- Associated Press - Friday, May 16, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A retired teacher and registered Democrat filed a complaint against an Anchorage radio host with the Federal Communications Commission, alleging favoritism toward Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Dan Sullivan.

Rod McCoy alleges KFQD talk show host Dave Stieren improperly provided favorable coverage to Sullivan after being paid by the campaign for media training and coaching.

KFQD program director Joe Campbell told the Anchorage Daily News (https://bit.ly/RZGvYS) that Stieren notified the station about the work and Sullivan reported it in a campaign disclosure. Campbell said Stieren’s promotion of Sullivan doesn’t violate broadcast rules or station policy. He said he understood the work was for basic guidance about things like tie color and looking people in the eye.

“It’s an entertainment show,” Campbell said. “It shouldn’t raise an eyebrow that Sullivan is the guy he wants to go with.”

The complaint alleges that Sullivan appeared on Stieren’s show at least six times, beginning in October, the month Sullivan launched his campaign. Among Sullivan’s major GOP rivals, Mead Treadwell hasn’t been on the show since the campaign began, while the station said that Joe Miller had been scheduled or called in a few times.

Stieren, on his show Thursday, said he welcomes all candidates. But McCoy, a local Democratic party leader, in his complaint said Stieren never disclosed on air that PS Strategies, the consulting firm in which he’s a partner, was paid nearly $7,000 by the Sullivan campaign. Mary Ann Pruitt, wife to state House Majority Leader Lance Pruitt, is a majority owner in the firm, according to a state corporation report.

Stieren, on his show, said he approached Treadwell for political work and never heard back. He told blogger Amanda Coyne that the Sullivan work began in February and lasted about five weeks.

In an email to The Associated Press on Friday, Stieren said a company in which he’s a minority owner was hired, not him personally. He said a majority of the firm’s clients “sell plumbing, gym memberships, or burgers. They are in the medical industry, or document destruction business.”

Sullivan campaign spokesman Mike Anderson, in an email to AP, chalked the matter up to a desperate attack by Sullivan’s opponents.



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