“The Seattle Times, an institution claiming to provide impartial and unbiased reporting, is failing their readers by publishing political attack pieces as ‘news’ stories, while at the same time making potentially illegal in-kind contributions to the Murray campaign. Political Speech is clearly protected under the First Amendment. The attempts by the Seattle Times to stop Republican candidate Tiffany Smiley from spreading her political message and costing her campaign thousands of dollars in the process is destroying their own credibility,” said WSRP Chairman Caleb Heimlich.
According to federal election laws:
- “if a corporation makes its resources available to one candidate for free, it must do so for all candidates.” The Seattle Times arbitrarily enforced its copyright claims and therefore provided a prohibited corporate in-kind contribution to the Murray campaign, clearly violating Federal Election law.
- Federal Election laws further state that “anything of value” counts as a contribution to a political campaign. Forcing Smiley to redo her ad would cost the campaign an estimated $5000 and be valuable to the Murray campaign and obviously harmful to Smiley.