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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First Corporate-Funded Campaign Ad Appears After Supreme Court Decision

A Texas company recently took out a political ad in several local newspapers, making it one of the first corporations to do so in the wake of a landmark Supreme Court ruling that lifted restrictions on corporate political spending.
The Texas Tribune reports that the company, KDR Development, paid for an ad against state Rep. Chuck Hopson, formerly a Democratic member of the state legislature who switched parties and ran in the Republican primary for re-election.
The ad headline reads: "Vote for a REAL Republican," and it challenges Hopson's Republican credentials. The sponsorship line at the bottom of the ad reads: "Political advertisement paid for by KDR Development, Inc." The ads ran in the Jacksonville Daily Progress, the Tyler Morning Telegram and the Panola Watchman, small newspaper in East Texas.
According to the Texas Tribune:
The newspaper ads ran in Jacksonville and Tyler on the Sunday before the election and a week earlier in Panola, and they urged voters to choose anyone but Hopson. They were paid for by KDR Development Inc., a real estate company whose president, Republican Larry Durrett, lost to Hopson in 2006, when Hopson was still a Democrat. Durrett is also the president of Southern Multifoods, a Jacksonville-based company with dozens of franchised Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, A&W and Long John Silvers restaurants. The two companies are closely related, sharing addresses, officers and directors.
"I think we're on solid legal ground," Durrett said in an interview. "We checked it out every way from Sunday."
Durrett's effort to help defeat Hopson in the three-way GOP primary, however, was not successful -- Hopson won.
According to the interview in the Tribune, Durrett consulted lawyers before running the ads to be sure they were legal. LinkHere
Corporation Says It Will Run for Congress
Following the Supreme Court decision implicitly granting corporations the right to free speech (by determining that political spending is a kind of speech), a corporation has decided to take what it believes to be “democracy’s next step”: It is running for Congress.
With more than a twinge of irony, Murray Hill Incorporated, a liberal public relations firm, recently announced that it planned to run in the Republican primary in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District.
Here is the company’s first “campaign” ad: LinkHere


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