For Immediate Release
Contact: Ricardo Favela, 760-468-4519, firstname.lastname@example.org
MTS Policy Acts as De Facto Voter Suppression
Advertising Policy Prohibits Message Reminding Citizens to Vote
Additional Material for Media:
MTS denial emails addressed to Alliance San Diego will follow.
1st DENIAL OF OUR VOTING MESSAGE
From: Randal Phillips <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 7, 2014 1:51 PM
To: Ricardo Favela
Subject: SDMTS Advertising Policy
Here is the link to the SDMTS Advertising Policies and Procedures on our website.
My reference as to the rejection of your ad is under items 21.1.1 and 21.1.1a in the policy and procedures document. http://www.michaelallenassociates.com/services.html
Under item 21.1.4, I will go ahead and submit your ad to the MTS CEO and General Counsel for their opinion.
Let me know if you need any additional information.
2nd DENIAL OF OUR VOTING MESSAGE
From: Karen Landers [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2014 2:25 PM
Subject: RE: SDMTS Advertising Policy
MTS has a strict commercial-only advertising policy and our buses and shelters are not First Amendment public forums.
The first section of our policy (attached) clearly states: “The subject matter for all advertising materials displayed on MTS property shall be limited to speech which proposes a commercial transaction as its primary purpose.”
Especially over the last several years, MTS has increased oversight of its advertising contractors to make sure that ads are not accepted that violate this policy. While unfortunate that non-commercial ads may have been accepted in 2010 or before, we feel the enforcement of our policy over the past several years has shown a policy and practice to not open MTS buses and shelters as a First Amendment public forum. Accepting the Alliance San Diego ad would violate our commercial-only advertising policy.
San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1255 Imperial Avenue, Suite 1000
San Diego, CA 92101
Direct: (619) 557-4512