The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today called upon KIRO-AM radio in Seattle to remove morning talk host Dave Ross from the air, now that he has announced he is running for Congress in Washington’s 8th Congressional District.
In a letter to KIRO management, CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb and Executive Director Joe Waldron noted, “Historically, broadcasters who decide to run for public office immediately leave the air, acknowledging that remaining on air gives them an unfair advantage over every other candidate. We are astounded that Mr. Ross, for whatever reason, has chosen to ignore that tradition.”
Gottlieb noted that an employee at a CCRKBA-owned radio station in Spokane had to leave the air when he ran for the state legislature in 2002. Locally, Waldron pointed to the case of KVI radio personality John Carlson, who had to leave his job at that station in 2000 when he ran unsuccessfully against Gov. Gary Locke. Carlson has since returned to the airwaves.
“We’re not asking that Dave Ross be fired,” Gottlieb stressed, “only that he be required to step away from the microphone while he is a candidate for political office. John Carlson’s case shows that you can run for office and return to the air after the election. That same option, we’re sure, would be available to Dave Ross, who has become a popular fixture at KIRO.”
CCRKBA’s national headquarters is in Bellevue, the heart of the 8th District. Waldron said that, by remaining on the air, Ross has the unfair advantage of daily on-air exposure to thousands of 8th District voters.
“That certainly gives him an advantage over his primary opponents, Heidi Behrens-Benedict and Alex Alben,” Waldron said. “There is a strong argument that he might also gain an advantage over the eventual Republican in this race by staying on the air until July, as he apparently plans.”
“If Dave Ross wants to run for Congress,” Gottlieb concluded, “that’s his right, and we encourage him to do so. But he ought to run on a level playing field, and the only way to do that is for the plug on his microphone to be pulled.”