Last week, the House Majority PAC ran a defamatory ad attacking Stewart Mills. This week, KSTP and WDIO stopped running the ad because they think the ad is defamatory. It’s worth noting that Nancy Pelosi started the House Majority PAC. The Mills campaign proved to the TV stations that the ad was defamatory.
“What happened in the last round of elections, where you had folks saying that ‘the wealthy, the wealthy are not paying their fair share, that there’s all these loopholes and they don’t pay any taxes and we have to make them pay more. Well, you know what? I’m gonna speak for myself and then I’m going to allude to a few others here. We’ve paid for all of our taxes. We reinvest the money we make into our business.
“How come we are not generating the jobs in Northeastern Minnesota that we otherwise would? Well I can tell you why. Because the overwhelming group of people that run businesses, that have the ability to employ people are taxed at that personal rate. They are the villains, they’re the bad guys. They’re the ones that quote are not paying their fair share. They’re the ones quote that ‘the 2%, the 1%, whatever percent you want.”
“To be singled out as a deadbeat is personally offensive.”
Turned into this sentence:
“…folks saying that ‘the wealthy, the wealthy are not paying their fair share…the 2%, the 1%, whatever percent you want…is personally offensive.”
To say that the Democrats’ ad is defamatory is understatement. That’s why KSTP and WDIO took this ad off their TV stations. This isn’t accidental. This ad was intentionally defamatory.
The dishearening, stunning thing is that this isn’t the only intentionally dishonest TV ad put together for HMP:
The nonpartisan FactCheck.org stamped the “bogus” label on a House Majority PAC ad in West Virginia that accused Republican candidate Evan Jenkins, a state senator trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, of vowing to repeal black lung disease benefits for coal miners.
It isn’t enough to say that these are dishonest ads. Rather, it’s totally appropriate to say that Democrats, especially the House Majority PAC, aka HMP, specializes in intentionally dishonest campaign ads.
The Mills campaign did the right thing in contacting the TV stations and making their case for why the ads should be pulled. The good news is that KSTP and WDIO pulled the Democrats’ ads. They’ve run for the last time. Here’s the key part of the Mills campaign’s letter to KSTP and WDIO:
The false ad bankrolled by AFSCME/House Majority PAC against Stewart Mills does not constitute a “candidate use.” Under Columbia Broadcasting Sys., Inc. v. Democratic Nat’l Comm., 412 U.S. 94 (1973), and Nat’l Conservative Political Action Comm., 89 FCC 2d 626 (1982), your station is not obligated to air any advertisements from third parties, such as the AFSMCE/House Majority PAC, as third parties have no guaranteed right of access to air their advertisements on your station. Thus, broadcasting stations are not protected from legal liability for airing a false and misleading advertisement sponsored by the AFSCME/House Majority PAC. Moreover, broadcast licensees have a legal responsibility to review and to eliminate any false, misleading, or deceptive materials contained in advertising.
The Mills campaign firmly but politely explained that the TV stations would be held responsible for the Democrats’ smear campaign against Mills. At that point, those TV stations understood that the Mills campaign was serious about stopping the defamation. They also knew that the Mills campaign could prove that the Democrats’ ad was dishonest and defamatory.
Other campaigns should take a lesson from the Mills campaign. HMP is raising lots of money. They’ll certainly attempt to run other dishonest ads to help Democrats in tight races.