Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Ethics Corner

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Ethics Corner

Article excerpt

INTEREST IN CONFLICT

Plain as potatoes in Idaho, it's the story of a man named Brady

Meet The Brady Bunch.

He is Jerry M. Brady, who gave himself a $150,000-a-year paid leave of absence, plus health and insurance benefits, from his jobs as chairman and president of the Post Co. and publisher of the Post Register in Idaho Falls to run for governor of Idaho.

She is Rickie Brady, general manager of KIFI-TV, the local ABC affiliate owned by the Post Co. that her husband, Jerry, just took a leave of absence from to run for governor.

He is J. Robb Brady, uncle of Jerry M. Brady and a member of the editorial board of the Post Register that his nephew just took a leave of absence from to run for governor.

He is Jack Brady, brother of Jerry M. Brady, who owns 25.5% of the Post Co. that his brother just took a leave of absence from to run for governor.

And that is just the beginning. Jerry M. Brady, who also owns 25.5% of the Post Co., gave up the company car, a cell phone, his office, and his editorial column. He also asked his paper to be tough on him so his political opponents could not claim it was an arm of the campaign.

But they're saying it, anyway. Here's why: Brady insisted that the only reason he kept himself on the Post Co. payroll was because it was the only way he could afford to run for governor.

Then word leaked that he lent his campaign $100,000 to buy TV commercials. Hardly the spending practices of a poverty-stricken publisher. Not that he needed to buy any TV time at this point in the campaign. Rue Stears, his opponent in the May 28 Democratic primary, is a candidate with no campaign headquarters or telephone number.

Then there is Brady's marital situation. When he announced two months ago he was running for governor, Rickie, the KIFI general manager who is his wife, was at his side. She will be there lots of times while she manages the TV station. Rickie is keeping her Post Co. paycheck, too. The Federal Communications Commission said her political activity did not violate any laws. But it's made the station a political target. Every time the KIFI broadcasts a news story that may be an issue in the campaign, the Republicans whisper about a media conspiracy.

Then there is the perception problem. Brady's newspaper people privately cringed when they received a campaign press release that identified him as the former publisher of the Idaho Falls newspaper. …

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