates, but repeated or egregious violations will lead to more severe penalties.
I apologize if these guidelines appear to conflict with earlier memoranda about the Fair Campaign Provisions. The FCP make it clear that staff may not support or oppose listener candidate using station resources, and a candidate forum promoted by the station is definitely a station resource.
If you have any questions or concerns about them, please don't hesitate to contact me at 212-561-1525 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below you will find a few possible methods for conducting combined listener and staff forums that comply with the FCP and the clarifications and guidelines above. Organizers and moderators of candidate forums are responsible for the format and facilitation of their forums, so the following are merely options:
Ways of structuring the listener and candidate forums:
1. Hold the listener candidate forum first for 90 minutes or so, and then hold the staff candidate forum second, presumably for 45 minutes or so.
Ways of structuring statements and questions in a forum:
3. Allow all candidates to make short opening statements, then take 60-90 second questions from the audiences, and give every candidate the opportunity to answer each question, with perhaps 60 second responds. Then give each candidate time for a closing statement. The candidate who speaks first should rotate from open statement to each question to closing statements.
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