A Duluth-area TV station spiked a DFL Party-sponsored ad after receiving complaints about inaccuracy from Republican U.S. Rep Chip Cravaack‘s campaign. The decision marks the second time during the campaign that Cravaack’s team has convinced a station to reject an attack ad.
In the ad, titled “Pretender,” two men, both identified as “Steelworkers,” assail Cravaack on a number of topics. The controversy arises out of two claims made in the commercial. One criticism says Cravaack supported “tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.” Moments later, one of the ad’s stars says Cravaack “doesn’t even live in Minnesota anymore,” which seizes on Cravaack’s decision to move his family to New Hampshire. That issue was also the featured topic in the most recent campaign message from DFL candidate Rick Nolan.
In a letter to WDIO-TV, the Duluth-area ABC affiliate, Cravaack campaign manager Sheldon Anderson urged the station to pull the ad from rotation over the alleged falsehoods.
“Both claims are false, and ample grounds to have the advertisement pulled from the air,” Anderson wrote.
WDIO evidently agreed, with sales director Deb Messer telling the Duluth News Tribune that the DFL would have to prove its claims before the spot could appear on air. DFL spokeswoman Kate Monson said the party planned to make a “slight edit” to the 30-second ad and resubmit it to WDIO for approval.
In September, the Cravaack campaign got metro-area station WCCO to stop running an ad from the House Majority PAC, a national spending organization for the Democratic Party. In that ad, Cravaack was accused of making constituents pay for the privilege of meeting him at public town halls. At the time, Cravaack adviser Ben Golnik said the campaign sent the same request to KARE-11, FOX 9 and KSTP, and that WCCO had been the only of the four stations which chose to pull the commercial from its rotation.
The DFL ad spiked by WDIO-TV can be seen below: