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GOP Files Complaint Over Ads

May 26, 2000

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ The Republican Party has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission over advertisements being aired by an attorney running for the Senate.

The ads don’t directly mention Democrat Ed Bernstein’s candidacy, they instead focus on the lawyer and his practice, but state GOP leaders say Bernstein’s intention is to gain an unfair advantage over his opponent, Rep. John Ensign.

An addendum filed Wednesday to their complaint argues that the television and billboard ads amount to illegal corporate campaign contributions from his law firm.

``Bernstein has officially filed with the Secretary of State and the FEC, however, his face remains on corporate-financed billboards across Nevada and his law firm commercials continue to air touting him as a caring person,″ said Ryan Erwin, executive director of Nevada’s Republican Party.

The latest billboard, with a legal assistant saying ``Ed Bernstein cares,″ was posted this week.

A spokeswoman for the FEC said Thursday the commission won’t comment on a pending complaint.

Bernstein maintains he should be able to run his business as he always has. He says the ads have no connection to the campaign and don’t carry any campaign themes.

``It’s a frivolous political game being played by people who don’t want to talk about the issues,″ Bernstein’s campaign spokeswoman Kelley Benander said Thursday.

Bernstein has appeared in his own ads since the early 1980s. The new ads began airing in March.

Nevada GOP chairman John Mason claims Bernstein changed the ads after he filed for candidacy to reflect his campaign message.

``He has effectively turned his law firm advertising into a campaign ad,″ Mason said.


On the Net: FEC site: http://www.fec.gov

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