Guam – The Gutierrez-Aguon Team and Marianas Media Investors [MMI] are calling the FCC complaints filed against MMI by the Calvo-Tenorio campaign “pathetic” and “baseless.”
Attorney Tom Fisher who represents the Calvo-Tenorio campaign is accusing MMI of failing to keep a political file and providing free political advertising to their rivals in violation of federal law.
Fisher filed 2 complaints with the Federal Communications Commission against MMI, the operators of the CW4 Channel. Fisher charges that MMI did not have a political file, as required by the FCC, when he first visited the station on October 8th.
A political file requires all broadcast stations to keep a log, and make it publicly available on request, of all political advertisements, when they ran and what the station charged to run the political ads.
Fisher subsequently received the political file following his second visit on October 19th and what he saw he says prompted a second complaint. He points to a $320-thousand dollar contract between MMI and the Guiterrez-Aguon campaign to buy political time on the station. Fisher then compared that, with the campaign fiance statements filed at the Guam Election Commission. The Attorney says he found no listing of either any expenses paid to MMI or contributions for free air time received from MMI.
“It is evident,” said Fisher, “that our opponents have been receiving free air time.”
However Gutierrez Attorney Randy Cunliffe told PNC News that MMI simply has not billed the democratic campaign yet. He adds that former Governor Gutierrez has signed a personnel guarantee to ensure that payments are made, once they have been billed.
In addition, MMI released a statement saying, in part, :
“These claims against MMI and our television station are baseless and without merit as MMI offers no free advertising or production to any political
And, the Guiterrez-Aguon campaign released a statement calling the Calvo-Tenorio FCC complaints”pathetic” stating, incorrectly, that “Eddie Calvo owns Two Television stations, several radio stations, and a nightly news cast. If anyone should be accused of breaking FCC regulations, it is Eddie Calvo given his flagrant attempt to manipulate public opinion and brain wash our people. How pathetic, that they are accusing our team of doing what they themselves are doing.”
Senator Eddie Calvo does not own any broadcast stations, although members of his family do.
And a stetment to PNC News from KUAM General Manager Joseph Calvo reads:
“”KUAM follows all federal and local laws and regulations. The Gutierrez Aguon statement is a ridiculous attempt to deflect attention from the
real issue and is factually wrong. Federal and local laws should be followed by all broadcasters.”
There is, in addition, a question about who, if anyone, the FCC will hold accountable for the alleged violation of the political file rule.
MMI does not hold a broadcast license. They lease all their air time from KTKB-TV, which is a low power station in Tamuning owned by KM Communications in Chicago.
KTKB’s General Manager Rolly Manuntag declined an on camera interview but he told PNC News that it was his understanding that MMI was responsible for the political file and should be held accountable, even though FCC regulations say otherwise.
Manuntag also said that KM’s agreement with MMI does not specifically make MMI responsible for the political file.
Fischer says his complaint names them all, MMI, CW4 and the license holder, KTKB and KM Communications.The FCC will decide.
And Fischer says he hopes they’ll decide before next Tuesday’s election ordering CW4 to provide the same advertising terms to Calvo-Tenorio that they currently provide to the Gutierrez-Aguon campaign.