A PAC aligned with President Trump is investing in the Georgia Senate runoff elections this week with a $500,000 ad campaign in support of Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. The two races will determine the upcoming Senate majority, with Democrats needing to win both to take back the Senate.
A news outlet called Courier, funded by a Democratic-aligned digital group, is blurring the lines between campaign advocacy and a newsroom.
Sinclair’s VP for news, Scott Livingston, says he understands why some people may be concerned that the company asked top managers to contribute to the company’s Political Action Committee, but he says he does not believe it is a journalistic conflict of interest. “I do understand the concern but I don’t believe this compromises our journalistic integrity. Our local stations don’t cover the ins and outs of the broadcast regulatory reform.” And, Livingston said, the political action committee is “working to save local broadcasting.”
The nation’s largest TV station owner is gearing up to fight for deregulation, and it wants some of its newsroom managers to join the effort. Sinclair Broadcast Group is asking its executives — including the news directors at its many stations — to contribute to its political action committee, a move that journalism ethics experts say is highly unusual and troubling.
AT&T, Comcast and Verizon have donated heavily to incoming members of Congress, cultivating early relationships with the next generation of lawmakers and surpassing the efforts of Internet companies like Google and Facebook, which are just beginning to up their game in Washington. The three wireless and cable giants last election cycle cast a wide net. They targeted many of the 65 newcomers to Capitol Hill along with scores of familiar incumbents as the industry prepares for new legislative battles in 2015 over net neutrality and other communications laws.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is forming a political action committee, according to paperwork recently filed with Federal Election Commission. Sinclair SVP of Policy and Strategy Rebecca Hanson said the company will use the PAC as it works on issues in front of Congress and the FCC. “There are a lot of challenges facing our industry, and we believe that engaging in the process through the PAC is one of a variety of ways to further our goals,” she said.