CLEVELAND, OH - The #1 most powerful Rush Limbaugh radio station in Ohio and the Midwest - Clear Channel WTAM 1100 AM - is urging its Republican listeners to switch their party affiliation to Democrat for the March 4th primary election to "vote against Dennis Kucinich ... and make sure he doesn't make it out of the primary."
Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, facing the toughest re-election campaign in his tenure in the U.S. House, has been targeted by the Republican Party and by corporate interests in the Cleveland area who are heavily funding his opposition.
In a promotional campaign that began last night, WTAM radio host Bob Franz skirted with an outright corporate-sponsored endorsement by declaring, "If I weren't a responsible radio talk show host, I would say ..." At that point, he continues with a strongly partisan political message that includes a call to action to vote against Kucinich http://www2.kucinich.us/files/001257.mp3. (Audio supplied by WTAM Radio)
WTAM Program Manager Ray Davis insisted that the Franz promo was "a talk show host's opinion." When challenged by a senior Kucinich campaign official as to whether the message reflects "the opinions of the management, ownership or sponsors of WTAM radio," Davis responded in an email, "Those are your words ... (not mine). My words are: "It's a talk show host's opinion." Please don't misquote me."
Various media watchdog groups are exploring whether WTAM and Clear Channel have violated Federal Communications Commission rules and guidelines, Federal Elections Commission rules, or federal laws prohibiting corporate contributions to election campaigns.