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    Brett Kappel Comments on Congressional Candidate Requesting FEC Advisory Opinion on Reality Show

    July 28, 2014

    Arent Fox Political Law counsel Brett G. Kappel was quoted by Newsday after the Federal Election Commission (FEC)issued an advisory opinion that Nick Di Iorio, the Republican candidate challenging Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D–Manhattan), can appear in a reality show “about his doomed campaign for office, but neither he nor his campaign manager can be paid for it.”

    The article reported that “in a merging of politics and entertainment, Di Iorio and his campaign manager, Joseph Shippee, earlier this month asked the Federal Election Commission for a ruling on whether they could appear in a reality show and whether they could be paid the same amount other reality show performers get.”

    Mr. Kappel said the biggest issue with the ruling was its failure to discuss the timing of payments to Di Iorio and Shippee. “The candidates for this reality series were chosen because they are long-shots who will almost certainly lose. Once they lose, they will no longer be candidates,” said Mr. Kappel. “So how could the salary be a contribution if it wasn't received until after the campaign is over?”

    Days later, Di Iorio withdrew the request after the FEC said he could not be paid for doing the show. “Since the request was withdrawn, there will be no binding specific precedent on this issue,” said Mr. Kappel. “It’s not at all uncommon for advisory opinion requests to be withdrawn if the requestor doesn’t agree with the conclusions of the draft advisory opinion.”

    To read the Newsday articles, click here and here.