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California broadcaster gives free times to GOP only

AP reports: One of [California's] biggest broadcasters has given 13 Republican county committees $325,000 worth of free air time to promote candidates on its radio and television stations that serve communities from Sacramento to San Diego.

Pappas Telecasting Cos., which calls itself the largest privately held broadcast firm in the nation, made the donations earlier this month. While it is unclear how much of the time has actually been taken, Democrats complain the offer unfairly benefits GOP candidates in violation of federal law.

An attorney representing Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, D-Hanford - who is running in a hotly contested re-election race against Republican Dean Gardner - sent a letter Saturday to Pappas demanding equal time.

A spokesman for Pappas, however, said the donations have been reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission and do not trigger provisions of federal law that require broadcasters to give all candidates equal broadcast time. -- Fresno broadcaster donates $325,000 in air time to GOP committees (AP via mercurynews.com)