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Duckworth trying to pull attack ad off the air

Tuesday, Oct 2, 2012

* This TV ad by the Now or Never PAC attacking Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth is causing some controversy

* According to the Duckworth campaign, WLS TV has refused to run the ad. From a press release…

Chicago area television station WLS has refused to air a false television ad produced by the far right-wing SuperPAC Now or Never. The shadowy Super PAC funded with secretive donors from outside of Illinois placed over $1 million in television ads in the Chicago market in support of Congressman Joe Walsh. WLS reviewed the ad which makes false claims about Tammy Duckworth’s record and determined the content not to be accurate.

Duckworth Campaign Manager Kaitlin Fahey said, “It’s not only concerning that we know nothing about this secretive SuperPAC and where it gets its funding, it’s become clear that they will stop at nothing to help Joe Walsh stay in Congress, up to and including lying about Tammy Duckworth.”

The campaign says they didn’t ask WLS to pull the ad. The station, the Duckworth folks say, made the decision on its own. They have, however, used that decision to convince other stations to pull the ad down.

* But the Sun-Times reports that the station hasn’t yet made a final decision

At least one other station is planning to run the ad. Larry Wert, NBC-Universal general manager, told the Sun-Times that it is airing the same commercial that is under dispute.

“We cleared the spot; it will air tonight,” Wert said.

WLS, however, has not yet publicly said whether it has indeed decided not to run the commercial. And a spokesman from Now or Never said that WLS hasn’t sent a confirmation that the station is considering pulling it. “They are required to give us notice,” said spokesman Tyler Harber.

A Duckworth spokeswoman, Kaitlin Fahey, initially said a “source” from WLS said it would be pulled.

* One of the claims in the ad…

As a Blago appointee, an audit found Duckworth was guilty of misusing or misreporting $4 million of taxpayer money.

Audits don’t find people “guilty,” juries do that, but this is a TV ad, so whatever. The Trib explains

A state audit did find that receipt of a $4.4 million grant that improved the LaSalle Veterans’ Home was never submitted for inclusion in a state audit report. Department officials at the time said it was an inadvertent omission and that reporting the grant was the responsibility of another state agency.

It really wasn’t a big deal.

* And what about this claim in the ad?…

Duckworth supported Governor Blagojevich’s budget that increased taxes and spending by billions.

GFX: The Pantagraph: Duckworth: “It is so important to me that the Governor’s budget get passed.”

* Duckworth claims that there was a false date cited on the news story and then offers this further explanation

Ad Took Duckworth Statement Out of Context–Her Statement of Support in this Case was Based on VA Jobs.

On April 1, 2007 Duckworth’s responses to a question and answer session with the Pantagraph were published. When asked about veterans’ homes, she stated “They are well run but they are understaffed. It is so important to me that the governor’s budget get passed because there is an additional 104 positions for staff that will go out to my four veterans’ homes.” [Pantagraph, 4/1/07]

Even so, she did back the budget at the time, which was funded by the Gross Receipts Tax proposal.

* Meanwhile, the Trib takes a quick look at that cookie cutter ad broadcast in some Illinois districts by the US Chamber

The commercial’s cookie-cutter format would look familiar to voters in various other congressional districts where the organization has bought similar spots.

Each ad starts with a Minnesota businesswoman suggesting that uncertainty over tax rates and health care costs has prevented businesses from hiring. In the 10th District version, a voice-over follows the businesswoman’s appearance as slow-motion footage of Schneider plays on-screen.

“Brad Schneider? He supports government-mandated health care, a scheme that will raise taxes and hurt job creators,” the ad says. “And he wants to hit our small businesses with higher taxes, preventing them from creating new jobs.”

The Schneider campaign called the ad “deceptive.”

On the tax issue, the ad is vague, as was the Schneider campaign’s response. Campaign spokeswoman Staci McCabe said Schneider supports “targeted tax breaks for small business to invest in new products, new processes and new people.”

* But there’s more to it than that. The Democrats sent over an analysis that I’ve posted online

Darlene Miller, the star of the new Chamber ad, is the CEO of Permac Industries, in Burnsville, Minnesota. image here:

On its “Outsourcing Management” page, Permac Industries states:

Today’s complex manufacturing often necessitates the participation of more than one player in a project. That’s why Permac offers outsourcing management, a process where Permac teams up with other global suppliers – inside the U.S. as well as offshore – to get the job done. But from the customer’s vantage point, they’re only dealing with a single source: Permac.

