FEC Complaint Addendum v CNN and Beto for Texas Released

Libertarian Releases Amended FEC Complaint Responding to CNN Missteps; Questions If Contradictions in CNN Response Could Cost O’Rourke Most of Beto For Texas’ Reported Campaign Cash in FEC action

Neal Dikeman for Senate filed a complaint Addendum detailing additional evidence, and says the contradictions in CNN response to Neal Dikeman for Senate potentially exacerbate CNN's legal position and provide new evidence CNN may have violated a separate FECA provision, which if CNN is found in violation would similarly require in our view that Beto for Texas repay $10 mm to CNN, equivalent to almost all of Beto for Texas’ reported campaign cash.

The Addendum includes i) letters between the Cruz campaign and CNN that demonstrate that contrary to its response to us, CNN did in fact originally intend a multi-candidate debate and not a town-hall interview, and was working with the Beto for Texas campaign on the format design, ii) provides additional evidence detailing CNN's exclusion of both local residents on a partisan basis, and 4 local TV stations from coverage of the event on the day of, a further clear step-out from its pattern of general news coverage, the primary basis of our initial complaint iii) and provides evidence that CNN's own letter now indicates that it did not use pre-established objective criteria to determine the participants, an additional new clear violation under FECA that was not alleged in the first complaint.

“CNN’s legal department stated that it used as the objective basis for excluding our candidate from the debate consideration a CNN poll which CNN claimed showed Dikeman was “not polling well”.  In that poll CNN had not actually included our candidate’s name in the polling, and had specifically designed the polling question to imply only two candidates were in the race,” says the Dikeman campaign.

"Q1. If the election for U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were Beto O'Rourke, the Democrat, and Ted Cruz, the Republican, who would you be more likely to vote for – " - CNN Poll Oct 16

“The requirement in the FECA to use pre-established objective criteria for debate inclusion is well-established, but as we had not included our exclusion as the basis for our initial complaint, we are unclear why CNN’s legal department would go out of its way to point it out instead of answering the actual complaint.  It seems as if they may not have actually read our complaint before responding, and ended up inadvertently providing direct evidence that they did not use objective criteria, indicating a clear cut additional FECA violation”.

Read the full Addendum including letters published between CNN and the Cruz campaign in the complaint.

"As the event in question has now passed, we see no alternative remedy but for the FEC to levy appropriate and commensurate fine against CNN for its violation, and for Beto for Texas to repay CNN for the fair market value of its in-kind $10 million prohibited corporate campaign contribution as is normal practice when prohibited contributions are received.  We recognize that this amount represents almost the entire reported cash on hand of Beto for Texas."

Money should not drive politics.  Corporations should not fund politicians.  All media sources need to play buy the same rules.

Reference

FEC Complaint Addendum

CNN Poll 

FEC Complaint Full Text

Demand Letter to CNN

CNN SVP – Legal Response Letter

Neal Dikeman for Senate to CNN Response

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