Glenn Miller a.k.a. Frazier Glenn Miller
Remember Missouri's U.S. Senate candidate Glenn Miller
A former KKK leader, Miller made a big splash this spring when he began airing his anti-Semitic campaign ads
on radio stations across western Missouri. Dozens of headlines followed, as did guest appearances on Howard Stern
and other radio shows.
Then in April the Glenn Miller message went silent. The reason?
The Missouri Broadcasters Association and Attorney General Chris Koster complained to the Federal Communications Commission
that Miller was not a bona fide candidate, meaning that radio stations shouldn't be required to run his ads.
Now -- nearly three months later -- the FCC has reached its informal ruling
, agreeing that Miller is not entitled to reduced rates on the radio. At issue isn't Miller's hate-filled diatribes against Jews and the "mud people" he says are ruining the country, but the FCC's decision that Miller is not a legitimate candidate.
Miller on the campaign trail.
"It's a bunch of bureaucratic bullshit," Miller tells Daily RFT
this week. "They say I'm not a bona fide candidate because they don't like my message. It's a plot to shut me up and trample my rights to free speech."
Not so, counters the the broadcast association's legal counsel Gregg Skall, who says Miller -- who is running as a write-in Republican candidate -- is free to say whatever he wants in his ads.
"If he were the party's nominee, stations would be required to run his ads and he could say whatever he wants," says Skall. "But the case law is clear that stations are only required to offer reduced ad rates to bona fide federal candidates and that's what the FCC used to make its decision."
Skall notes that the FCC uses a checklist to determine whether someone is a qualified candidate for federal office, including whether the person has a campaign office and staff, issues press releases, campaigns across the state and has a platform.
"We asked Miller to provide such evidence," says Skall. "He sent us a photo of himself in front of a strip mall holding a piece of paper. And the press release he sent us did not look like it was even a finished product."
That's not true, argues Miller. "They've got picture of me kissing babies. The works."
Furthermore, Miller estimates that some 25 million people heard his message this year thanks to his stint on Stern's radio show and his mentions in other media. "I was somewhat of a household name," he says. "It took me four years to get 25,000 hits on my website
. I doubled that in a month's time earlier this year. How's that for campaigning?"
Miller, posing with the fam.
In 2006 Miller ran for Congress -- also as a write-in candidate. Like his Senate campaign he also advertised on radio. The only difference this year, he says, is that he included Kansas City radio stations.
"That's when the shit hit the fan," admits Miller, who says he's aired 257 campaign ads this year at between $10 to $25 a pop. "People in Kansas City started complaining."
Miller accuses the FCC of failing to fully investigate his campaigning and says they did not contact him after making a ruling. (The FCC could not be reached for this story.)
In any case, Miller has now set his sights on another agency: the ACLU.
"This is a classic case for them," he says. "I've left messages with their Kansas City office but it seems they're only concerned with protecting the free speech of communists and queers. "
Tony Rothert, legal director for the ACLU of Eastern Missouri, says the Kansas City office has no record of Miller calling them. That said, he doesn't see where Miller has much of a case given the way in which the FCC made its ruling.
"If they were making the decision solely on the content of Miller's speech, then I think he'd have a valid argument that his rights were violated," says Rothert. "But that's not the ruling the FCC made. This is about whether or not radio stations have to subsidize Mr. Miller's speech, and the ruling was that they do not."