She also received some Small Business Administration loans and stimulus money.

* The ad

* Let’s look at some more ads, shall we? First up, Bill Foster contrasts himself with “millionaire” Judy Biggert

* The House Majority PAC continues its attacks on Bobby Schilling

* Aaron Schock

…Adding… The DCCC’s new ad attacking Congressman Schilling

A commenter noted yesterday that one of the people in this ad, which is about job loss, worked for former Congressman Phil Hare. So, Schilling did actually cause this man to lose his job.


You lose your job, it a, it’s a real bellringer.
Congressman Bobby Schilling voted to keep tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas.
I just see the jobs being sucked away.
Bob, is your goal to eliminate the middle class in this country?
You are pulling the rug out from under us.
Bob, you don’t understand what you’re doing to families.
It doesn’t make any sense.
It’s just not right.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    Rich, you have a very rare tiny typo in title.

    more importantly, the way Walsh tries to trash this woman who sacrificed so much for this is absolutely disgraceful. Can’t wait for him to lose next month. Walsh damages the gop brand nearly as much as that Akin dude from Missouri.

  2. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 11:18 am:

    I’m not sure it would pay to have an anti-Duckworth ad pulled because it is materially false. It looks like sour grapes, and can create a web-based flurry of interest.

    I have seen two Dold TV ads: this one which is mostly cookie-cutter for national use, and misrepresents Schneider completely, and a positive one which claims Dold somehow prevented crooked politicians like Blago from getting their pensions. That’s news to us in Illinois.

    Still waiting for an accurate Dold ad. Hasn’t he got anything true to run on?

  3. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 11:39 am:

    I get the impression that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce thinks that business is for rich people who are risk adverse and want a guaranteed rate of return.

    If you want to avoid taxes, hire Romney’s accountants. If you have a vision to create an organization that’s new, something that creates good and services, well, there may be some risk involved.

    How come Republicans always come off as cowards?

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    Stay classy, Not Sure Yet. Take you all day to come up with that one? You probably need a nap now after exerting that much brain power.

    I’d be curious as to what “problems” Schock believes the House GOP have been working to solve.

  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    “Not Sure Yet,” your last comment was the last straw. Banned for life. Happy? I am. Bye-bye!!!

  6. - Belle - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    If there is a positive to living in Illinois, it is during Federal Election season. I cannot imagine living in one the states that is up for grabs and having to listen/see this garbage for months and months. The only positive is that commercials keep some ad and video people in jobs.
    I hope WLS rules on the right side of the controversial commercial. Jeez-someone needs a conscience. Our society has lost any moral compass that we used to have.

  7. - Fed up - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 11:55 am:


    Republicans come of as cowards. Yeah those brave souls Madigan, cullerton Quinn have to wait until after the last election to raise taxes in a lame duck session and now with majorities all around will wait for after election lame duck session to ” fix pensions” yeah those Dems have Brass ones. What about the bravery Obama showed opposing raising the debt ceiling as a senator but then demanding it be raised as president a man of real convictions.

  8. - Shore - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 12:16 pm:

    at 18 second point in the duckworth ad he mispronounces blago. It should be blahgo, he pronounces it BLAY-go like lego. These ads have been incredibly sloppy this cycle stylistically and I think it’s because with more $$ spent on them and more getting put out there’s less scrutiny and care put into them. When there were fewer and made by a smaller circle of folks, the campaigns and people who did them knew more about what they were doing and took greater care.

    The duckworth ad is legit and a good shot at her. She worked for blago, she made the comment, bombs away.

  9. - SO IL M - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 12:24 pm:

    With as much Tech knowledge that is out there, can someone invent a system that will elimnate all political ads from your tv once you have early voted? They would make millions, and would really increase the early voting turnout.

  10. - Skeptic Tank - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    The mispronunciation of Blago jumped out at me as well. But by negative ad standards, this one doesn’t seem to be out of bounds overall to me.

