behalf, would be unduly harsh and advocates a tortured reading of the statute.
B. Campaign Literature
In determining whether there has been impermissible campaign usage of a union publication under Section 401(c), the court must consider its overall timing, tone, content and context. See Dole v. Federation of Postal Police Officers, Inc., 744 F. Supp. 413, 418 (E.D.N.Y. 1990) McLaughlin v. American Federation of Musicians, 700 F. Supp. 726, 732 (S.D.N.Y. 1988). After analyzing the above factors, this Court finds that Seda's article violated Section 481(c).
The time of publication, May 1994, was close enough to the election to conceivably influence its outcome. Although one court has held that material distributed too remote in time from an election is not considered campaign literature, see Camarata v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 478 F. Supp. 321, 330 (D.D.C. 1979), Congress could not have meant that if an incumbent President with a newspaper at his disposal starts his campaign for re-election early, the equal time provision is inapplicable. Seda's article appeared just six months before the November 1994 elections, and only five months before nomination ballots were circulated. See, e.g., Dole, 744 F. Supp. at 420-21 (newsletter distributed two months before election constituted campaign literature, while newsletter distributed nine months before nominations submitted did not). Moreover, the article appeared during, and referred to, contract negotiations with the TA, a major political event for Local 100 members and closely connected to the election campaign.
The tone and content of the article are political and smacks of campaigning. In the article, Seda accuses New Directions of "electioneering" by criticizing the union's contract negotiations with the TA and creating "an issue to run on later this year." Seda derisively calls New Directions "political opportunists, and counsels it to "wait until the election to electioneer." Id. By repeatedly referring to the upcoming elections, Seda's article is conspicuously political in nature.
Although the union published Seda's article in the context of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the TA, such negotiations and their results are crucial to Local 100 and have always been a major issue in its elections.
ORDER OF JUDGMENT
Defendant's motion to consolidate is hereby GRANTED, and plaintiffs' claim for an injunction is hereby GRANTED. The clerk is directed to enter judgment accordingly.
Consistent with this opinion, plaintiffs are ORDERED to deliver their campaign material, which shall not exceed the length of defendant's May 1994 article, to Local 100 not later than Wednesday, November 9, 1994, at 9:00 a.m. As defendant's article refers only to New Directions, and does not refer to Schermerhorn, plaintiffs' campaign material shall likewise refrain from referring to Schermerhorn. Further, said campaign material shall be limited in content solely to a response to defendant's May 1994 article. Local 100 is ORDERED to distribute said campaign material by United States mail to all Local 100 union members by posting it not later than Thursday, November 10, 1994.
Dated: New York, New York
November 9, 1994
Harold Baer, Jr.
United States District Judge
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