OHIO ELECTIONS COMMISSION
Democratic Governors Association
1401 K Street, N.W., Ste. 200
Washington, D.C. 20005
FOX News Network, L.L.C.
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, N.Y. 10036
There is reason to believe that FOX News Network, L.L.C. violated Ohio election
law on August 18, 2010 when John Kasich appeared on a network program, solicited
contributions for his campaign, and FOX News added the graphics “John Kasich
(R), KasichforOhio.com” under Mr. Kasich’s image. The Kasich campaign raised
more than $21,000 from the FOX News solicitation. The apparent violations include:
a. A prohibited in-kind contribution in the form of free political advertising
provided by FOX News Network, L.L.C. to John Kasich’s campaign, and
b. Failure to include a proper disclaimer on FOX News Network, L.L.C.’s
political advertisement for Mr. Kasich.
1 . This complaint is filed with the Ohio Elections Commission in accordance with the
provisions of Ohio Rev. Code §§ 3517.153 and 3517.154 in the belief that FOX News
Network, L.L.C. violated Ohio Rev. Code §§ 3517.10(I)(5) (contribution made in the
name of an unincorporated business) and 3517.20(A)(2) and (B)(1) (identification of
source of political communications).
2 . John Kasich's campaign committee is Kasich Taylor for Ohio (the "Kasich Campaign")
and its web address is KasichforOhio.com. Visitors to KasichforOhio.com are
encouraged to make financial contributions to the Kasich Campaign by credit card on the
3 . On June 24, 2010, News America, Inc., the parent company of FOX News Network,
L.L.C., contributed $1 million to the Republican Governors Association upon
information and belief. The Republican Governors Association is actively engaged in
working to elect John Kasich in Ohio. It appears that News America, Inc. and FOX
News Network, L.L.C. are pursuing a multi-pronged strategy to support and elect
FOX News Network, L.L.C. apparently made an in-kind contribution in the form of a
political advertisement to the Kasich Campaign when it added the on-screen graphics “John
Kasich (R), Running for Ohio Governor" and "John Kasich (R), KasichforOhio.com”
during John Kasich’s appearance on August 18, 2010.
4 . On August 18, 2010, John Kasich appeared on a FOX News Network, L.L.C. television
program. John Kasich’s appearance on the FOX News Network L.L.C. television
program can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AGXUCur3_Q
5 . FOX News Network, L.L.C. added the graphics "John Kasich (R), Running for
Ohio Governor" and “John Kasich (R), KasichforOhio.com” to the television screen
during John Kasich’s appearance. “John Kasich (R), KasichforOhio.com" appeared
on the screen for approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds during the FOX News
Network, L.L.C. broadcast. A screen shot of the image is attached as Exhibit A.
6 . A “contribution” is defined as “anything of value … made, received, or used for the
purpose of influencing the results of an election.” Ohio Rev. Code §3517.01(5).
7 . An “in-kind contribution means anything of value other than money that is used
to influence the results of an election … and that is made with the consent of, in
coordination, cooperation, or consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of the
benefited candidate. Ohio Rev. Code §3517.01(16). An in-kind contribution “includes
the provision of goods or services without charge or at a charge which is less than the
usual and normal charge for such goods or such services.” Ohio Admin. Code §111-1-
8 . The contribution limit to a candidate for governor in 2010 is $11,395.56. Ohio Rev.
Code §3517.20(A)(2). Upon information and belief, the value of an advertisement of at
least 1 minute and 30 seconds on FOX News Network, L.L.C.'s program is greater than
the contribution limit.
9 . “Express advocacy” is defined as “a communication that contains express words
advocating the nomination election, or defeat of a candidate…as determined by a
final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.” Ohio Rev. Code §3517.01(23).
1 0 .“John Kasich (R), KasichforOhio.com” constitutes express advocacy as the term was
defined by the U.S. Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, at 80 fn. 52 (1976).
1 1 .John Kasich demonstrated his consent, cooperation, and coordination with FOX News
Network, L.L.C. in accepting their in-kind contribution by (a) appearing on their
television program and (b) directly soliciting contributions to his campaign during his
appearance when he said “KasichforOhio.com, send me your nickels and pennies”
while “John Kasich (R), KasichforOhio.com” appeared on the television screen.
1 2 . The FOX News solicitation raised more than $21.000 for the Kasich Campaign.
