A judge ruled has ruled that a newspaper that heavily favored one candidate over another in a 2002 mayoral election didn’t violate campaign laws, the Mercury News reports. Santa Clara County District Attorney George Kennedy charged Chris Stampolis (pictured) with failing to report the expense of circulating a political mailer in Santa Clara, a city north of San Jose. Stampolis argued that he published and distributed a newspaper, not a mailer. Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Neal Cabrinha on Wednesday (Oct. 11) ruled in favor of Stampolis, saying the publication isn’t a slate mailer because there’s no proof that Stampolis rejected advertisements from candidates with whom he disagreed. Supervising Deputy District Attorney Julius Finkelstein said he may appeal because people assume that newspapers attempt to be balanced when covering elections while a mailer clearly supports certain candidates. [PPC, Jan. 29, 2006: DA charges newspaper is a political tract]

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