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Campaign Complaint Filed

October 26, 1998
By: Pervaiz Shallwani
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - As the state auditor's race enters its final week, Republican candidate Chuck Pierce suddenly finds himself faced with accusations of campaign violations from the Missouri Democratic Party.

Pierce, questioned on the matter Monday, refused to explain the finance details of the allegations, saying that is exactly what the opposition wants.

"Their announcement and filing of their complaints are just politics on their part," Pierce said. "We're not going to discuss the specifics of how were placing our media buys."

Pierce's reaction was to a press conference held earlier in the morning by Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Joe Carmichael. Carmichael called the conference to announce the Democratic Party has filed complaints to the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, regarding Pierce's television ads.

The Democrats say Pierce purchased a number of 30-second ads that run as a 15-second ad for Pierce and a 15-second ad for Republican congressional candidates Kenny Hulshof, , or Bill Federer, . The accusation is that Pierce paid for the ads and was reimbursed by Hulshof or Federer.

The giving of media time according to Carmichael constitutes an excessive contribution under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. The act says that an individual or campaign committee is limited to making contributions to another campaign committee to $1,000 per election. The Democrats say the commercials they have tracked are well in excess of the $1,000 federal limit.

"I think the voters should be concerned, because this is an unfair campaign tactic," Carmichael said. "If they try to later clean it up in some accounting fashion, is this what we really want our state auditor to be doing."

Hulshof's campaign Manager, Eric Feltner, said that Carmichael's statements about the Pierce paying for ads were untrue.

"There are disclaimers on both ads," he said. "Each section is paid for by each campaign."

Feltner also said that according to an FCC ruling running commercials side-by-side with federal candidates has been ruled "legal."