Clear Channel Shuts Down ProjectUSA; Fears Angering Congressman

ProjectUSA.org, September 26, 2006

Once again, a multinational corporation has shut down a ProjectUSA effort to participate in our democracy.

ProjectUSA’s planned billboard campaign in Iowa has been brought to a screeching halt by the Des Moines division of Clear Channel Outdoor. The billboards, which would have informed voters in Iowa’s 3rd congressional district about their representative’s immigration voting record, were nixed by Clear Channel—an outdoor advertising presence in 51 countries world-wide, and the only company offering outdoor advertising availability in Des Moines.

Even though we advertised the same message in the same district with the same company two years ago (both the Republic and Clear Channel survived…as did Boswell, thanks to this ninny) the division’s new president, Tim Jameson, declined this year’s copy for fear of angering Rep. Boswell.

Here are the three slogans we submitted.

Are the slogans misleading? Are they inflammatory? Do they violate community standards? Do the billboards advocate violence or the overthrow of the government? Are they pornographic? Are they beating the drums for pre-emptive war? Do they encourage the slaughter of Iowa’s firstborn?

No, the billboard slogans are accurate statements concerning the immigration voting record of a member of Congress—information anyone with Internet access, and enough civic-mindedness to care, could verify in a few minutes.

Did we violate any company policy with our slogans? Read Clear Channel’s Code of Advertising Ethics, and judge for yourself.

On the Clear Channel website we found an employee guide in which employees are promised that, out side of work, they are free to support any candidate or issue they please.

In other words, it’s likely we received no explanation when our billboards were nixed because there is none.

It’s so frustrating. Here is a member of Congress who has never voted against an amnesty for illegal aliens even though polls show Iowans overwhelmingly opposed to them. His votes in Congress are severely at odds with his constituents’ wishes on an issue that is irreversibly remaking the nation in radical and completely unpredictable ways.

But, when Americans go to the polls in November, it’s likely the voters in the 3rd congressional district in Iowa will not know how bad their representative is on immigration.

It doesn’t help that the major newspaper in the area, the Des Moines Register, is owned by the Gannett corporation. The people in Des Moines will probably be even less-informed on substantive issues like immigration than Americans in general—and the Des Moines Register has been particularly awful on immigration, even by Gannett standards.

Now Clear Channel Outdoor has taken it upon itself to prevent Iowans from seeing information that Tim Jameson believes they shouldn’t—preventing us from erecting a simple billboard conveying a simple fact about Boswell’s position on immigration. Even the few thousand dollars we were going to spend—a tiny drop in the sea of corporate money flooding through our political system—was too much for the Clear Channel Outdoor corporation.

But they support diversity! And the Hispanic Chamber. And the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. And so on.

Tim Jameson won’t return my calls. Maybe you’ll have better luck. The main number at Clear Channel / Des Moines is 515.282.9661. You can ask for Tim, they’ll likely put you through to voicemail.

Also: You might want to leave a message for Paul Myer, Tim’s boss

Phone: 602.381.5700

Clear Channel Outdoor – Corporate Headquarters

Phoenix, AZ 85016

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