NES Response To Fair Elections Complaint Filed 9-10-19 KPFT

Complainant: Robert Gartner

The complainant alleges that a non-candidate, Bill Crosier, had a questionnaire placed on the KPFT website and that therefore all candidates “affiliated with Crosier” should be disqualifed. The complainant does not cite which election rule he believes was violated.

Discussion: Since the complainant is asking election staff to guess which rule their complaint is citing, we will do our best to discuss which rule or rules might hypothetically be relevant, but we will reiterate that it is the responsibility of the complainant to tie their complaint to an actual posted rule.

We will start with the observation that there currently is no questionnaire on the KPFT website at that we are able to locate by looking at the website. Perhaps there was at some point in the past, but the complainant does not indicate where the supposed questionnaire is or situate his complaint within time, which makes it difficult to evaluate.

Assuming hypothetically that there is or were such a questionnaire and that it was on KPFT’s website during the period of time the fair election rules apply, that would bring us to the question of which rule would be broken.

Rule #3 regarding the use of station websites says:

All staff , management and candidate or candidate groups, or candidate supporters that maintain a website with station logos, call letters and/or references to station programs or candidates for election to Pacifica boards, are subject to, and shall be bound by these rules: Endorsements of candidates or prospective candidates on any official Pacifica web site or Pacifica station website are not permitted, either explicitly or via hyperlink to another web-page.

The rule refers to endorsements of candidates and/or prospective candidates. A questionnaire is not a candidate endorsement.

Rule #4 regarding the use of station “resources” says:

No station resources, including, but not limited to staff services, equipment, and meeting space may be provided unequally to some candidates but not others.

A station website is certainly a station resource, but the resource, assuming such a questionnaire exists somewhere, is not being provided to a candidate. Crosier is not a candidate.

Ruling: The complainant provides no evidence that the matter they are complaining about exists in fact and whether or not it does, its existence does not violate any existing campaign rule. The subject of the complaint is not a candidate. The complaint fails for lack of merit.