Intimidation from Durbin?
9 months ago by Bob Gough
Lawyer representing the Illinois Senator contacts Quincy radio station about an ad blasting him
Lawyers from Sen. Dick Durbin’s campaign have contacted radio stations across Illinois regarding an ad run by Americas PAC.
The Chairman of the group says station owners are being intimidated, with vague mentions about the risk of losing their FCC broadcasting licenses.
“Obviously Americas PAC has hit on an issue that works,” said Americas PAC Chairman Tom Donelson. “And just like he has in the past, Dick Durbin is trying to use every tool at his disposal to stifle free speech.”
Last week, Americas PAC began airing a radio ad in Illinois highlighting the wage gap between men and women in Durbin’s senate office.
“Dick Durbin’s crony capitalism and hypocrisy are on full display,” Donelson said. “This isn’t about equal pay. This is about paying off trial lawyers. Simply put, Dick Durbin and the Democrats are hypocritically pretending to be champions of equal pay so they can line the pockets of trial lawyers who donate to their campaigns.”
Donelson says Americas PAC has no intention of pulling the ad.
Quincy's WTAD-AM, which is owned by STARadio along with Quincy Journal, has been running the ad. STARadio was contacted by someone representing Sen. Durbin.
"WTAD received an email and phone call from a firm representing Senator Durbin earlier in the week," said STARadio VP/GM Mike Moyers. "A letter attached to the email implied that the commercial being aired by Americas PAC contained false information and that WTAD would be liable should we continue to air it. Sources provided by Americas PAC were checked and proved to be in line, so the commercial in question is still on the air."
FCC licensed stations are regulated by the Federal Government. Donelson says Senator Durbin has shown a willingness to target political groups that disagree with the Obama agenda, citing Durbin's 2012 request for the IRS to review and audit 501(c)(4) groups engaged in issue advocacy.
“If anything, we’ll increase the buy,” Donelson said. “And even if the stations knuckle under to the threats of Senator Durbin and his lawyers, Americas PAC will continue to run ads highlighting Senator Durbin’s and the President’s wage gap problems and hypocrisy. We’re scripting an even harder hitting ad already.”
“It is not surprising that an entity licensed by the federal government would be unlikely to want to risk censure by Durbin, the President and their allies,” Donelson said.