Carlsbad, Calif.-Bill Daniels may be gone, but his legacy of activism on campaign-finance reform lives on, as the cable company that bears his name again offers free ad time to federal office-seekers.
During the last election cycle, the cable veteran gave free commercial time to candidates in the belief that it would reduce the influence of money on elections. Daniels hoped others would follow the example of the "Daniels Project."
The action was approved by the Federal Election Commission, which determined that the project is a permissible donation.
This year, the Daniels Cablevision systems in Carlsbad and Desert Hot Springs, Calif., will participate.
In Carlsbad, all bona fide candidates for president, U.S. senator for California and contenders for the 48th and 51st Congressional Districts will be able to apply for the airtime. Each will be able to get 54 30-second spots per week.
The commercials will run at random times between 6 a.m. and midnight on networks such as Cable News Network, ESPN, CNN Headline News and USA Network. These spots will reach 65,000 cable homes served by the system.
In Desert Hot Springs, candidates for the 44th Congressional District get the free time, in addition to presidential and Senate contenders. That system passes 10,000 cable homes.
Candidates select the message in the spots. The operator's only requirement is that the commercials meet minimum technical requirements.
"Mr. Daniels always had great respect for those who ran for political office, regardless of the party or the particular office. We continue his hope that our example will encourage cable systems across the country to join in the voluntary effort," Daniels president and general manager Joni Odum said in a prepared statement.