  11. - Responsa - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 12:33 pm:

    I really don’t think it is good for our democracy or free elections in general–or for the credibility of management at radio and TV stations to “decide” which paid ads to air and not to air during elections. There have been horrible, misleading, truth stretchy, over-the-top, bad taste ads run by candidates and organizations representing both parties throughout my lifetime and yours. There may occasionally be reasons for turning down a particularly incendiary political commercial, but for other than non-payment the practice should be very, very rare. This Duckworth ad seems not to meet that threshold at any level.

    Also, the Duckworth campaign makes a big mistake by publicly highlighting this ad and continuing the controversy, rather than quietly assuming that most 8th district voters would never have seen the ad on TV anyway, or if they did would blow it off along with three quarters of the other ads campaigns and PACs waste money on.

  12. - Newsclown - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 12:38 pm:

    ““We cleared the spot; it will air tonight,” Wert said.”

    “We cleared their check; so the spot will air tonight,” Wert said.
    (fixed that for you, Larry.)

    How do you “clear” an obvious falsehood?
    This is why campaign reform means reforming the way spots are aired. Stations have every incentive to run anything for money, and no dis0incentives to running lies.

  13. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    Rich, I agree that cowardice is a bi-partisan phenomenon in the Illinois General Assembly.

    And incompetence and sloth define the corporate media.

    If the voters were casting rational votes in the 2010 elections, it would have been a bloodbath in the General Assembly.

    Those legislators failed to do their duty. And I don’t think I’ve ever said anything to the contrary.

    However, the shirking of responsibility in the Illinois General Assembly does not make it less noteworthy that a Republican business group (the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) is whining about risk in business.

    Remember, the Bush tax cuts were always designed to expire. The Chamber of Commerce didn’t fight for tax stability when Bush and the Republicans were introducing uncertainty by passing unsustainable tax cuts.

    So, the Chamber of Commerce isn’t against instability, what they are against is rich people paying taxes, the same as the GOP.

    And, if a business has a good product and customers, quibbling about the executives paying an extra 3% on income over $250K is pretty low on the priority list of things to worry about.

    The progressive position is that more demand is needed and government should inject money into the economy to create demand.

    Obama’s position is one of political calculation. He basically goes along with the GOP rhetoric that government is too large a part of the GDP, but wants credit for being less insane than the Republicans.

    So, yeah, I’ll go along with Obama not getting any recognition for courage in his governance either.

    What Obama does deserve recognition for is beating Romney handily, but Obama is using Clinton’s playbook.

    Obama looks good because he’s contrasting himself with the Republican majority in Congress, who are kinda nuts. They engineer one government shutdown crisis after another–again Republican introduced uncertainty that never bothers the U.S. Chamber. They want employers to veto contraception coverage.

    So, having the GOP take control of Congress in the 2010 elections seems pretty central to the Obama campaign’s re-election campaign. How hard was Obama working for the Democrats in 2010?

    The reason Democrats and Republicans have to manufacture so many silly issues to fight about is so they avoid addressing the big issues.

    How are the predatory practices of the banks going to be restrained in a world where government has abdicated its regulatory function?

    What is the plan to create an economy that meets the expectations of the citizens without creating unsustainable debt?

    What’s the plan for addressing global warming?

    If the Western economic system is so good, why does it need to use military force on so many different countries?

    Yeah, so on a macro level, we live in a society led by cowards. Our religious institutions. Our universities. Our media companies. Our military. Our government.

    The problems are there. And everyone finds an excuse to pretend the big problems aren’t there.

  14. - The Ghost of "Not Sure Yet" - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 1:29 pm:

    I have to say for a vetran, she has some thin skin. I would much rather have someone that “gets a little excited” over a rubber stamp for Obama representing me.

  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 1:41 pm:

    =When there were fewer and made by a smaller circle of friends….=

    FIFY, Shore.

  16. - Bill F. - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 2:03 pm:

    Who is blay go?

  17. - WhatRecession? - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 2:24 pm:

    I can’t belive that Tammy got that ad pulled. There wasn’t even anything blatantly false, as Rich pointed out. I’d expect the reflexive calls for pull-downs from someone like Walsh, but I don’t expect the war hero to be the whiner. A real disappointment from Tammy.

  18. - Papa Golf - Tuesday, Oct 2, 12 @ 2:40 pm:

    I think the Duckworth ad is rather mild. Not sure what she’s claiming is a falsehood.

    If you use the standard that Enyart is using on Plummer endorsing the Ryan budget, this ad passes that test by leaps and bounds.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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