Can Publishing Newspapers Violate Campaign-Finance Laws?

Illinois Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dan Proft argues his point during a debate between the Illinois Republican candidates for Governor in Springfield, Ill., Monday, Dec. 14, 2009.
Dan Proft argues his point during a debate when he was running for Illinois governor in 2009. AP Photo/Seth Perlman
Illinois Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dan Proft argues his point during a debate between the Illinois Republican candidates for Governor in Springfield, Ill., Monday, Dec. 14, 2009.
Dan Proft argues his point during a debate when he was running for Illinois governor in 2009. AP Photo/Seth Perlman

Can Publishing Newspapers Violate Campaign-Finance Laws?

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — One of several startup newspapers tied to a conservative Illinois activist is being challenged as political campaign material in a complaint before the Federal Election Commission.

Darien Democrat Kim Savage says the DuPage Policy Journal is a Republican mouthpiece for GOP congressional candidate Tonia Khouri against incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster and costs should be reported as political contributions. The paper is one of 14 that businessman and talk-show host Dan Proft started last spring.

Savage’s complaint was filed last week. It says the newspapers are not independent but controlled by Proft’s political action committee.

Proft says the newspapers are owned and distributed by a private company and are legitimate policy forums. He calls the complaint “factually incorrect in every possible way.”

Foster’s campaign declined comment.