Media Plus, the firm that buys TV ad time for Rep. Dave Reichert, also does media work for Republican guberanatorial candidate Dino Rossi. Public Disclosure Commission records show Rossi has spent $4.3 million with Media Plus.
Given the controversy surrounding Media Plus’ loan to Rep. Reichert’s campaign, Gov. Chris Gregoire’s campaign is now interested in Media Plus’ work for Rossi.
This week, it came to light that Media Plus is advancing money to Reichert’s campaign to purchase TV ad time. Depending on how you interpret Federal Election Commission rules, the billing arrangement may count as an illegal corporate contribution. Reichert’s challenger, Darcy Burner, is considering legal action. (See my post below.)
Kathy Neukirchen, President of Media Plus, told me yesterday that her firm buys all its TV ad time on extended credit. I have called her back to confirm, in fact, that Rossi gets the same deal.
While state law allows corporations to make direct contributions, there are contribution limits ($3200 a cycle) and loans are contributions. Rossi’s ad buys exceed that limit.
The Gregoire camp thinks Washington State law (and case history) may be less squishy about Media Plus’ practice of fronting the ad buys to its candidate clients than FEC law. State law says:
“Contribution” includes:(i) A loan, gift, deposit, subscription, forgiveness of indebtedness, donation, advance, pledge, payment, transfer of funds between political committees, or anything of value, including personal and professional services for less than full consideration;
(iii) The financing by a person of the dissemination, distribution, or republication, in whole or in part, of broadcast, written, graphic, or other form of political advertising or electioneering communication prepared by a candidate, a political committee, or its authorized agent;