The Attorney General for the State of Missouri, Chris Koster, has been brought into the battle over whether radio stations must air racist and anti-Semetic ads from purported US Senate write-in candidate Glenn Miller. The Missouri Broadcasters Association, through counsel, is questioning the legitimacy of Miller’s candidacy.
MBA’s case was made by Mark Sableman of Thompson Coburn LLP in a letter to Koster.
“The advertisements do not meet the suitability standards of the broadcasters, so the broadcasters would not normally air these advertisements,” wrote Sableman, explaining that nevertheless, broadcasters are forced to air them if they come from a bona fide candidate. The FCC defers to state law in determining candidate legitimacy, he said.
Sableman’s request was simple: “So that MBA member broadcast stations may comply with federal law and FCC rules, the MBA respectfully requests a determination, by the state official that has the authority to decide, as to whether Mr. Miller is a ‘legally qualified candidate’ for U.S. Senate under Missouri law at this time, and if not now, when he would be so considered.”
Sableman brought up two other issues. First, the candidate’s name: “Additionally, there is some uncertainty as to Mr. Miller’s name. The enclosed advertisements identify the candidate as Glenn Miller, but his dealings with Missouri broadcasters indicate that he also uses the name Frazier Miller in connection with his political campaign. Thus, we also respectfully request a determination whether Glenn Miller or Frazier Miller, if either, is a ‘legally qualified candidate.’ In addition, we seek a determination whether a candidate must be legally qualified under his legal name or whether a nickname or pseudonym may be used.”
Second, Sableman wanted to know the date upon which the State of Missouri deems the general election to have begun, and asked whether it can be considered to have started prior to the completion of primary elections.