The Lisa Murkowski for U.S. Senate campaign announced today it notified the Alaska’s News Source, the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Communications Commission of a violation of federal communications law by Kelly Tshibaka’s campaign in a recent ad.
In the complaint, the Murkowski campaign cites Tshibaka’s omission of the legally required “paid-for” language as “the latest example of her blatant and repeated skirting of the law.”
In part, the letter reads:
“Tshibaka’s most recent advertisement, titled “Truth,” seeks to pollute an already-toxic political environment while evading responsibility for leveling these attacks at Senator Murkowski. Specifically, the advertisement fails to include any image of Tshibaka during the final four seconds of the advertisement, in violation of Federal law and in breach of her own certification under the law. These requirements of Federal law are not arbitrary nor are they left to the discretion of station managers: they are clear mandates requiring candidates to take responsibility for their negative advertising.”
Anyone may file an FEC complaint if they believe a regulation has been broken. The commission reviews every complaint filed. If the commission finds that a violation occurred, possible outcomes can range from a letter reiterating compliance obligations to a conciliation agreement, which may include a monetary civil penalty. All FEC enforcement matters are kept confidential until they are resolved, according to the FEC website.
But oftentimes candidates will use FEC violations as a way to attack their opponents, as Murkowski is doing in this case, trying to paint a picture that Tshibaka is a scofflaw regarding FEC rules, and pointing out that she also has a fishing violation on her record.
As for Tshibaka, her team had this to say about the Murkowski complaint: “First of all, we’ve never had ad on the air by that name – maybe they’re referring to the one accurately titled ‘Lisa Lies,’ which stopped running almost a week ago. But Murkowski clearly didn’t like the substance of that ad. Notice that she didn’t dispute that she claims to want lower gas prices but voted to confirm Joe Biden’s Interior Secretary who has declared war on Alaska’s energy industries and workers. Or that she criticizes special interests while her campaign is funded by dark money. Or that she’s lying to Alaskans trying to convince them that Kelly Tshibaka is against birth control pills when she’s not. Complaining about technicalities in a TV ad is the last refuge of losing campaigns. If you’re a 21-year incumbent and the best you can do is complain about ads, you’re in big trouble.”