Hundreds of thousands of copies of the newspaper Naše Praha arrived in Prague’s mailboxes a week before the election with a large photograph of SPD duo Jan Čížek on the front page. “Enough hardship! Praguers need safety and prosperity!” declares an influential member of Okamura’s movement in an interview with a medium he owned half a year ago. Now the publishing company is written to his friend. According to the supervisory authority, this may be a violation of the law.
On the front page of the fortnightly magazine Naše Praha, which the Český Domov Media House company sends to people in mailboxes for free in versions for individual city districts.
On Friday, a week before the parliamentary elections, however, celebrities were replaced by one of Tomia Okamura’s closest people. Jan Čížek is running for second place for his SPD movement in Prague. “Prague patriot Jan Čížek: Enough hardship! Praguers no security and prosperity!” binds the editorial headline at its follow-up through most pages of the interview, which is inside the paper.
According to the publisher, it is published in more than 400,000 copies. It is clear from the register of contracts that some Prague City Halls or a transport company contribute public money by advertising it.
Although the editors themselves may tell the reader that Čížek is applying for a seat in the Chamber of Deputies as a “two” candidate for the SPD, much of the conversation with him concerns Prague, the Prague 10 district and their alleged problems – for example with the “inadaptable”. The text is accompanied by photographs of Čížek with his wife and daughters or Čížek as a baseball player.
“You have four daughters. If they came to see you as vegans, you wouldn’t call you Dad and lend you welcome illegal migrants, would you understand them?” asks the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Martin Dudek.
There will also be a question as to whether the media, especially Czech Television, are independent and objective. Čížek responds with the term “state propaganda”. “Information should be given impartially and from many sources. Let the viewer form his or her own opinion,” the SPD candidate declares.
Transcription of media to a friend, disinfection seller
An interview without confrontational questions will be given to him by a medium whose publishing company was officially controlled by Čížek himself six months ago. The company Český Domov Media House (formerly Strategic Consulting) is now written to the company of his friend Radek Procházka, which offers disinfection on its website.
Megaxi Group offers disinfection on the web. It now owns a network of newspapers that is said to affect 2 million households. | Photo: adezinfekce.cz
According to its election account, the SPD publishing company itself sent 5.7 million crowns at the end of June for the production of promotional newspapers that the party publishes.
Čížek refused to answer Aktuálně.cz’s repeated question, whether he was still in fact still behind Český Domov Media House. “I am responsible for journalists to interview me? As seriously? And why are you interviewing? Ask in the medium. I provide interviews to everyone, except the famous disinformation media,” Čížek wrote only in an SMS. And a conversation was demanded about the alleged “difficult security situation of the people in Prague”.
Our Prague is dedicated to the same agenda. “Is Prague changing due to the poor housing policy of the Pirates in the Ghetto?” analyzes a text signed not on behalf of a journalist, but as “Editorial” in one of the previous editions. It is based on anonymous testimonies of alleged tenants of city apartment buildings.
Why are we doing an interview with Čížek? I won’t answer
The reaction of the municipality and the management of Prague 10 to the alleged findings of journalists is missing in the article. On the other hand, it contains a quote from the “municipal politician Čížek”, who is not a representative in Prague. “Until the conditions at the City Hall of Prague 10 change, the problems will increase,” the editors of Čížek quote and added a photo of him. Čížek repeatedly receives a lot of space in the medium. In each issue, his commentary is available, signed as a “Prague patriot”.
The editorial board of Aktuálně.cz turned to the author of the interview and at the same time the editor-in-chief of the media, Martin Dudek. However, he refused to answer regular questions. He did not even want to say why he had interviewed the candidate for the Chamber of Deputies Čížek a week before the elections, or how the interview arose.
“Thank you for the inquisitive questions. We need a private medium that does not exhaust public funds, we do not need to answer more,” Dudek said to repeated questions. “We will not dwell on each other,” he said.
Supervisory Authority: Similar cases may be a violation of the law
Jan Outlý, a member of the Office for the Supervision of the Management of Political Parties and Political Movements, told Aktuálně.cz that he could not comment on a specific case because it is possible that the office will deal with it. However, he provided a more general statement regarding the publication of similar materials, such as a two-page interview with Čížek.
“In any case, if it was the genre of a PR article, it would be a standard means of advertising. Depending on what it must be handled. “said Outlý. If politics works before the election, it has the character of electoral activities, it must be included in election expenditures.
