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How often does a newspaper file a complaint about illegal campaign ads?

AP reports: The Eureka Times-Standard has filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission alleging that a political group that produced campaign mailers and television advertisements about a city councilman should have to identify the people behind it.

The newspaper contends that the Eureka Coalition for Jobs violated the Political Reform Act by failing to register as a campaign committee with the secretary of state, which would require it to disclose its leaders and file campaign finance reports.

A Sacramento lobbyist who represents the coalition, Wayne Ordos, maintained the group is not required to register as a campaign committee because the ads it placed about Councilman Chris Kerrigan were "issue-based" and didn't advocate for or against any candidate.

The Times-Standard disputed that, saying the ads were clearly designed to thwart Kerrigan's re-election chances by portraying him in a negative light. Kerrigan nevertheless wound up winning his race. -- AP Wire | 11/11/2004 | Eureka Times-Standard files fair political practices complaint


Does the political reform act regulate only express advocacy? Was this advocacy express? Does California's anti-slapp law apply to this controversy? On the subject of CFPPC, recently a court struck down some of their disclaimer rules, but I didn't see the decision posted to their web site last I checked. Anyone have it?
Robbin Stewart gtbear at gmail.com