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Report: Radio station refuses Durbin request to pull negative ad

Friday, Jul 18, 2014

* Remember the America’s PAC radio ad we talked about the other day?…

Americas PAC has just released a new radio ad running across Illinois highlighting the wage gap between men and women working on Dick Durbin’s Senate staff […]

Analysis of Senate Staff payroll by the Washington Free Beacon found that in 2012 Durbin “paid men $13,063 more, a difference of 23 percent.” [Link http://freebeacon.com/politics/senate-dems-betray-lilly/]

“The average female on his staff was paid about 77 cents for every dollar earned by his male staffers,” Donelson said.

* Well, US Sen. Dick Durbin’s has contacted at least one radio station about it

Quincy’s WTAD-AM, which is owned by STARadio along with Quincy Journal, has been running the ad. STARadio was contacted by someone representing Sen. Durbin.

“WTAD received an email and phone call from a firm representing Senator Durbin earlier in the week,” said STARadio VP/GM Mike Moyers. “A letter attached to the email implied that the commercial being aired by Americas PAC contained false information and that WTAD would be liable should we continue to air it. Sources provided by Americas PAC were checked and proved to be in line, so the commercial in question is still on the air.”

* America’s PAC response

“If anything, we’ll increase the buy,” Donelson said. “And even if the stations knuckle under to the threats of Senator Durbin and his lawyers, Americas PAC will continue to run ads highlighting Senator Durbin’s and the President’s wage gap problems and hypocrisy. We’re scripting an even harder hitting ad already.”

* Here’s the ad, in case you’ve forgotten…

- Posted by Rich Miller        


15 Comments
  1. - When I'm in the Thompson Center I eat at Arby's - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    Why bother? So what if he wins with 55% of the vote instead of 60%? That’s all this comes to.


  2. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    But it gets closer every time he does something goofy like threaten the radio station with a law suit. Dumb.


  3. - yo - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    don’t underestimate the anti-incumbency mood. if the market bubble bursts before the election….expect that vibe to become magnified.


  4. - Ucster - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    Since when do political ads have to be truthful or accurate? I thought “truth in advertising” laws didn’t apply to political ads, or politicians in general…


  5. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    For what it is worth seeing a lot of Durbin ads on Facebook….


  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    ===Since when do political ads have to be truthful or accurate?===

    When candidates don’t buy them.


  7. - Demoralized - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    That ad annoys the heck out of me.

    Now, aside from that personal editorial, I think this was an absolutely stupid thing for Durbin to do. You don’t respond to an ad by trying to kill it. You put up your own ad countering it. He looks like a whiner.


  8. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    ==He looks like a whiner.===

    Cuz he is.


  9. - Steve - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    Maybe someone can hire Loretta Durbin as a “consultant” to “smooth” things out.


  10. - ZC - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:34 pm:

    Three thoughts:

    1) First off, and fundamentally, go to the “Washington Free Beacon” website, the source of all this, at http://freebeacon.com/. Scroll down the page and look at their links and pictures.

    I think I would trust them for honest factual analysis or reports as much as I would trust Sarah Palin for statistical analysis of Barack Obama. They make the Washington Times look like the New York Times.

    2) There’s no analysis I can currently find here that I would accept from a first-year college freshman. They give the stat on the website link above, true. But there’s no context or any extrapolation or evidence or methodology I can see for -how- they constructed the number they did. They just say there was an analysis and they put in that number.

    3) I cannot replicate the finding, at least. I can’t really get close to it. I just spent way too much time crunching the two GPO files that are linked to by the Washington Beacon - I took all the numbers listed that Durbin paid his staff in the relevant years, checked everyone’s gender, put in people who appear to have only worked for part of the year, left them out, I can’t figure out how the Beacon got the figures it did. I mean, they could be doing something way more sophisticated, but their methodology is opaque.

    I do see a gap, but if you’re taking just the average (a questionable move, for all the reasons we’ve talked about, but set that aside), I get to about a $6000-$7000 “average” gap, max.

    Are the stations running this ad even bothering to ask where this number came from and how it was concocted? Or are they just pocketing the $$ ?


  11. - Just Observing - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    Here’s likely what they did. They took all the salaries of men and all the salaries of women and averaged them. The men came out ahead. But if, say, the highest paid employee (presumably COS) is a man, then he alone may skew the numbers. This goes without saying, but this is a ridiculous, unfair ad.


  12. - ZC - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    Just Observing,

    That’s what I assumed they did too, but I can’t replicate and get that outsized a figure using even those assumptions. From my analysis of the GPO data, the X factor I think is what exactly are they counting as “salary.”


  13. - Ucster - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    ==This goes without saying, but this is a ridiculous, unfair ad.==

    How can you claim this without knowing the facts?


  14. - FormerParatrooper - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    Could the PAC have used the same accounting methods that everyone uses in the game of politics? Stretch and bend the stats to put your spin on things. Durbin should either place a counter ad or be quiet. Unless it is outright slander the legal threats sound childish.


  15. - ZC - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    Former Paratrooper,

    But where do you draw the line? Suppose the ad (and the Beacon study) said that Durbin paid his male office staff on average $50,000 more than his female office staff - and then wouldn’t explain where their numbers came from.

    Would you say that’s “accounting methods that everyone uses in the game of politics? Stretch and bend the stats to put your spin on things”?


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