By Erich Wagner (File photo)
Just days after pulling corporate underwriting spots for District 8 congressional candidate Don Beyer’s car dealership, WAMU released a revamped version of the sponsorship message.
When the public radio station started playing its latest iteration of the messages earlier this month, which officials with the station and the car dealership said have run for years, listeners and fellow candidates questioned the timing given the impending June 10 Democratic primary.
Station officials pulled the radio spots last week to review the messages with their lawyers and ensure that they did not violate federal campaign laws. Officials originally told listeners via email that the radio spots would not air again until “after the election in Virginia.”
But WAMU spokeswoman Benae Mosby said in an email on May 22 that the station reversed its decision and would air new Don Beyer Volvo spots, with specific information about models and the location of the dealership to further distinguish the business from the political campaign.
“We believe that underwriting support from the dealership group is very different than political promotion,” Mosby said. “We have edited the spot to ensure that there is no confusion between the dealership and the political candidate.”
The new ads will not air during the morning or afternoon drive times.