Sandler, Reiff & Young, P.C
50 E Street, S.E., Suite 300
Washington, DC  20003

Joseph E. Sandler
Neil P. Reiff

John Hardin Young

August 3, 2004

Via Fascimile


Attention: Station Manager

          We are writing on behalf of our client, the Democratic National Committee ("DNC").  It has come to the DNC's attention that your station is running, or is about to run, an advertisement, entitled "Blowing in the Wind", sponsored by the Club for Growth PAC.  The advertisement attacks Senator John F. Kerry, the Democratic Party nominee for President of the U.S.

          The advertisement states, first, that Senator Kerry was "For a 50-cent gas tax hike, then maybe not."  That statement is absolutely, unequivocally false.  Senator Kerry has never sponsored, co-sponsored or voted for any piece of legislation--not one--that would impose a 50-cent gasoline tax.  As reported by, the independent nonpartisan project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, "In fact, Kerry never voted for a gas-tax bill in the Senate, and he didn't co-sponsor a 1993 bill to raise the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon each year for five years." (, home page, "Anti-Kerry Ad Highlights Changes on Welfare, Death Penalty" (emphasis added)).

          Second, the advertisement states that "Kerry voted for higher taxes 350 times."  That statement, also, is totally, unequivocally false.  According to

It is simple false to imply that Kerry has voted that many times to raise taxes above prevailing levels.  The Club for Growth is recycling a figure generated by the Bush-Cheney campaign.  ...Most of the 350 votes the Bush campaign lists are actually votes to keep taxes the same, and against proposed cuts.  Some of the 350 votes are actually votes to cut taxes....
Id. (emphasis added).

         Your station is not obligated to accept this advertisement for broadcast nor is it required to account in any way for its decision to reject such an advertisement. Columbia Broadcasting System v. Democratic National Committee 412 U.S. 94 (1973); You Can't Afford Dodd Committee, 81 FCC2d 579 (1980).  The Club for Growth is not a federal candidate or candidate committee.  Repeated efforts by organizations that are not candidate committees to obtain a private right of access have been consistently rejected by the FCC.  See e.g., National Conservative Political Action Committee, 89 FCC2d 626 (1982).

          Although a broadcast station should provide contrasting views on issues of public importance, it should not broadcast an inflammatory advertisement that contains, in this case, what are nothing more than two blatant lies.  As noted, this advertisement is not a political spot that is being run by a legally qualified candidate, and therefore, you have no legal obligation to air it.  On the contrary, you have an obligation to exercise your independent editorial judgment as an FCC licensee as to whether you should run an advertisement that contains two naked falsehoods.

          We appeal to your best editorial judgment and sense of decency and fairness and urge you not to carry this blatantly false commercial.

Sincerely yours,

Joseph E. Sandler