For Immediate Release
August 30, 2011
Anne M. Edwards, Associate Attorney General
Attorney General Michael Delaney announced today his Office has reached a consent agreement with the New Hampshire Democratic Party ("Democratic Party") following a complaint that it was responsible for the delivery of a prerecorded political message in a manner that violated New Hampshire law. Under the terms of the consent agreement, the Democratic Party will pay the State $5,000 to settle the dispute.
Under New Hampshire law, a prerecorded political message is defined as:
A prerecorded audio message delivered by telephone by:
(a) A candidate or political committee; or
(b) Any person when the content of the message expressly or implicitly advocates the success or defeat of any party, measure, or person at any election, or contains information about any candidate or party.
RSA 664:14-a, I.
While prerecorded political messages are legal in New Hampshire, no person shall deliver, or knowingly cause to be delivered, a prerecorded political message unless the message contains, or a live operator provides, within the first 30 seconds of the message, the following information:
(a) The name of the candidate or of any organization or organizations the person is calling on behalf of.
(b) The name of the person or organization paying for the delivery of the message and the name of the fiscal agent, if applicable.
RSA 664:14-a, II.
An investigation by the Attorney General's Office established that the Democratic Party was responsible for knowingly causing the delivery of a prerecorded political message, featuring the voice of Party Chair Raymond Buckley making statements about Speaker William O'Brien, to 394 New Hampshire households on September 13, 2010, and that the message failed to contain the disclosures required by RSA 664:14-a, II.
Attorney General Delaney said: "An essential element of our democracy is vigilant enforcement of New Hampshire's election laws. My Office will continue to vigorously investigate election related complaints, and initiate civil or criminal enforcement actions against those who violate New Hampshire's election laws."
More information about filing elections related complaints can be found on the Attorney General's Website at http://doj.nh.gov/election-law/index.htm.
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New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301