On August 21, 2010 during a campaign appearance in Cincinnati, John Kasich said:
“The other night, I was on a show with a man who always gives you the last word, Bill
O’Reilly. And I said, if you want to help my campaign, our campaign, and you have
any extra nickels or pennies, send them to us and in the next 12 hours, we received over
A copy of the Cincinnati event written transcript is attached as Exhibit B. A copy of the
audio recording is attached as Exhibit C.
1 3 .This political advertisement by FOX News Network, L.L.C. on behalf of the Kasich
Campaign is distinguishable from the traditional newspaper editorial endorsement
of a candidate. Editorial boards act independently of any candidate in making their
endorsement decision and they do not provide free advertising for the candidates to
solicit campaign contributions.
1 4 .There is reason to believe that when FOX News Network, L.L.C. added the express
advocacy statement “John Kasich (R), KasichforOhio.com” to its broadcast of an
appearance by John Kasich, it made an in-kind contribution to John Kasich’s campaign in
the form of a political advertisement in violation of Ohio law.
FOX News Network, L.L.C. is prohibited from making an in-kind contribution in the
name of the limited liability company to John Kasich’s campaign committee.
1 5 .FOX News Network, L.L.C. is prohibited from making a contribution to an Ohio
candidate in the name of the limited liability company. Ohio Rev. Code §3517(I)(5).
1 6 .When a limited liability company makes a contribution to a candidate it must
provide “the name of each partner, owner, or member as of the date of the contribution
or contributions who is participating in the contribution or contributions, and
a statement that the contribution or contributions are to be allocated to those
individuals in accordance with the information provided by the partnership or other
unincorporated business to the recipient of the contribution.” Ohio Rev. Code §3517(I)
1 7 .Political advertising must include “the name and residence or business address of …
[the] entity that issues or otherwise is responsible for that political publication or that
makes an expenditure for that political communication …in a conspicuous place on that
political publication or is contained within that political communication.” Ohio Rev.
1 8 .“No … entity shall utter or cause to be uttered, over the broadcasting facilities of any
radio or television station within this state, any communication that is designed to
promote the nomination, election, or defeat of a candidate, or the adoption or defeat of
an issue or to influence the voters in an election, unless the speaker identifies the speaker
with the speaker’s name and residence address or unless the communication identifies the
chairperson, treasurer, or secretary of the organization responsible for the communication
with the name and residence or business address of that officer …”Ohio Rev. Code
1 9 .FOX News Network, L.L.C. failed to provide a “paid for by” disclaimer on its political
advertisement for John Kasich that identified the name of each individual member of the
limited liability company who participated in making the contribution to John Kasich’s
2 0 .As a result, it appears that FOX News Network, L.L.C. made the in-kind contribution to
John Kasich’s campaign in the name of the limited liability company in violation of Ohio
John Kasich’s campaign is required to disclose the names of each individual member of
FOX News Network, L.L.C. who participated in making the in-kind contribution.
2 1 .John Kasich’s campaign has not filed a financial disclosure report that discloses the in-
kind political advertising contribution it received from FOX News Network, L.L.C. on
August 18, 2010.
2 2 .The recipient of a contribution from a limited liability company “shall report the
contribution by listing both the [limited liability company] and the name of the partner,
owner, or member making the contribution.” Ohio Rev. Code §3517.10(I)(1).
2 3 .When John Kasich’s campaign files its next financial disclosure report for the period
including August 18, 2010, it must disclose the name of each individual member of
FOX News Network, L.L.C. who participated in the contribution and the amount of the
contribution allocated to those individuals.
There is reason to believe that FOX News Network, L.L.C. violated Ohio election law
when John Kasich appeared on a broadcast, solicited contributions to his campaign committee,
and FOX News Network, L.L.C. added the graphics "John Kasich (R), Running for Governor,"
and “John Kasich (R), KasichforOhio.com” under Mr. Kasich’s image.
I respectfully request that the Ohio Elections Commission investigate this matter to
determine the full nature and extent of any violations.
By: Nathan Daschle
The District of Columbia
Before me, , a Notary Public, personally came Nathan Daschle,
who being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says that on or about August 18, 2010 FOX
News Network, L.L.C. apparently violated Ohio election law as described in this complaint.
Sworn to and subscribed before me on Septmber , 2010.
My commission expires: ____________________