47 U.S.C. § 315 : US Code - Section 315: Candidates for public office

Search 47 U.S.C. § 315 : US Code - Section 315: Candidates for public office

    (a) Equal opportunities requirement; censorship prohibition;
      allowance of station use; news appearances exception; public
      interest; public issues discussion opportunities
      If any licensee shall permit any person who is a legally
    qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting
    station, he shall afford equal opportunities to all other such
    candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station:
    Provided, That such licensee shall have no power of censorship over
    the material broadcast under the provisions of this section. No
    obligation is imposed under this subsection upon any licensee to
    allow the use of its station by any such candidate. Appearance by a
    legally qualified candidate on any - 
        (1) bona fide newscast,
        (2) bona fide news interview,
        (3) bona fide news documentary (if the appearance of the
      candidate is incidental to the presentation of the subject or
      subjects covered by the news documentary), or
        (4) on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events (including
      but not limited to political conventions and activities
      incidental thereto),

    shall not be deemed to be use of a broadcasting station within the
    meaning of this subsection. Nothing in the foregoing sentence shall
    be construed as relieving broadcasters, in connection with the
    presentation of newscasts, news interviews, news documentaries, and
    on-the-spot coverage of news events, from the obligation imposed
    upon them under this chapter to operate in the public interest and
    to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting
    views on issues of public importance.
    (b) Charges
      (1) In general
        The charges made for the use of any broadcasting station by any
      person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office
      in connection with his campaign for nomination for election, or
      election, to such office shall not exceed - 
          (A) subject to paragraph (2), during the forty-five days
        preceding the date of a primary or primary runoff election and
        during the sixty days preceding the date of a general or
        special election in which such person is a candidate, the
        lowest unit charge of the station for the same class and amount
        of time for the same period; and
          (B) at any other time, the charges made for comparable use of
        such station by other users thereof.
      (2) Content of broadcasts
        (A) In general
          In the case of a candidate for Federal office, such candidate
        shall not be entitled to receive the rate under paragraph
        (1)(A) for the use of any broadcasting station unless the
        candidate provides written certification to the broadcast
        station that the candidate (and any authorized committee of the
        candidate) shall not make any direct reference to another
        candidate for the same office, in any broadcast using the
        rights and conditions of access under this chapter, unless such
        reference meets the requirements of subparagraph (C) or (D).
        (B) Limitation on charges
          If a candidate for Federal office (or any authorized
        committee of such candidate) makes a reference described in
        subparagraph (A) in any broadcast that does not meet the
        requirements of subparagraph (C) or (D), such candidate shall
        not be entitled to receive the rate under paragraph (1)(A) for
        such broadcast or any other broadcast during any portion of the
        45-day and 60-day periods described in paragraph (1)(A), that
        occur on or after the date of such broadcast, for election to
        such office.
        (C) Television broadcasts
          A candidate meets the requirements of this subparagraph if,
        in the case of a television broadcast, at the end of such
        broadcast there appears simultaneously, for a period no less
        than 4 seconds - 
            (i) a clearly identifiable photographic or similar image of
          the candidate; and
            (ii) a clearly readable printed statement, identifying the
          candidate and stating that the candidate has approved the
          broadcast and that the candidate's authorized committee paid
          for the broadcast.
        (D) Radio broadcasts
          A candidate meets the requirements of this subparagraph if,
        in the case of a radio broadcast, the broadcast includes a
        personal audio statement by the candidate that identifies the
        candidate, the office the candidate is seeking, and indicates
        that the candidate has approved the broadcast.
        (E) Certification
          Certifications under this section shall be provided and
        certified as accurate by the candidate (or any authorized
        committee of the candidate) at the time of purchase.
        (F) Definitions
          For purposes of this paragraph, the terms "authorized
        committee" and "Federal office" have the meanings given such
        terms by section 431 of title 2.
    (c) Definitions
      For purposes of this section - 
        (1) the term "broadcasting station" includes a community
      antenna television system; and
        (2) the terms "licensee" and "station licensee" when used with
      respect to a community antenna television system mean the
      operator of such system.
    (d) Rules and regulations
      The Commission shall prescribe appropriate rules and regulations
    to carry out the provisions of this section.
    (e) Political record
      (1) In general
        A licensee shall maintain, and make available for public
      inspection, a complete record of a request to purchase broadcast
      time that - 
          (A) is made by or on behalf of a legally qualified candidate
        for public office; or
          (B) communicates a message relating to any political matter
        of national importance, including - 
            (i) a legally qualified candidate;
            (ii) any election to Federal office; or
            (iii) a national legislative issue of public importance.
      (2) Contents of record
        A record maintained under paragraph (1) shall contain
      information regarding - 
          (A) whether the request to purchase broadcast time is
        accepted or rejected by the licensee;
          (B) the rate charged for the broadcast time;
          (C) the date and time on which the communication is aired;
          (D) the class of time that is purchased;
          (E) the name of the candidate to which the communication
        refers and the office to which the candidate is seeking
        election, the election to which the communication refers, or
        the issue to which the communication refers (as applicable);
          (F) in the case of a request made by, or on behalf of, a
        candidate, the name of the candidate, the authorized committee
        of the candidate, and the treasurer of such committee; and
          (G) in the case of any other request, the name of the person
        purchasing the time, the name, address, and phone number of a
        contact person for such person, and a list of the chief
        executive officers or members of the executive committee or of
        the board of directors of such person.
      (3) Time to maintain file
        The information required under this subsection shall be placed
      in a political file as soon as possible and shall be retained by
      the licensee for a period of not less than 2 years.