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Lawyer for Fox’s campaign calls on WPRO to pull mystery ad

October 25, 2012

A law firm representing House Speaker Gordon Fox’s re-election campaign has written to WPRO general manager Barbara Haynes, asking that the radio station stop playing a “Fox in the Henhouse” mystery ad whose sponsor remains unknown.

UPDATE: Harvey Adelberg, listed as the contact for the Connecticut agency that placed the ad, has now indicated in a state filing that he is the sponsor of the spot.

UPDATE II: Fox campaign spokesman Bill Fischer says the filing made by Adelberg with the state Board of Elections “doesn’t, in any way” affect the request that WPRO stop running the ad. He says the ad in question remains “illegally constructed” and lacking “proper disclaimers.”

According to the letter from Hamel Waxler Allen & Collins, a decision by WPRO not to pull the ad “will result in me advising the campaign of all its legal options, including seeking a court injunction.”

Lawyer Susan Pegden’s undated letter asks Haynes to “provide me with confirmation within 24 hours of receipt of this correspondence that WPRO has ceased broadcast of this commercial.”

The campaign of Fox’s opponent, Mark Binder, has said it doesn’t know who is responsible for the mystery ad. Fox’s campaign says the ad violates state law.

I’ve left a telephone message for Haynes and will include her comment if and when she calls back.

Pegden offers three points in her letter to Haynes, after calling the mystery ad “an independent expenditure that expresssly advocates for the defeat of Representative Fox.”:

— The entity responsible for the ad “has failed to file any report with the state Board of Elections.” 

— “The advertisement does not contain the statutorily required information,” such as a personal audio message indicating the name of the person speaking and their title with the group placing the ad.”

— “The entity and its principals are subject to criminal and civil penalties for violations.”

This post has been updated and expanded.

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