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Former Democratic Missouri Senate candidate Robin Carnahan may have lost her bid against Republican Roy Blunt in November, but her midterm-related battles are far from over.
Carnahan’s campaign recently asked the Federal Election Commission whether she could set up a legal expense fund to defend herself against a lawsuit brought by Fox News and the host of “Fox News Sunday,” Chris Wallace.
Fox News filed legal complaints against Carnahan’s campaign in mid-September after the Democrat aired a TV and Internet commercial that included a clip of Wallace interviewing Blunt and asking some tough questions.
Fox and Wallace contend that the commercial infringes on the Fox News copyright, invades Wallace’s privacy and “misappropriates his likeness,” according to new documents released by the FEC on Monday. Such complaints are common when politicians use news footage, but they generally result in the campaigns altering or withdrawing the ads.
Carnahan’s campaign says the lawsuit, which is still pending, has cost more than $85,000 so far.
Most requests for legal expense funds get approved by the FEC, but Carnahan’s request could be different. If allowed, it would be one of the first times someone who is not a Member of Congress or working on a Member’s staff has tried to open one of these funds.
The FEC could vote on Carnahan’s request at its regular meeting Jan. 20.