DPW Calls on Local TV Stations to Pull NRCC Ad Spreading Lies About Congressman Kagen

Oct 26, 2008

DPW Attorneys File Letters With Green Bay Stations; Shady Ads
From Same Group Pulled From TV in Alabama Last Week  

MADISON – The Democratic Party of Wisconsin today called on Green Bay-Fox Valley TV stations to immediately pull a negative political ad running by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) that contains false, misleading, and deceptive statements about Congressman Steve Kagen’s record.  

Each and every claim in the NRCC ad is false and misleading, and knowingly misstates Kagen’s voting on the issues of taxes, Medicare, and immigration. DPW attorneys have filed letters with Green Bay TV stations to serve notice of the stations’ legal responsibilities and potential liabilities for airing false claims. View the NRCC ad “drowning”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nkODxZW44E.

“This shady ad is chock full of lies about Congressman Kagen’s record and needs to be taken off the air immediately,” said Joe Wineke, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “The NRCC has a long history of running negative, false ads, and just last week TV stations in Alabama took down an ad from this same group. We are now asking Green Bay TV to follow suit and pull these lies from the air now.” 

The ad falsely accuses Congressman Kagen of “voting for the largest tax increase in history.”  The ad cites the passage of the Congressional Budget Resolution for the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2008. This vote does not, and cannot by its very nature, be considered a vote for a tax increase. Simply put, Congress cannot increase taxes in a budget resolution. 

The NRCC also claims, falsely, that Congressman Kagen, “voted to cut Medicare and to hike taxes on private health insurance.” The NRCC fails to provide any documentation to support this claim – nor could it, as the bill it cites actually increased benefits. 

Lastly, the ad falsely states that Congressman Kagen “fought to make it easier for illegal aliens to get health care.”  The NRCC’s claim is an outright lie. The non-partisan Congressional Quarterly states that the legislation’s final version specifically “Clarified that the bill does not allow for federal payment for individuals who are not legal residents.” A copy of this non-partisan analysis is attached with this letter. 

The ad in question has been running for several days in the Green Bay-Fox Valley TV market, repeating factually incorrect statements and misrepresenting Congressman Kagen’s voting record. Wisconsin law prohibits media outlets from publishing “a false representation pertaining to a candidate or referendum which is intended or tends to affect voting at an election.”