SPD election newspaper. | Photo: Tomáš Tesař
At the same time, Jan Outlý pointed out that in the past, their office dealt with Jan Čížek’s activities. Before the last parliamentary elections in 2017, Čížek secretly printed and distributed Okamura’s election newspaper entitled Na vlastní oči, built on anti-refugee sentiments, in a five-million edition.
However, the official publisher of the publication was the car dealer Michal Klement – Čížek’s nephew with no experience in publishing. Čížek admitted that he was actually behind the project only after the elections. Protocol it describes in detail what the connection between Čížek and the SPD was like, as well as concluding that the SPD did not provide some important documents.
SPD in violation of the law three issues issued did not label it as election promotion. She explained this to the supervisory authority, saying that it was a standard periodical in which she only bought advertising space. It occupied the entire area of all pages.
Since then, we do not need the SPD election newspaper in the campaign. And on the copies, he identifies himself as the advertiser. The costs are traceable in the transparent accounts of the movement.
Public money also goes to newspapers promoting the SPD candidate
However, our Prague does not mention such a designation in the texts about Čížek and in other articles recorded by the SPD. In addition, public money goes to publishing the fortnightly. The last time in September, a transport company sent a hundred thousand for advertising in our Prague. In August, the Prague City Hall ordered the promotion of its 200,000 subsidy programs in the media from Český Domov Media House. In July, you will conclude a framework agreement for the advertising of Prague 5 City Hall.
Many recipients of individual versions of newspapers for city districts, with which Aktuálně.cz spoke, nevertheless say that they did not know that it was not an official periodical of the city district. The same company also supplies these to some town halls. In these cases, however, the city district is automatically responsible for their content. In February, Prague 4 also concluded contracts with Čížek for the annual distribution of its monthly Penguin for almost four million. Its editor-in-chief is Martin Dudek – the author of the described interview with Čížek.
Český Domov Media House also produces the monthly of Prague 9. Last year, before the elections, the Central Bohemian Region concluded an agreement with Čížek on the distribution of its magazine Středočech for almost 14 million crowns.
In total, the company boasts a network of 48 local magazines and newspapers throughout the Czech Republic on its website. For example, the Brno City Hall is still suing the company. Years ago, the company Strategic Consulting was in charge of publishing the monthly council of the Brno metropolitan. However, Brno councilors canceled the contracts in 2018. They ordered from Čížek printing and distribution of 200,000 pieces per month, so that they would end up in the mailboxes of all households in Brno.
After complaints that the Metropolitan did not go to a large part of the mailboxes in Brno, it finally turned out that Čížek could not even deliver a third of the pieces at least in some months. He didn’t print them at all. The municipality found out only by chance – from the delivered documents from the printers, which Čížek, unlike the previous ones, did not disappear in some reserves. However, Čížek refused to comply with the contract.
Influential eminence flowing through party millions
- The election manager of the Prague SPD and the number two candidate for the parliamentary elections in Prague, Jan Čížek, has the result of influence in the movement.
- Čížek se boaststhat he invented the largest pre-election campaign of the SPD – the Czech Fair. Farmers call the event, which has people who need to buy food at minimum prices, populism and prices unrealistic.
- Today, Pavel Hornát, a former member of the movement, in 2019 Deník N he saidthat the movement did not change him after he became interested in financing the municipal campaign in Prague. According to him, it was Čížek who decided on the order of the candidates.
- This April he said the limited vice-chairman of the SPD cell in Prague, Robert Vašíček, to the neovlini.cz server, that Čížek is an extended hand of lobbyist Tomáš Hrdlička, whose influence on the movement has been written about for a long time. “According to the statutes, the SPD movement is led by its chairman Tomio Okamura. In fact, Mr. Jan Čížek walks around Prague and says that he controls Tomia Okamura.” said Vašíček, noting that his expulsion came when he pointed out the connection between Čížek and Hrdlička.
- Member of Parliament Lubomír Volný, who left the SPD after disputes with the management, spoke similarly in 2019. He also accused Čížek from tunneling parties.
- Čížek is a classmate of the former mayor of Prague 10, Milan Richter (ODS), who is again one of the closest friends of Tomáš Hrdlička. Hrdlička claimed that Čížka “doesn’t know much”, on the contrary, as MF Dnes pointed out, Čížek talks about their mutual relationship very often. “He often said (Čížek) that Hrdlička was helping him with something,” a former employee of Čížek’s agency told the editorial office.
- Čížek rejects all accusations as an attempt by former SPD members to harm him.