There has been no love lost between Owen Hill and Larry Liston, and though both have flung all manner of accusations back and forth, the law has never been invoked before. Until now.
Owen Hill’s lawyer, Michael Francisco, of Rothgerber Johnson and Lyons LLP, sent a letter to the general sales manager of radio stations KBIQ, KZNT and KGFT on Friday, demanding that a radio ad allegedly from Liston’s campaign be taken off the air. Hill, a non-profit executive, and Liston, a state representative, are competing for the Republican nomination in Senate District 10.
Francisco wrote to Jon Cobb, the manager of the three stations, saying that the ad from Liston claimed that Hill had “moved to his father-in-law’s couch” because his own home was outside the boundaries of SD 10.
“This claim is patently false,” Francisco wrote to Cobb. “For the sake of FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, your stations should immediately cease airing this advertisement.”
Neither Liston nor Cobb immediately responded to calls for comment, and the language of the ad could not be immediately verified, but Liston has long contended that Hill moved deceptively from one district to another for political reasons.
Liston’s campaign used the same language on a political mailer. The mailer read, “Owen Hill will say and do anything to get elected.”
Underneath that, it read, “Owen Hill lied about where he lives to run for office. He has said he’s living on his father-in-law’s couch… He has even lied on sworn affidavits to the secretary of state to keep up his lie.”
Francisco threatens Cobb indirectly, and cites legal precedent that any station that broadcasts “false and misleading advertising” can lose its FCC license.
“I expect your immediate attention and swift removal of the ad,” Francisco wrote.
Hill originally filed last year to run for office in House District 16, but changed his mind and filed to run in SD 10. Both filings list the same mailing address — on Pennsylvania St. — but the SD 10 filing lists his physical address as one on Madison St. Both addresses are within the boundaries of SD 10.