Dear Madam or Sir:
I see that Maryland Public Television is continuing to provide Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton with air time on Bonnie Erbe's "To the contrary" and perhaps other shows, even though we are in an election cycle and she is running for office in your broadcast area.
I think it may be problematic for any PBS station to air these shows in the US anywhere during an election season, given that Del. Norton represents a party on the national stage. But your broadcast area includes the Congressional district where she is running. To my knowledge you have done nothing to cover the other candidates and parties running in your broadcast area. I am running against Del. Norton in DC as a Libertarian. In Maryland the Libertarian Party has a full slate with a candidate in every Congressional district as well as a Senatorial candidate on the ballot.
Delegate Norton is a panelist on these shows (http://www.mpt.org/schedule/detail/6208/2012-10-07) not a newsmaker or politician being covered.
It seems to me that this is a partisan misuse of the taxpayer funds you receive (including mine) as well as a violation of journalistic ethics and equal time provisions.
Have you reported this free advertising (30 minute programs) as a campaign contribution?
It seems that these appearances are worth more than $200 and should therefore be reported. Additionally the limit for donations is $2300 -- is the value of a half hour of your air time under this limit?
There are two other candidates on the ballot running against Delegate Norton.
I am one of them.
Additionally have you ever done any reporting on Delegate Norton and her campaigns? She raises $200,000 to $400,000 every election cycle to run, often unopposed. Her funds are over half from PACS, and the rest is often bundled from a narrow range of corporations and unions. In one year recently over twenty percent of her donations were from a single commercial leasing company, Studely Corp., that develops office space for federal agencies, which is affected by her votes on Congressional committees. Should I be looking into whether she votes on committees that fund PBS?
Libertarian for Congress