Dahle campaign to file state, federal complaints regarding ‘slanderous’ Bosetti ad
Oct. 24, 2012 — The new political age in which outside SuperPAC committees can distribute mailers and purchase advertising independently of the candidate they support has led to a conflict between the state assembly campaigns of Lassen County Supervisor Brian Dahle and Redding City Councilman Rick Bosetti.
The mailer and ads, which Dahle says are “completely false,” have led his campaign to say it will file complaints later today with the California Fair Political Practices Commission and the Federal Communications Commission and demand radio stations pull the ad off the airwaves.
The Dahle campaign alleges the SuperPAC North State Farm and Business Pac produced a mailer and purchased radio ads that characterize Dahle as a “big spender” and incorrectly claim he attended a convention in Hawaii at taxpayer expense.
“The trip to Honolulu cost taxpayers $18,230.40 (to date)” the mailer reports.
Dahle acknowledged he attended a National Association of Counties convention in Honolulu in 2005 as a representative of the nonprofit Regional Council of Rural Counties (RCRC), but RCRC paid his expenses — not the taxpayers.
He also acknowledged his family joined him in Hawaii, but the taxpayers did not fund their trip either, as the mailer and the radio ads allege.
When the newspaper contacted County Watchers, a New Jersey blog, the source of some the information in the materials produced by the SuperPAC, spokesperson Tina Renna asked, “Where’s Susanville and who’s Brian Dahle?”
She the group knew nothing about the Dahle/Bosetti state assembly race, and her group’s reporting involved expenditures by two Union County, NJ supervisors who attended the same convention at the taxpayer’s expense.
The mailer also alleges Lassen County officials “purged” Dahle’s expense records in an attempt to cover-up the expenditures reported by County Watchers.
Lassen County Auditor Karen Fouch said that allegation is false. No records have been purged.
The newspaper was unable to locate any contact information for the SuperPAC that produced the mailer and the ads, but last week Bosetti said he had nothing to do with the content of the advertising they produce. He said the law forbids him from having any contact with them.
Bosetti said he was glad the SuperPAC plans to spend more than $300,000 to promote his candidacy, and he hoped the content of the ads they produced on his behalf would be accurate. He said the Dahle campaign has produced inaccurate ads, and he said he would send copies of those to the newspaper. An email from his campaign did not include the ads, and they did not respond to another request from the newspaper.
“The slanderous claim is being repeated in mail and on radio by this unaccountable outside group,” said Dahle spokesman Tim Clark. “They've been caught red-handed, and we intend to file complaints with the Fair Political Practices Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. We've also sent a letter to stations demanding that they immediately pull down the slanderous commercials.”
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