Lenthall campaign tells KSBY to cease Hill ad


A Sacramento attorney representing the election campaign of incumbent SLO County Supervisor Jerry Lenthall (3rd District) says television station KSBY could face legal action if it continues to broadcast an advertisement from candidate Adam Hill, which the lawyer claims contains false and inflammatory statements deliberately intended to mislead viewers. 

“The ad claims ... that Supervisor Jerry Lenthall ‘increased his salary while cutting our services.’ That statement is false,” the lawyer alleges in a letter faxed to the station manager. 

To support the allegation, the letter says County Administrator David Edge denies any services were cut because of the pay raise by the county board of supervisors.
“We never said that,” Hill responded in an interview. “Our ad in fact says [Lenthall] increased his salary while the county was cutting services.” 

Hill continued, “The point is and has been all along that this was a really bad decision by my opponent, for someone who is claiming to be a fiscal conservative and fiscally responsible. … You can’t be telling department heads that they have to come back and bring you cuts and do all these things to try to balance our budget this year knowing, of course, that the next budget cycle is going to be very bad, too, and then raise your pay at the same time.” 

The letter to KSBY says, “For your station to knowingly air such falsehoods not only runs counter to an FCC licensee’s duty to the public, it is actionable as a matter of law, and could expose you to possible legal liability.” 

When asked whether the ad would continue to air, Evan Pappas, the station president and general manager, replied, “I can tell you that in the case of political advertisers, if one side has a grievance with another side, we try to have them speak directly to one another … Our practices are to enforce the rules and regulations of the FCC.” 

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