We had a question this week related to equal time and Governor Bevin being featured on the PEP spots for Kentucky’s Justice & Public Safety Cabinet. Bevin filed the necessary documents on Friday of last week, seeking reelection to a second term as Kentucky’s Governor. At that moment, the Governor became a “legally qualified candidate for public office”. With the guidance of Dawn Sciarrino, allow me to explain. To be a legally qualified candidate you must (a) meet the qualifications for the office (e.g., age and residency), (b) publicly declare an intention to seek the office, (c) submit signatures or whatever is necessary to be placed on the ballot for the office being sought. With that being said, when does the equal opportunity rule kick in? The answer is, the moment that the person becomes a “legally qualified candidate”. Which in the Governor’s case occurred on Friday, January 25,2019. Thus equal opportunities will be triggered, as well as the public file obligations.
Don’t confuse equal time with lowest unit rate. Your obligation to offer the lowest unit rate applies only to the 45 days pre-primary and 60 days pre-general election periods.
As for the Governor being featured on the PEP spots, please pull them from your schedule immediately to protect yourself from having to offer equal time, if requested. New spots for the Justice & Public Safety Cabinet will be distributed as soon as they become available.
EQUAL TIME APPLIES: as soon as the individual becomes a “legally qualified candidate for public office”
LOWEST UNIT RATE APPLIES: 45 days pre-primary election, 60 days pre-general election.