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New publisher waives arraignment over political ad arrest

October 19, 2022 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The publisher of a weekly newspaper in New Hampshire has waived her arraignment, pleading not guilty to charges that she published advertisements for local races without properly marking them as political advertising, the state attorney general’s office said.

The six misdemeanor charges allege that Debra Paul, publisher of The Londonderry Times, failed to identify the ads with “appropriate language” indicating that they were ads and saying who paid for them as required by state law, the attorney general’s office said in August after reviewing cases that go back to 2019.

Paul, who’s also a member of the town council in Londonderry, said in a statement at the time, “This is clearly a case of a small business needing to defend itself against overreaching government.”

A police affidavit said altogether, nearly 60 violations in the Times and a related publication were counted between 2020 and this year.

Paul, who along with her husband are the only two employees at the paper, said she originally believed the state’s complaint involved advertising rates, the affidavit said.

Her attorney did not return a message seeking comment.