The city of Boston, Massachusetts is gearing up for a mayoral election later this year, and among the folks throwing their hat into the ring is Charles Clemons.
A former Boston police and corrections officer, Clemons may be better known as the founder of Touch 106 FM, a microradio outlet busted by the FCC in 2007-08. Clemons received a $17,000 forfeiture for unlicensed broadcasting and refusing to allow FCC agents to inspect the station.
Following the FCC action, Clemons walked from Boston to Washington, D.C. to lobby for the Local Community Radio Act, which opened the door to an expansion of LPFM (though it still bars pirate broadcasters from a path to legality).
Despite the fine, Touch FM remains on the air today. There is no indication that Clemons has appealed or paid the fine…nor any evidence that the FCC is pursuing collection.
Clemons doesn’t have much of a platform as of yet, and by all accounts he’s a long-shot candidate. It will be interesting to see whether Touch FM takes a position in the race: FCC rules prohibit broadcasters from officially endorsing a particular candidate, but considering that Touch operates without a license, there’s no reason for it to abide by such content-based regulation.