Roraback decries DCCC advertisements, “considers legal action”
The campaign of Republican Andrew Roraback on Monday sent a letter to all Connecticut television stations demanding that advertisements paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee be removed.
Democrats in Washington had issued an advertisement this weekend linking Roraback to Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and others, and suggesting Roraback would support vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget plan, a proposal Roraback has explicitly and publicly decried.
“Voters in this district deserve an honest debate on the important issues facing our country, not the kind of scurrilous noise generated by the DCCC, which embodies the basest form of communication, outright falsehoods,” Roraback said in a statement.
Under federal law, television stations must give equal time to advertisements issued by all candidates for office, but Roraback’s campaign manager said in his letter to stations that as a third party, the DCCC is not covered.
“Thus, broadcasting stations are not protected from legal liability for airing a false and misleading advertisement sponsored by the DCCC. Moreover, broadcast licensees have a legal responsibility to review and to eliminate any false, misleading, or deceptive materials contained in advertising,” campaign Manager Steve Basserman said in his letter.
But if Federal Elections Commission reports are any judge, there will be more ads like this weekend’s coming soon: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently spent an additional $25,000 on anti-Roraback media, bringing its total spent on attacking the 5thDistrict Republican candidate to $159,564.98 since the race began.
“Meet Washington’s Tea Party Republicans, and Andrew Roraback, he’ll fit right in,” the ad, which went on the air Saturday, says. “They’ve been pushing a plan that would essentially end Medicare, and they need Andrew Roraback’s help to finish the job.”
The Roraback campaign immediately responded, calling the advertisement’s content disingenuous, and asking that his opponent, Elizabeth Esty, “insist that these ads be immediately taken off the air because of the outright lies they contain.”
“While the ad falsely claims Andrew’s support for Paul Ryan’s budget, Andrew has — as recently as Sept. 11 — restated the position he has consistently held on the issue,” campaign spokesman Chris Cooper said in a release.
But DCCC spokesman Stephen Carter said “there are a lot of reasons” attacking Roraback on Ryan’s budget plan is “fair game,” though he said “we never explicitly say that he supports the plan.”
“It’s his party’s plan,” Carter said. “It’s the plan that’s on the ticket with him.”
The DCCC is not alone in linking Roraback to Ryan’s budget proposal. The Esty campaign has repeatedly referred to it as the “Romney/Ryan/Roraback plan,” though campaign spokesman Jeb Fain would not comment on the DCCC ad.
“Sen. Roraback hasn’t been very clear about who he stands with,” Fain said in a Record-Journal article earlier this month. “Is he as excited as his state party chair is to campaign with the author of the Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it?”
In the same piece, Roraback responded that he does not support Ryan’s budget.
“That is not the budget we will be voting on in 2013,” Roraback told the Record-Journal. “I’m going to Washington to promote a Roraback budget, and it’s going to be a reflection of the values of the people of the 5th District.”
The full letter is below.