Esty won’t condemn DCCC on “false” ads
By Jordan Fenster, Register Staff
When asked to comment on anti-Roraback attack advertisements paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Elizabeth Esty said that while her opponent is a “nice guy,” it’s not matter of who is the nicer person.
“When I got to the legislature, he was the first person to come up and introduce himself to me,” Esty said of her opponent. “The issue is not who’s the nicer guy. The issue is who can be the most effective member of Congress.”
Republican Andrew Roraback has called the DCCC-paid ads “false” and has called for Connecticut television stations to pull them from the air. The ads call Roraback a “Tea Party Republican,” and suggests that he would support vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which Roraback has openly and publicly decried.
Roraback threatened legal action over the advertisement, telling stations that the ads were not covered under federal law governing equal time.
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. “Your station is hereby on notice that the Advertisement makes false statements intended to deliberately deceive Connecticut voters and defame Roraback’s reputation.”
The Esty campaign initially would not respond, to Roraback’s complaints, referring inquiries to the DCCC, and Esty, speaking at a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of Northwest Connecticut, focused on the “significantly different positions” that divide the two candidates.
“I’m running on my record,” she said.
Torrington Democratic State Rep. Michelle Cook, who attended the meeting at the Chamber, would not comment on why the DCCC would characterize Roraback as a “Tea Party Republican,” but did say she does “not look at him that way.”
“It’s really difficult to know somebody and throw their character around,” she said. “I don’t see that out of Andrew at this point.”
Political news site Daily Kos, in defending the DCCC advertisement, said “we have political parties in America, and Congress is run by them, not mavericky centrists.”
Esty, though, said her record is one of independence.
“I did buck my party, which was in leadership,” she said. “I have a demonstrated record of that.”