Expose #Debatable Ethics of Nexstar Media Group, Governor Abbott and ex-Sheriff Valdez

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!

The Debate Starts Now!

The requirement for fairness and transparency in government is not #debatable! Texas voters have more than two choices on the ballot for governor in 2018, but Nexstar Media Group, Inc. and their chosen two candidates do not want Texans to know this!!

Hosting a debate for the “benefit” of voters or the general "public good" is a great idea, but the “debate” being publicized and hosted by Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (the largest broadcast group in the United States) is not for the public good - it is for the benefit of two candidates and their Power Parties and to the detriment of one candidate who has met the already-selective burden of qualifying to be listed on the Texas ballot for Governor. The few that achieve this have proven public support for their candidacy. 

Nexstar's publicly broadcasted "debate" will reach households across the state and beyond via distribution over tv stations and digital media, but it will only present two of the candidates for Texas Governor, leading many people to presume that they must choose between only two candidates for their Governor. While the debate is scheduled for September, the publicity has already begun. This is effectively suppressing voters who may be in the investigation and deliberation stages of voting by giving them Fake News on their choices and is de facto political advertising opposing one candidate and for two candidates.

The problem here is that corporations, such as Nexstar Media Inc, are prohibited from giving contributions (monetary or in-kind) directly to campaigns. The value of the airtime, mass media and digital media distribution and of the pre-publicity leading up to the debate is too high to even quantify, especially because it is delivered to a trusting public and is disguised as unbiased news content.

The offense on the silenced, yet qualified and listed candidate is unconstitutional and is far too consequential and expensive to repair on one's own - even with strong voter support. Even if the candidate Nexstar Media suppressed/opposed could purchase a similar amount of media and distribution, he would have to do so without any corporate contributions and with very little expectation of publicity due to the absence of coordinating corporate brands. The lending of venue, publicity, distribution and news brand identity to one candidate would be an obvious violation. How is it not so if one candidate is excluded? The fact that two candidates benefit does not prove fairness or that the event is for public benefit. The planned and biased event definitely isn't news!

The natural assumption of the voter when presented a gubernatorial debate advertisement or viewing would be that all of their choices are included. However, this is not the case because this is a corporate event manipulating Texas Ethics code and the still standing Federal Election Commission v. Beaumont decision reaffirmed in Texas Supreme Court case NO. 15-0320 argued 2/17/17, in which the Court stated that in "adhering to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Federal Election Commission v. Beaumont, as we are obliged to do, we conclude that legislatively enacted bans on corporate political contributions are constitutional under the First Amendment."

Texas has a ban on corporate political contributions provided to campaigns and has political advertising  and reporting requirements. Texas also has ballot access requirements. How can Nexstar Media Group, Inc - (yes INC!) select one or two of the three candidates who are on the ballot, amplify only their campaign messages for free and call that news or a public service!?!?!? 

Nexstar Media, every station airing the debate, and any person or entity distributing advertising/digital media regarding the debate - and the two included candidates - are furthering the included candidates’ agendas, while suppressing the other ballot-listed candidate. Denying one of the candidates the opportunity to answer questions for voters while providing that opportunity to another candidates or other candidates via planned mass media distribution advantages the receiving candidates and acts very much like paid media access unfairly donated by the media corporation. It is nearly impossible for ignored candidates to afford any opportunity that could do the same for themselves. 

Please sign this petition to let Nexstar and the Power Party candidates know that Texans deserve to know and evaluate all of their choices for their Governor!

Who can we contact?

Greg Abbott @GregAbbott_TX ‏- Texas Governor Greg Abbott's Personal Twitter 

Gov. Greg Abbott @GovAbbott - ‏Official news from the Office of Texas Governor

Lupe Valdez @LupeValdez, ‏Governor candidate, TX

Texas.gov @texasgov ‏

Abbott Wire @AbbottWire ‏- News items about Texas Governor Greg
Abbott. Curated by The Texas Tribune. 

Texas Tribune @TexasTribune - A member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing & engaging Texans on state politics & policy. 

Nexstar Media Group Decision Makers, Executives and Board Members:
email format =  first_initial last (ex. JDoe@nexstar.tv)

  • Christopher Berg @nexstarcberg -Senior Director of Local Content Development
  • Mitch West @thewestway - Regional Director for Nexstar Media Group.
  • Robert Hadlock @RobertHadlock - Weeknight News Co-anchor, KXAN News. Austin, Texas
  • Jerry Walsh @Jerry_Walsh - Vice President, Local Content Development Nexstar Media Group, LLC
  • Bruce McLean @Brumac - Digital Media. Dallas TX. 
  • Melissa Stacy @MelissaStacy90 - ‏Director of Local Content Development Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.
  • Edward Kosowski @edkosowskiTV - ‏Experienced broadcast and digital media leader. News Director with Nexstar Media Group
  • Perry A. Sook, Chairman, President & CEO
  • Thomas E. Carter  Executive VP & CFO 
  • Timothy C. Busch President of Nexstar Broadcasting Inc 
  • Gregory R. Raifman President of Nexstar Digital LLC
  • Andrew Alford Senior VP & Regional Manager of Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.
  • John K. Hane President Of Spectrum Consortium 
  • Keith P. Hopkins Senior Vice President of Distribution 
  • Bill Mondora Washington DC Bureau Chief 
  • Blake Russell Executive Vice President of Station Operations & Content Development
  • Charles McMillen, Director
  • John Muse, Director
  • Nexstar Lubbock @LubbockDigital
  • NextarTexas @NexstarTexas
  • Alexandra Limon @AlexLimonNews ‏- Washington Correspondent for Nexstar Media Group.
  • Mark Meredith @markpmeredith ‏- White House Correspondent for Nexstar Broadcasting - 170 Local TV stations. 
  • Jessica Smith @JessicaASmith8 - ‏DC Correspondent for Nexstar via @wish_tv, @foxbusiness.
  • Brie Jackson @PositivelyBrie - DC Correspondent for Nexstar Media Group
  • Anna Wiernicki @AnnaEWiernicki ‏- Washington Correspondent for Nexstar Media Group 
  • Drew Petrimoulx @DrewPetrimoulx - Washington correspondent for Nexstar Media Group

Texas Ethics Commission has Eight Commissioners and Several Staffers:
email format: first.last@ethics.state.tx.us (john.doe@ethics.state.tx.us)

  • Chad M. Craycraft, Vice Chair, appointed by Governor
  • Randall H. Erben, appointed by Speaker
  • Chris Flood, Lt. appointed by Governor
  • Mary K. "Katie" Kennedy, appointed by Governor
  • Patrick W. Mizell, appointed by Governor
  • Richard S. Schmidt, appointed by Governor
  • Joseph O. Slovacek, appointed by Lt. Governor
  • Steven D. Wolens, Chair, appointed by Speaker
  • Seana Willing, Executive Director
  • Ian Steusloff, General Counsel
  • Angela Goodwin, Director of Enforcement
  • Jessie Haug, Director of Computer Services and Director of Disclosure Filing
  • Cristina Hernandez, CFO/Director of Administration
  • Link to complaint form:  https://www.ethics.state.tx.us/forms/e_complaint.pdf