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*** UPDATED x1 *** You gotta be kidding me

Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014

* This is the sort of stupid crud that too often passes for “reform” in DC. Roll Call reports that Congressman Brad Schneider’s new TV ad might be in technical violation of federal election law

Twenty-one seconds into “Together,” the congressman begins his disclaimer: “I’m Brad Schneider and I approve this message because we’re all in this together, accountable to each other.” But the voiceover is coupled with two shots: one of part of the side of Schneider’s face in a shadow as he drives a car and a second shot of him quickly entering a building through a revolving door and barely showing his face.

According to the Federal Election Commission, disclaimers can be conveyed one of two ways:

    A full-screen view of the candidate making the statement (11 CFR 110.11(c)(3)(ii)(A)); or
    A “clearly identifiable photographic or similar image of the candidate” that appears during the candidate’s voice-over statement. (11 CFR 110.11(c)(3)(ii)(B)).

This particular ad doesn’t fulfill the first requirement and may not fulfill the second requirement.

The Schneider campaign claims the law was followed. The ad in question is here.

I suppose there are reasons for this particular law, and we have our own weird laws and rules here (particularly regarding petition signatures). But, geez.

* Also, please raise your hand if you believe that the fine folks at Roll Call found this on their own by scrupulously timing this one particular advertisement out of the many hundreds currently running all over the nation?


I’ve become a firm believer in labeling opposition research for what it is. Just about everybody passes it off as “journalism” and I’ve come to believe that’s just flat-out deceptive.

*** UPDATE *** We may now know where that oppo came from…

Brad Schneider has landed himself in hot water for potentially breaking Federal Election Commission rules. Nathan Gonzales with Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call unpacks the possible violations below.

The issue is with Brad Schneider’s shadowed face during the disclaimer – an ironic blunder given Schneider’s ongoing attempts to hide information about his tax returns and so-called small business experience.

It looks like Brad Schneider has a lot more work to do to introduce himself to the 44% of constituents who haven’t seen him do enough to form an opinion about him.

Emily Davis
Deputy Communications Director
Congressional Leadership Fund

…Adding… Apparently, the reporter did find it on his own. My apologies. I get pitched silly little dingy stuff like this every day.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - js - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    Slow day at Role Call. What a joke.

  2. - Way Northsider - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    That’s nuts. You can pretty much see the man clearly throughout the ad! Even as oppo research this one is silly.

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    Maybe it was a different Brad Schneider that approved the message.

    Picking pepper out of fly-stuff. Whatever. Seems like a waste of time for the Dold people. What’s the upside for them to this “violation?”

    They’d be better off making funder calls or knocking on doors. But that’s real work.

  4. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    Holy crap - how pathetic!
    Hate this piddling stuff!

  5. - js - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    Hides his tax returns. Hides his face. The man has something to hide. He’s a possible violator. And, some people have no opinion of him. Is that it? Good, now go away.

  6. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    Are we to accept this based on face value?

  7. - bored now - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    hmm, normally i would have said, of course! roll call runs an “at the races” blog that actively encourages campaigns to send them information, good or bad. but this doesn’t come from there. it comes from stu rothenberg’s blog, which is much more likely to be actively looking for signs of momentum or decline in its close races.

    having said that, you will see a lot more pushing back on the regulatory lines, given the tendency of the fec to divide 3-3 on these kinds of issues. even if the fec ruled against schneider, it won’t be before the election (and maybe not even in 2014).

    i don’t know that this isn’t the result of dold or nrcc oppo, but the fact that it comes from nathan gonzalez makes me less inclined to reach that conclusion without knowing more…

  8. - A guy... - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    Whoever is doing this research is working “full time”.

  9. - bored now - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    A guy: yeah, nathan is employed full time analyzing the closest house races (and other things that parlay into the horserace aspect of campaigns) for stuart rothenberg, one of the most respected handicappers in the business…

  10. - Illinois taxpayer - Wednesday, Sep 3, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    This is a particularly goofy law since it takes precious seconds away from candidates who are communicating in ads paid for under onerous campaign finance contribution caps. Meanwhile, anonymous outside groups can take unlimited contributions to trash the candidates and not tell anyone who’s providing the money behind the ads!

    So we know Brad Schneider is behind these ads but we don’t know who’s behind all the other non-candidate ads.

    The Supreme Court needs to once and for all end this folly and level the playing field and ensure everyone plays by the same rules.

  11. - MadManMad - Thursday, Sep 4, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    Does the Davis video posted also break the rules? I mean you can only see half of his face too, and it is from a pretty far distance.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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